The brands that make big splashes on social media are the ones that connect with their audiences in powerful ways – by tapping into megatrends, stirring up emotions, encouraging people to think about important things or thrilling them with the unexpected.
To inspire you, we have rounded up five of our favourite social media marketing campaigns launched in recent years.
1. Eugene the Egg
A humble egg became a global phenomenon and smashed the world record for the most-liked Instagram post. In January 2019, the @world_record_egg account was created, along with a simple image of an egg and a caption that read, “Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner (18 million)! We got this.” The post got more than 18 million likes in only 10 days and it kept growing from there.
This cracking idea, which was formulated by The & Partnership creative Chris Godfrey and his colleagues, eventually morphed into a mental health awareness campaign for the streaming service Hulu – airing during the Super Bowl. This campaign named the egg Eugene and focused on spreading the message that the pressures of social media can have a negative impact on people’s mental health. Eugene encouraged anyone affected to seek help.
2. Nike: Nothing beats a Londoner
This is a mobile-first campaign that was launched on Instagram. It includes a three-minute film that celebrates London’s youth by showcasing a variety of young athletes who go to great lengths to train in their city – against all odds.
This campaign won a Cannes Gold Lion in 2018 in the Social & Influencer division.
3. Starbucks: Unicorn Frappuccino
Capitalising on the unicorn megatrend that hit its peak in 2017, Starbucks launched a “flavour-changing, colour-changing, totally not-made-up Unicorn Frappuccino” that was as “fleeting as a rainbow” in April 2017.
Available for a limited time only (a mere five days) in selected stores, this campaign sent customers into a frenzy as they rushed out to buy one for themselves and share the photo. The elusive drink became a huge trend on social media, generating plenty of attention and sales for the brand.
4. Airbnb: National Park Backyards
This multiple award-winning Airbnb campaign celebrates the 100th anniversary of North America’s National Parks. It used a Facebook Live stream from Airbnb properties that can be found in and around these national parks. The tranquil simplicity and beauty of these feeds – which included a sunrise in Yellowstone, a sunset in Acadia and many other backyard vistas – managed to capture people’s attention, enabling them to virtually escape their fast-paced urban lifestyles for a while. This campaign achieved over 2.5 million total impressions in only 12 hours.
5. Go-Pro User Video
When a Go-Pro user shared a video of a fellow kayaker being slapped in the face by a dead octopus, which happened to be in a seal’s mouth at the time, Go-Pro used its social media platforms to turn this user-generated content into a viral video campaign.