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10 Creative Case Studies for a Winning Social Campaign

Silvio Porcellana
Silvio Porcellana

Social media is becoming more and more important in marketing strategies: this year, 85 percent of marketers plan to invest more on Linkedin, 78 percent on Twitter and 70 percent on YouTube.

This is because many marketers have started to appreciate the results. In fact, 80 percent of them registered an increase in website and blog traffic thanks to activities related to social media.

This is also due to the growing awareness of the dynamics of each of these channels, which allows marketers to carry out creative and brilliant campaigns and explore new opportunities for interaction with their customers.

In this article we will look at 10 examples: each contains a secret, a winning X factor, from which you can take inspiration to concretely create your future campaigns.

Related Article: Which Social Media Metrics Actually Matter?

1. Use Instant Marketing Your Way: Oreo Daily Twist

Oreo Cookie Pride Day Promotion

For years, Oreo has been utilizing social media as the key element of its marketing strategy and exploring its potential in a fun, original way and above all consistent with the company’s goals. Its recent Facebook campaign, “Daily Twist”, was launched to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

An artwork featuring its iconic cookie that reflected the happenings, news and trends taking place in the world was posted every day for 100 consecutive days. This campaign resulted in 231 million media impressions, more than a million new fans and a 280 percent increase in shares. How many shares did its posts get? Each post had been shared about 1,400 times.

The Oreo campaign shows that trends are not to be followed, but to be ridden instead: there’s too much talk about Instant Marketing and many brands are using them. However, only a few use trends to promote their products. Often times their initiative is an end in itself, without any prospect of achieving their broader marketing objectives.

The most famous sandwich cookie in the world has, instead, used Instant Marketing in a brilliant way and mixed some winning ingredients that guarantee great results on Facebook: creativity, relevance, sympathy. During those 100 days, the brand had its consumers wondering: “What will be Oreo’s twist today?” Could you do something similar for your brand?

2. Analyze Your Target’s Data: CIL Canada

Creating a big social campaign when the product is easy to promote, and can inspire sympathy or already has a great reputation is relatively easy. But even if you are selling house paint, for example, it does not mean that you cannot create something equally interesting. CIL, a Canadian paint manufacturer, wanted to build an emotional connection with their audience, especially with the male audience who usually purchases its products.

So the company decided to involve them in their decision-making phase by creating a Facebook app and inviting people to rename a variety of their paint colors. 15,000 names had been proposed (including the remarkable “razor burns” or “hockey puck”) through the app. In 45 days, the campaign resulted in 100 million impressions and a 10 percent growth in sales.

This campaign had a very tight budget: what you can learn from this is to exploit the democratic nature of social media. Good ideas can bring great results, even if there isn’t any huge investment involved. To optimize resources, start from the data: you will create campaigns that meet the real needs and expectations of your customers.

3. Contextualize Your Ideas: Coca-Cola #ChooseHappiness

 Coca Cola GB Twitter promotionDo you think Twitter is a social media where you can’t get creative? Coca-Cola has shown the opposite. To launch its “Choose Happiness” campaign, it used Twitter to spread happiness wherever, online and offline, contextualizing this feeling to a specific situation: for the summer holidays, on the occasion of the Rugby World Cup or the V-Festival. To make this campaign even more engaging, connecting the virtual and the real world, it created Twitter-powered vending machines: consumers who tweeted with the campaign’s hashtag #ChooseHappiness could pick up a free can.

You don’t have to be like Coca-Cola to come up with a similar idea: when you create a campaign, think of your target and how the interaction can enhance their experience with your brand, at the specific time and place where they are located.

4. Experiment With Formats: Dove Men #Scrumtogether

Dove Men’s campaign chose to feature the players of the American rugby team, in a golden moment for sports, to promote their products. The campaign content was brilliantly posted in various formats on Twitter, including sketches, a contest to get free tickets, long forms and surveys, as well as a series of Vine videos.

In this case, the element that brought together the various content around a single goal was the #ScrumTogether hashtag: this is exactly the campaign’s secret, from which you can get inspiration. Social media allow you to post different kinds of formats to convey your content, even within the same channel. Experiment with more formats to make your campaign more dynamic and figure out which formats are more engaging to your target, and keep the message of the promotion at the center of your content.

Related Article: 6 Incredibly Easy & Effective Social Media Marketing Tips and Tools for E-commerce Businesses

5. Create a Virtual Stage: Mondelez Candy Snapchat

 Timeout Candy bar Snapchat promotion

Here’s a sweet way to use Snapchat: The gum and candy maker, Mondelez, launched a contest on this channel. Users were invited to post a photo of a TimeOut chocolate bar, modify it in a creative way using Snapchat drawing tools, and send it to "Timeoutau". The grand prize was $10,000, but for many, it was the satisfaction they took in seeing their work posted on the site. In fact, Mondelez published the best works so as to thank their authors and promote the contest to new users.

This campaign has a simple but important secret: make your followers feel like the star of your activities. Make them feel as if they were on a stage, even for a moment. In traditional marketing, the only reward that mattered was money, but today there are other prizes which people appreciate: a few thousand dollars is certainly still a great prize, but having a say, being listened to, having an authority and a moment of fame have considerable value to users.

6. Star Wars #ForceFriday

This is a campaign that you’ve probably heard of because it had a global reach. The marketing team had to find a way to promote the movie’s official toys, even before its release. So they turned a normal Friday in a world event. Fans were invited to share pictures with the Star Wars toys they just purchased on social media, using the hashtag #ForceFriday. It was an amazing success: "For the entire toy industry, it is one of the most exciting new launches," said Laurie Schacht of on Fortune.

What does this story teach us? Simple: if there is no suitable event to promote your brand, then create it yourself. You probably will not have the same investment capacity and coverage as the Star Wars team, but if you analyze your target audience and make good use of your creativity, you can engage people in a social campaign that will make them spontaneously promote your products.

7. Unleash Viral Content: Nike Russia Instaposter

 Nike Russia Instaposter Ad.

Street art, Instagram and a brilliant idea made Nike Russia’s social campaign a winning one. It consisted in selecting photos of their fans while doing sports. The images were then modified in Photoshop so as to look like street art posters, printed and placed on the walls all over Moscow. Then they were photographed and sent to the fans, encouraging them to take more photos and to upload them on Instagram. During the campaign, more than 27,000 photos were uploaded and 54 posters were made, thus building strong engagement in the Nike community.

The inspiration: you don’t always have to be the one to create content. Social media enables everyone to do this and there’s no rule that says your brand can’t be the star of your fans’ stories. Monitor what users say about your brand, and you will find an interesting way to use their stories. Involve them when making ideas and they will share it spontaneously. Proposing viral content is the goal of every social campaign: creating them with your fans is a good idea to turn this goal into reality.

8. Make People Dream: Air Asia Friendsy

The Malaysian airline, Air Asia, launched an original campaign on Facebook to promote its new flights from Australia: you could choose among your Facebook friend who you would take on an imaginary flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur. Once you had chosen, you could also select the seats, share a snap of your plane and tag the person you wanted to take with you. The result of this campaign? Air Asia had to double the number of its daily flights from Sydney and its Facebook fan page grew by 30 percent.

Here’s what you can learn from this campaign: make people dream with your products. Don’t just promote your products. Show people that they can achieve their aspirations and desires with your product. Stimulate Facebook’s social nature: if you offer an interesting content, your fans will be happy to tag their friends, thus increasing your visibility.

9. Take Advantage of Digital Languages: Pepsi Emoji Day

 World Emoji Day July 17, 2015

Pepsi decided to use the expressive power of Emoji to create a campaign on the occasion of World Emoji Day on July 17 last year. Thirty-five different Emojis were printed on cans and bottles. Pepsi then invited its fans to tweet a photo with one of these customized products, with the emojis their emotions at the moment.

What inspiration can be drawn from this campaign? Social media generated many new forms of expression, codes, languages, which are now part of people’s lives, even when they are not on the web. They are still underused forms of expression, which you can use to create content that will bring the digital experience into reality and vice versa.

10. Leave the Spotlight: Toms #Withoutshoes

 Toms Without Shoes PromotionRelated Article: Build Better Ads: 7 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Ad Campaign

The shoe brand, Toms, launched a campaign on Instagram inviting its fans to post a photo of their bare feet. Every time a user posted a picture with the hashtag #withoutshoes, a pair of shoes was given to someone in need. This campaign created a buzz on Instagram, with more than 300,000 participating photos.

Here’s the inspiration you can draw from this story: use social media to promote values over your products. All footwear brands invite their fans to post photos showing their shoes but follow what Toms did. Ask your fans the opposite and give up on putting your brand in the spotlight. Carrying out campaigns for a social cause can have a powerful impact on your audience and can generate buzz.

So what about your favorite campaigns? 

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Silvio Porcellana
Silvio Porcellana Member
Silvio Porcellana is the CEO and Founder of, the online tool over 1,000 agencies and professionals use to build mobile websites and native apps for customers worldwide. From his retreat in the Monferrato Hills in North West Italy, he bootstraps companies, writes about the web and mobile marketing, and helps customers succeed online. Read more from Silvio at blog