2015 seemed to be the year of the social media campaign. Whether it was Snapchat, memes, Periscope, emojis, UGC, or gifs, brands took to social media in force this year to power their marketing campaigns.
Here’s a look at 15 of our favorite social media campaigns from 2015:
Beats – Straight Outta Somewhere Meme Generator
The Straight Outta Somewhere meme generator was one of the best campaigns of the year as it made it super easy for people to create and personalize their own ‘Straight Outta _____’ UGC. The campaign was a viral success and spread like wildfire on social media, giving a huge lift in awareness and ticket sales for the new movie.
By making a meme generator that was strikingly on-brand and super simple for fans to customize, the campaign was able to attract everyone from sports teams to celebrities to participate in the campaign. The meme generator was a great strategy that resulted in over 300,000 pieces of content on Instagram alone.
Star Wars – #ForceFriday
Another great campaign from 2015 was the Star Wars #ForceFriday campaign, a global release and unboxing of dozens of new and exciting Star Wars toys. Their marketing team did an amazing job building up the hype for what would have been just a normal Friday and turned it into a global event with a global livestream and hashtag where fans shared their excitement and photos of new purchases of Star Wars toys.
While not every brand may have the strength and numbers of the Star Wars fanbase, brands everywhere can use their greatest asset, their customers and fans, to become their greatest marketers and frow excitement for their brand.
MONDELEZ – CANDY COMPETITION
Candy company Mondelez ran a Snapchat contest where the winner could win $10,000 for participating. All they had to do is snap a photo of a TimeOut chocolate bar, modify it using Snapchat drawing tools, and send it to TIMEOUTAU. The company showcased some of the creations on its website to incentivize people to participate and show them the creativity that other participants are doing.
Booking.com – GIF-tastic Social Hub
Booking.com took a creative approach to their summer marketing campaign, hiring several digital artists to create funny gifs out of user-generated content from their fans. The photos-turned-gifs were then shared on social media and featured on a social hub on Booking.com.
This is a great campaign that not only celebrated their fan’s participation but made their photos better by adding a little silliness and fun.
Seahawks & Starbucks – Snaphat Sleeves
— Kenton Olson (@kentono) September 11, 2015
The Seattle Seahawks and the Starbucks teamed up this fall to produce co-branded cup sleeves brilliantly designed to look like Seahawks jerseys. As if that wasn’t enough to get fans to stop by, the sleeves also featured the Seahawks’ Snapcode so fans could follow the Seahawks for exclusive content on Snapchat. With a Starbucks in one hand and usually a smartphone in the other, this is a super smart social campaign that blends in a corporate sponsor.
Royal Caribbean – Periscope digital billboards
In a never-before-seen combination of social livestreaming and digital signage, Royal Caribbean showcased some of the cruise line’s destinations by livestreaming them through Periscope, then sending edited versions of those broadcasts to digital billboards in New York City within minutes.
— Dan Moore (@DANandMOORE) November 19, 2015
With the help of some massively-followed social media influencers, the Periscope streams could be watched online as well as 76 digital out-of-home (DOOH) displays throughout NYC. This innovative approach was a hit for Royal Caribbean’s #ComeSeekLive campaign and I expect to see more social integrations with digital signage in 2016.
KFC – Colonel Sanders LinkedIn Profile
KFC took a surprising move to the business-oriented social network LinkedIn as it reintroduced Colonel Sanders as a large part of its marketing campaign in 2015. While not known for its place as part of a marketing campaign, LinkedIn is a unique opportunity for personified brands to get creative and tap into a wide open market. KFC played up Colonel Sander’s age and experience on his profile and playfully asked their fans to ‘endorse his skills.’
Nike Russia – Instaposters
Nike Women launched a real-time, personalized marketing campaign in Russia this summer tapping into both the Instagram and street art community. Selected Instagram photos from Nike’s fans were photoshopped, printed on large paper, and then pasted as street art on walls all over Moscow.
Their caption and photos were turned into art, captured, and then sent back to the original users to encourage them to keep creating awesome photos on Instagram. The Instaposters were a hit with Nike’s community as they made 50 posters from over 26,000 photos from the campaign.
Turkish Airlines – Persicope Flight
In an effort to up its social media game, Turkish Airlines decided to dip their toes in the world of live-streaming and be the first airline to Periscope a flight. The broadcast took viewers from Istanbul to New York and showed the flight preparations as well as behind the scenes video with the airline crew. Along with the stream, Turkish Airlines synchronized promoted tweets to launch when the broadcast went live.
Toms – #WIthoutShoes
Most shoe companies would want you posting tons of pics of their shoes on social media, but TOMS flipped the script this year for their One Day Without Shoes campaign, asking their fans to post photos of their feet without shoes on. Following their philanthropic roots, TOMS pledged to donate a new pair of shoes to a person in need for each person who posted a photo tagged with #withoutshoes. The campaign stood out on Instagram due to its visually unique look as most people post photos of their shoes, not feet, and TOMS ended up donating 296,243 pairs of shoes as a result of the social media campaign.
PEPSI – WORLD EMOJI DAY
Pepsi liked the raging tide of emojis so much, they threw it a party. July 17th 2015 was declared National Emoji Day, and Pepsi generated plenty of content to celebrate the occasion. Cans and bottles in Canada had emojis printed on them, they released a 35 character keyboard, and requested followers to tweet #PepsiMoji and show how the emoji is used outside of the digital space.
Pepsi also brought the point home with a short video, called “The Proposal” which depicted a young man, holding large placards printed with familiar emojis on them, appearing to propose marriage to a woman as she dined with her friends. The young woman said yes, as Pepsi encouraged the world to fall in love.
USWNT – INFLUENCER CAMPAIGN
The US Women’s National Soccer Team has had just as much success online as on the pitch in 2015, partly due to their great influencer campaign. In the lead up to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, US Soccer sent out personalized team jerseys to hundreds of politicians, recording artists, actors, celebrities, and other famous athletes with huge followings on social media.
The social influencers were more than happy to support team USA and share their photos with their followers across several social networks with the campaign’s hashtag #OneNationOneTeam. Paired with the team’s historic World Cup win, the hashtag has was used over 187,000 times on Twitter in a 30 day span. Now that is a campaign worthy of world champions.
(RED) – DONATE WITH A SNAP
This fall, (RED) collaborated with Snapchat and celebrities to create special filters for users’ photos and videos. Every time a user tried out one of the filters, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $3 to (RED), and pledged to go up to $3 million during World AIDS Day. Millennials love to make positive contributions to the world and participate in causes and sometimes all they need is a little encouragement via their favorite social network.
BLEACHERREPORT – #MJALLDAY
Bleacher Report’s Media Lab took the internet by storm in February when they released an incredibly engaging microsite dedicated to the life and accomplishments of Michael Jordan for his 52nd birthday. The interactive website had photos, quotes, and videos of Jordan and his greatest moments that flowed seamlessly together using a parallax effect that worked just as great on mobile as it did on a desktop.
Bleacher Report took the incredible imagery and videos and repurposed them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vine with the hashtag #MJallDay to drive interest in the microsite. The website was a great example of how to tell an engaging story and their use of social media to promote the activation fit perfectly into the entire social media campaign.
DOGS TRUST – EMOJI DRIVEN PET ADOPTION DRIVE
Dogs Trust, a charity in England, helped some furry friends find homes byimmortalizing the pups in emojis. They created 23 emojis, each representing an actual dog in need of adoption, and allowing friends of the charity spread the emojis around in hopes of finding homes.
One of the most difficult problems with shelters is a lack of exposure, and with this efforts, Dogs Trust can level the playing field. Utilizing a fun, free, and easily accessible venue to showcase their wares, especially for a good cause, is an example of the good that can come from something as silly as an emoji.
What was your favorite social media campaign of 2015? Did we miss any?