People tend to use Instagram to share a range of different photos. From those who love the art of expressing themselves through photography, to those who simply want to take selfies, the social media platform is filled with photos and videos of all caliber. What’s more, with the introduction of video and the fall of Vine, people are starting to use Instagram in even more curious ways.
Nevertheless, the same can’t be said for brands. Usually, people expect high quality and artistic photographs from brands that both express their core marketing message and present a visually appealing image. Check any clothing or sports brands, and you’ll see where we are coming from.
Of course, there is some diversity, but most of it comes down to brands sharing different advertisements in the form of photos or the aforementioned artistic takes.
The artistic photos strategy is successful for most brands and does manage to work well on Instagram. The core of the platform itself is the visual appeal of imagery. Yet, there are those that manage to stand out from the rest.
And that’s why we decided to go on the quest to seek something different. Remember the Rick and Morty viral stunt on the social platform from a few years back? For those unaware, the cult animated show Rick and Morty promoted their Instagram account and their show on the platform by taking advantage of the tag feature, resulting in a true point-and-click game.
Inspired by the sheer amount of creativity used by the social media marketers of Rick and Morty to create this game, we set on a course to find some creative uses of Instagram brands have used so far this year. Here are the top 5 most creative Instagram marketing campaigns of 2017 that we’ve managed to find. Granted, they are mostly a long way off from a point-and-click game, but they are nonetheless extremely creative and powerful.
Samsung #UnboxYourPhone Galaxy S8 Promotion
While not necessarily the longest running Instagram marketing campaign, the #UnboxYourPhone promotional photos of Samsung Mobile were definitely some of the most creative around.
Taking advantage of the small bezels that are also the selling point of the Samsung Galaxy S8, the company shared creative and unique immersion-inducing photos on their Instagram account earlier this year.
The company continues to share such photos of their newest flagship smartphone and alongside the photos of their other devices, the creativity of this marketing campaign definitely shines through.
Shiseido Product Announcements and Overall Instagram Profile
A make-up, fragrance and anti-aging products company in Japan, Shiseido has its own creative and unique style of using Instagram. The cosmetics firm takes advantage of the symmetry presented on the feed on the social network and posts three images each time, instead of one, resulting in a wholesome picture.
While not necessarily their most popular marketing campaign, we decided to feature their recent announcement of their White Lucent product on this list, purely because we had to choose one of their numerous amazing photos.
Of course, scrolling through their account you will be able to see that despite posting regularly they still manage to present something new, unique and different.
AirBnB #WeAccept Message of Acceptance
A proper marketing campaign is one which not only represents a brand, but also sends a powerful message people can relate to. With the heavily politicized debate on immigration in the U.S. a lot of companies sent out a message of love, rather than hate via their marketing.
Airbnb expressed their stance on the issue of acceptance with the #WeAccept campaign. Creative in its own unique manner, the inspirational social media movement by the company started with a video and continued with photos of individuals from different ethnicities and backgrounds.
Each photo shared a different story and a message of acceptance, while the photos and the campaign itself heavily contrasted the usual picturesque photos shared by the company.
Of course, getting political on social media is not an easy task for brands. Nevertheless, AirBnB shows just how it can be done right and with a style. This is definitely one of the top five marketing campaigns on the social photo sharing platform done this year.
#XOXOVictoria by Victoria’s Secret
Being one of the most infamous women’s underwear companies in the world, it’s not surprising that the Instagram account of Victoria’s Secret is filled with beautiful models in little to no clothing.
Debate on why the account is successful aside, the company did manage to prove that they don’t only rely on sexy, but also on creativity with the #XOXOVictoria photos uploaded in the beginning of the year.
While the #XOXOVicotira marketing campaign doesn’t stop with these array of photos, the way the brand has taken advantage of Instagram to create something unique and different is definitely worth taking a note of and it managed to improve the overall audience engagement on the photo sharing platform.
Adidas ‘Creative’ #HereToCreate Videos
Would it be an Instagram list without the mention of Adidas? Running one of the most successful marketing accounts on the platform, Adidas is often the account to check out if you need some creative inspiration.
While their Originals posts are certainly part of an amazingly creative campaign that redefines what’s normal in marketing, we decided to feature their slightly older ‘Creative’ campaign.
Running from February to March in the early spring, the campaign featured prominent athletes from all over the world sharing their passion and love for the sport. Shared with the #HereToCreate trend, the posts were not only a creative take on how an Instagram marketing campaign should be made, but they also took full advantage of the video capabilities of the platform.
Honorable Mention: Lorna Jane Active
The Instagram account of Lorna Jane Active shows how social media marketing should be properly done. In fact, by taking a simple glance at the photos the brand shares through the platform, you will instantly see their target demographic and their marketing message of love, peace, active sports and women power shines through.
Even though they don’t necessarily have a single powerful marketing campaign that stands out, their social media strategy is simply one to be jealous of. We hope that their photos give you inspiration on just how to describe the essence of the personality of your brand through social media.
Honorable Mention: The ‘Salt Bae’ Instagram Chef!
The year started with one of the most notable viral successes over on Instagram. A Turkish chef going by the name of Nusret Gökçe shared one of the most talked about Instagram videos in the beginning of the year.
Now, if you want to make a viral video, that’s how you do it! Put a pinch of passion! The video quickly went viral and resulted in one of the most popular hashtags and memes on social media for 2017, known as #SaltBae, and you’ve probably already heard about it.
What’s even more notable about Nusret is the fact that after going viral, he continued to establish his Instagram persona by taking advantage of the situation. While not necessarily a planned marketing campaign, this Instagram promotion helped the chef skyrocket his Turkish steakhouse and rumor has it he plans an expansion to the UK now. Thus, it is worth the honorable mention.
Express your Creativity Through Social Media Marketing
One of the first things every social media marketer should do when coming up with a new social media marketing campaign is to think outside of the box. Each and every social networking platform is bound by a set of rules, but stepping outside of the boundaries of what’s normal can greatly enhance the chances of success of your brand.
While occasions in which your campaign might go viral, such as is the case of our honorable mention Nursret, are quite rare, creative uses of Instagram, such as the case with #XOXOVictoria can boost your audience engagement and powerful messages, such as the one AirBnB shared, definitely go above and beyond pure marketing.
We hope that we’ve managed to inspire you at least a little bit with these amazing examples of creative thinking we found on Instagram. Consider the personality of your brand and add a dash of uniqueness next time you post a photo on the platform. We also wish you the best of luck on your next social media campaign.
Want to get the stats and analytics of your social media marketing campaign on Instagram in an automated, easy to access fashion? You can do so with the free 7-day trial of Locowise. Check out the stats behind the photos right here!
Read more: The 13 Best Instagram Marketing Campaigns