Bold social media campaigns of 2012

Social media offers many opportunities for brands to engage the public. With more than 200 million active users on Twitter, more than 1.06 billion monthly active users on Facebook, more than 4 billion views per day on Youtube and more than 25 million Pinterest users, 2012 was a good year for social media. Of course, not all brands know how to use these platforms to their full capacity. However, there have been a select few who caught the eye this past year.

by Adela Sescu
1 year, 8 months ago
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1,500 tweets generated 959,921 impressions, reaching an audience of 628,636 followers within the past 24 hours


Nike launched the new #MakeitCount campaign encouraging everyone to step up their game in 2012 and ‘Make it Count’. This campaign, featured 11 of the UK’s top athletes making personal pledges to 'Make it Count'. It had a strategic launch in January 2012, exactly when people are checking in on their New Year's resolutions. It focused on sport, health and incorporating powerful photos, content, and videos corresponding with the "make it count" message, that went viral. The campaign was developed across multi-media channels like Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, with the main focus being on Twitter. Keeping the athletes as an example was a good move, as fans began sharing their own #MakeItCount experiences about how they encouraged and pushed themselves. For this amazing campaign, Nike created (for the first time) an official Twitter account as a single voice talking on behalf of the entire brand. The #MakeItCount hashtag built a stronger brand-consumer relationship, with content that was downright brilliant and had the potential to go viral.

Social media is helping us unite and expand. We have never been closer to our consumers, as they connect more with each other, their heroes and their favorite teams. Mark ParkerPresident/CEO Nike
Tomorrow sees the start of a massive year for athletes across the UK. How are ...
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I am really impressed, when the simplest of ideas generate a big impact. This was one of those: it was one sweet tweet for a $20,000 scholarship. KFC’s goal was to create media-buzz around the Colonel’s Scholars program that provides up to $20,000 for students with financial need and entrepreneurial spirit to pursue a degree at a public university- and they succeeded wisely. By adopting Twitter, KFC decided to use a fresh, modern approach for their scholarship program, than the old “write-an-essay” standard way of application. The contest lasted for 10 days (from November 16th to November 26th) with more than 2,800 contestants and according to KFC spokeswoman Laurie Schalow “the winning tweet was judged 40 percent on creativity, 30 percent on need and 30 percent on drive”.

The Scholarship Tweet campaign was very triumphant in creating a social media buzz (see in the list below), but what’s even more admirable is the way KFC created a philanthropic image for the brand and in doing so, was successful at reaching a younger audience.

The Campaign:

- produced over 1,000 media placements and millions of media impressions Multiple news; 

- was followed by many news stations such as CNN, MSNBC, NBC national news, The Weather Channel;

- generated more than 9 million social media impressions as a result of Twitter;

- received 20% increase in followers during the campaign.


The winner tweet was sent by Amanda Russell.



(CNN) -- Not too long ago, students had to craft an essay if they wanted to ...
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As you already guessed, this campaign about Honda was on Pinterest. The goal of the campaign was to drive awareness to the newly created Honda Pinterest account, and support the launching of their brand new CR-V. The "Leap List" campaign for the CR-V was all about going out and living life to the fullest, so Honda used Pinterest to get active  “pinners” to do just that- get off of their computer and explore what the world has to offer- to take a Pintermission. To promote participation, Honda engaged 5 very active Pinterest users, all of whom received 500$ to take a 24 hours break of Pinterest and then share photos of their adventure on their own #Pintermission board.

The Honda Pintermission challenge is a great example of brands making the most of Pinterest. I love the initiative especially because it turns the excitement of a new social media platform into something real & adventurous and while still keeping it relevant to the campaign. Furthermore, it also received some good media coverage, in advertising
publications and blogs. The Honda campaign is now a solid case study of what a brand can do on Pinterest: capturing fans’ likes and interests and  integrate with their social lifestyle.

To see more of their creative work, click here- AdWeek 


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People tend to remember things when they're musically presented, and comedy is a form of music. When you're launching a new business and sharing a new idea, if you can get people to remember it, there's obviously a better chance at success. Michael Dubin, CEO

Spotting a gap in the market, Michael Dubin set up Dollar Shave Club to provide men with new razors for just $1 a month. His claim was that there’s no reason razor blades should be so expensive — from here he managed to create a viral marketing video on Youtube that pushed their company to relative mainstream fame, their main goal being: to create awareness for the new startup and increase sales. Dubin says the video's strategy was to catch the audience with humor and make it memorable. In the first 48 hours after the video was launched, more than 12,000 people signed up for the service. And all this was achieved with only one Youtube smart video and some Google ads.

Moreover, what started with in funny viral video worth $4,500 in March 2012 became a successful business by end of 2012, planning to expand to Canada and possibly to other men’s product verticals. 

It was one of the best campaigns of 2012 because the brand knew how to keep the video short, make it original & bold, and mostly because it had humor that resonated with the target audience.

Dollar Shave Club couldn't be simpler. Select one of our great razors, pay one ...
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We based our Facebook Page on quality over quantity.

I’ve chosen this next campaign due to its uniqueness. Seeing a lot of brand pages so desperate for reaching more fans, Grey Poupon, a high-end mustard brand, tried to set its brand differently while maintaining that sense of exclusivity. Grey Poupon launched a marketing campaign for its Facebook page, where fans actually have to earn their membership. When clicking on Like button, users were required to apply through an application, The Society of Good Taste, which verifies users’s interests, friends and then determined whether their tastes are good enough to be a fan of the Grey Poupon page. If this sounds ridiculously elitist, that's the point.

Of course this bold idea means taking enormous risks, as fans might feel pushed away. At this point, Grey Poupon's Facebook page has just something over 44,000 fans- this is
nothing comparing to other brands that have millions of fans.  However, Markham (Executive Creative Director at Crispin Porter Bogusky, which designed the ad campaign and manages Grey Poupon's Facebook Page) believed that Grey Poupon's Facebook page may just end up having more engaged fans than some of these other brands because their fans "had to earn that position."


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1. Nike - #MakeItCount
2. KFC - The Power of a Single Tweet
3. Honda - Need a #Pintermission?
4. Dollar Shave Club - Viral Video on YouTube
5. Grey Poupon - Facebook Community
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