Another year's almost over, and - wow! - what a year it was! Some companies had true fun on Social Media while others were struggling to cope with miserable consequences of their controversial actions.
Today we're offering you to look back and remember the companies who kept us in awe on Social Media. By analyzing all successful cases one can spot a certain tendency to align our own SMM strategies for 2014.
1. Oreo tweet during Super Bowl power outage
Super Bowl has always been a big deal and brands prepare their SMM strategies for this event in advance. The statistics are very inspiring: each year more people tweet, post and like Super Bowl related info. This year wasn't an exception but there was one moment brands couldn't get prepared for.
The outage interrupted the game for 34 minutes and people turned to Social Media to talk about it, share their frustration before the game was broadcasted again. Cunning brands made the most of this situation but Oreo was definitely in the lead.
As you can see in the screenshot Oreo tweeted a picture that offered an easy solution to the bored and upset audience – eat their cookies, because darkness does not prevent anyone from eating delicious pastry. It was a very straight-forward yet gracious hint at the right time.
The tweet was re-tweeted 10,000 times during the first hour. Oreo team did an excellent Social Media marketing job that probably brought them more benefits than the official commercial they paid for to be broadcasted during the Super Bowl.
Lessons to learn:
- best opportunities usually come at no price;
- quick reaction is the key;
- using images or other visual info is a must;
- simplicity is important;
- timing is everything.
2. Dove Real Beauty Sketches
Dove is renowned for their bold campaigns aimed at upbringing and cherishing self-esteem, the feeling of beauty and acceptance in women. In the industry where major brands capitalize on hatred to your body, on a constant abnormal desire to change it, Dove has chosen a strategy that's way different from what your social media stomach normally digests.
Interesting experiment was organized by Dove and is shown in the video above. FBI forensic artist was asked to draw two pictures of women based on the description women gave him about themselves and based on the description of people who just talked to those ladies. The trick is that the artist didn't see those women and was painting their faces based on the answers he got during their conversation.
Eventually the artist drew 2 pictures of one woman which looked completely different. The theory that women tend to view themselves uglier than they really are did prove. Pictures based on the answers of almost complete strangers who just talked to the ladies participating in the experiment were much friendlier and more beautiful.
Dove wasn't trying to make women believe they will become more beautiful if they buy their products. Dove showed they are already beautiful even without their products.
Lessons to learn:
- show your audience that they are awesome, amazing, lovely and beautiful and they will think your brand is also tremendous in return;
- make something not sales-oriented, work on your branding;
- make use of people's vulnerabilities and help them get stronger.
3. Tweeting Bra to raise breast cancer awareness
Nestle Fitness launched an interesting campaign in Greece. Tweeting bra was created to send reminding tweets on regular breast checks each time it's unclasped.
Famous Greek actress Maria Bakodimou had the honor to wear the tweeting bra for 2 weeks. Certainly every time she unclasped the bra it reminded followers to perform self-checks to diagnose breast cancer. Nestle Fitness certainly analyzed the celebrity choice carefully. They've chosen a popular actress aged 48 with a spectacular appearance and asked her, not some 20-like girl, to wear the bra and promote it to her 150K followers on Twitter. Nestle Fitness chose someone target audience could trust and it was a wise move.
Tweets were mostly in Greek but soon the idea spread like fire on Social Media and the site was also translated into English together with the intro video.
Now the Greek version can be hardly heard and the Tweeting Bra Twitter account tweets only in English.
Lessons to learn:
- if your idea is gold even the language barrier will not stop it from becoming viral;
- genuinely care about your audience well-being but invent the method that will look new, not annoying and will entertain them;
- invite a famous star to get extra attention to the campaign in mass media and capture the celebrity's audience too.
4. Skype Born Friends Commercial
Skype's been through a lot of challenges during the past couple of years. Apparently they've already made a decision on their key positioning in the market as the tool which helps people stay in contact during the roughest times of their lives.
The video tells the story about two girls with similar disabilities (they are both born with one arm) who communicated on the web but never really saw each other. They mostly talked on Skype and shared their challenges as being one-armed girls in a society where people sometimes have difficulties in understanding what they are going through.
The video almost makes you cry at the end when girls finally see each other. The commercial got almost 100% positive feedback from the web community and the whole ''Stay Together'' campaign is now being supported with other touching stories.
Lessons to learn:
- storytelling always works;
- show not how users can use your product but rather what everyday challenges they can solve with them;
- appeal to positive emotions.
5. Volvo trucks: the most epic of splits with Jean Claude Van Damme
What can be more boring than promoting trucks on Social Media? Maybe only selling spare parts to these trucks. I mean it's not even a sports car or some posh attribute of a glamorous life – it's a huge, ugly car used for goods transportation purposes.
However Volvo ruined this prejudice once and for all this year. This video was seen around 57 million times on YouTube and I swear it's worth watching over and over again.
Jean Claude Van Damme was invited to perform one of his famous splits but this time he was staying on side mirrors of two Volvo trucks when moving backwards. The stunt was organized to show the precision and stability of Volvo dynamic steering.
The audience was quickly divided into 3 parts:
- Some say Volvo trucks are awesome and that they are ready to sell their houses to buy a Volvo truck even though they have no idea what for.
- Others say Van Damme is a true star here, a 53-year old actor has shown a tremendous example of what a person can do to his life and his body in spite of harsh times in their life. Some even have disputes whether this commercial promoted Van Damme even more than it did Volvo trucks.
- And finally the third group worships truck drivers who gracefully controlled trucks during the stunt which certainly requires quite a lot of top-notch driving skills.
Still everyone agrees on one point: it’ll be harder for anyone to do something even close awesome to what Volvo team did.
Lessons to learn:
- invite a well-known star and make him do something remarkable that’s been always associated with this star (like Van Damme’s splits);
- make a star tell their story but give a hint that this story is also correlated with your brand story;
- again work carefully on a star choice.
6. F*#ck you, Google+
User-generated content is a dream of any brand thats represented on Social Media. But we all got to remember that by having the ability to create content users can still have an opinion of their own that might be… not convenient for the brand itself.
Emma Blackery is a young YouTuber/ Musician who shared a very bold opinion about a recent YouTube commenting system change. YouTube always had a commenting system of its own but Google decided it must be integrated more with Google+ in order to decrease the number of spammy comments and make more people use G+.
The tune, lyrics and Emma's voice are just adorable, catchy and were quickly noticed by such giant like TechCrunch. Google certainly left this bold provocation unnoticed.
Lessons to learn:
- users can also create viral stuff and you'll be unable to control their popularity;
- videos continue to drive more engagement and have a greater chance of going viral.
7. AXE Apollo Space Academy
AXE did an awesome job this year. To be more precise they launched the greatest marketing campaign for the last 30 years and it'll be the campaign everyone will remember for years to come.
TV commercials (like the one below) were shown on TV and uploaded to AXE official YouTube channel. All of them spread the idea that any girl will choose an astronaut over even the best guy in the world.
AXE Apollo was introduced as a new deodorant in January 2013 that was created for astronauts and now was available on Earth. However the most exciting point is that AXE expressed their desire to send a team of ordinary people like you or me to space.
22 people from all over the world got an opportunity to become an astronaut for free. A huge campaign was organized by AXE and launched in 60 countries in 45 languages to make people volunteer and compete with other candidates for a place. Right now it's known that participants are chosen and they will be asked to go to AXE Apollo Space Academy in December 2013.
Lessons to learn:
- do something bigger than your brand initially is about;
- do not let the prejudices reigning in your market determine your marketing and Social Media strategies;
- forget about immediate ROI, life-changing campaigns take time;
- boil up the interest to your campaign periodically if the implementation time is significant.
One can certainly notice that visual content was best at spreading the word this year. The tendency continues to evolve and strengthen its positions: videos and images drive more engagement, go viral faster and are better remembered by your audience.
Working in a boring niche can no longer be an excuse for standard campaigns because right now consumers are wide open to digest various ideas in different forms provided you touch their emotions and/or entertain them.
Do you remember any other brand that got your attention on Social Media this year? Please share it in the comments below.
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