An increasing number of businesses are turning to social media in order to promote their brands and/or new products and services. And why wouldnt they? The method has proven extremely successful; a likely reflection of the fact that sites like Facebook and Twitter are currently the busiest hubs for consumers online. People are now far more likely to visit the Facebook page of a brand than the actual website.
Here then - in no particular order - is a rundown of the best social media campaigns (in my humble opinion) in recent years...
Dazzle the rainbow
The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company confectionary company decided to engage audiences via a live Facebook campaign in which a man by the name of David Phoenix (a kick boxer and model with a penchant for Skittles sweets, apparently) was emerged in thousands of pieces of the popular hard shelled, rainbow coloured candy. Differing amounts were poured into a tank in 15 minute intervals to reflect the number of people who had clicked a button labeled Add Your Skittles on the sweets Facebook fan page. Over 2 million sweets entered the tank, covering Phoenix almost entirely.
WHY THIS CAMPAIGN MAKES THE LIST: Who hasnt dreamed of being completely covered in their favourite sweets? The simplicity of this stunt and the "we can do this together" element made it easy news to spread across Twitter and this no doubt aided its popularity.
The Blair Witch Project
Those involved in the production of the 1999 low budget, hardly-horror film caused quite the stir when they bombarded forums and websites with the tale of the true story about a trio of kids failing to return from their attempt to make a documentary project in the woods several months before the films release. The movie cost just $22,000 but grossed a whopping $240m in the box office, making it the most profitable film of all time.
WHY THIS CAMPAIGN MAKES THE LIST: For being one of the first significant social media campaigns before anyone had actually coined the phrases social media or "viral marketing".
Will it blend?
The viral videos making up the online campaign for the worlds most powerful blender brand, Blendtec, first appeared on the internet in 2006 " just after the birth of video hosting phenomenon YouTube. Right time and place, anyone? The videos show everything from a baseball, to a batch of glow sticks, to an iPod being whizzed to an unrecognizable mess. The sales of home blenders increased significantly (around 700%) as a result.
WHY THIS CAMPAIGN MAKES THE LIST: There is something really quite satisfying about seeing a multitude of objects mashed up in a powerful blender. Particularly if those mangled objects are "wanna have"'s!
Red Bull Scavenger Hunt
To mark 1 million fans on Red Bulls Facebook page the caffeine pushers hid hundreds of free cans of the popular energizing thirst quencher all over the USA, posting clues to their locations on the ol interweb. Cans could be found anywhere from under a tree to atop a fence. Social media meets real life!
WHY THIS CAMPAIGN MAKES THE LIST: Because Americans running about trying to find cans of energy drink is an amusing mental image. The social element combined with the freebie element was a winner.
Bing! Farmville engagement
Bing attracted over 40,000 new Facebook fans when they offered the players of Facebook farm simulation game Farmville wads of in-game cash if they were to become a fan of the Google-coattail chasing search engine Bing! on the social network. The campaign saw the minds behind the operation nominated for an OMMA (the Online Media Marketing and Advertising) award too.
WHY THIS CAMPAIGN MAKES THE LIST: Great combination of social media & in-game marketing!
Kat Cole is a copywriter by day and a rock gig-goer by night. She is an avid user of social networking websites.