With social media use on the rise, marketers have to find imaginative, unexpected ways to create relevant and interesting content that tantalizes target audiences and encourages participation. Although social media makes it possible to raise significant awareness with zero budget, it can also amplify the shame when campaigns go wrong.
With that said, we thought we’d have a bit of fun and highlight some of the best and worst applications of social media we’ve seen in 2013.
The Feel Good Award
As one of the most shared videos of 2013, Dove certainly has a reason to celebrate their Real Beauty Sketches campaign. The brand’s powerful message evoked strong emotions from a deeply engaged audience, prompting viewers to share the Youtube masterpiece with their own online communities, as well as contribute to the brand’s campaign with testimonials, stories, and other user-generated content.
The Unfortunate Wording Award
Poor Tesco. Their ill-worded (and ill-timed) Tweet appeared in the midst of their infamous horse meat scandal that had the stomachs of consumers turning violently. Based on the reaction by social media users, few appreciated their choice of words whether they were intentional or not. Although we love a good viral post, this one circulated for all the wrong reasons.
The Creativity Award
To promote #TornadoWeek earlier this year, The Weather Channel created a tweet-powered tornado simulation controlled by the volume of #TornadoWeek mentions. Putting Twitter users in the driving seat of Mother Nature really paid off with the dedicated hashtag still showing up in many feeds months down the line.
The All-Rounder Award
Oreo not only has the knack for baking delicious cookies, but the brand also has a talent for creating fun, timely, and visually appealing campaigns across all their social properties. Whether they’re showing off the versatility of their product through mouth-watering recipes or capitalizing on current events like the birth of the royal baby, you’re sure to find an Oreo-related post to make you want to grab a cookie and a glass of milk.
The Cool Contest Award
Heineken brought a fun factor to Instagram with a scavenger hunt contest that generated numerous impressions and raked in a boatload of new followers. While this type of contest isn’t new, contestants were able to find the clues and hunt for the prize within the confines of the dedicated Instagram competition page.
The Innovative Campaign Award
Photo: Fruit of the Loom
Fruit of the Loom believes that “great-fitting underwear can help you start your workday in a great mood,” which is why it’s no surprise that this famous underwear company sent LinkedIn users who had recently acquired or changed jobs a message stating they could claim a free pair of underwear for their new adventure. Since LinkedIn is usually left out in the cold when it comes to this sort of campaign, we’re giving Fruit of the Loom two thumbs up for targeting this networking site.
The Worst Reaction Award
Amy’s Baking Co. fiasco really takes the cake for 2013. There have been some pretty bad reactions by brand’s to criticism, but this business has created a PR nightmare of note. Besides vulgar language and erratic posts, the company owners completely trashed their target audience via Facebook. What about those 118k likes you see in the image above? They’re mostly there because people can’t take their eyes off this social media train wreck. The brand has stated they were hacked, but the mudslinging continues months later. BuzzFeed is calling it an “epic brand meltdown,” we’re calling it something every company should avoid at all costs.
Which have been your favorite social media campaigns in 2013? Which ones made you cringe? Share your suggestions along with a name for your award in the comment section below.