Sunday, September 30, 2012

3 Brilliant Uses of Social Media

Social media is a double-edged sword that can help make or break ideas. In the examples below, we see some superb examples of how social media has been used to launch some of the most memorable campaigns.

Old Spice 
Social Media Old Spice

 Arguably, Old Spice tops the chart for one of the most brilliant uses of social media for business. In 2010, Wieden+Kennedy conceptualized the phenomenal Old Spice ad “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” which was launched during the Super Bowl and featured hunky actor and former NFL athlete Isaiah Mustafa. Within the next few hours, Old Spice gallantly acceded to requests left on its Twitter account, responding to each question or request with a new video.

It created a marriage proposal for @Jsbeals (whose girl said yes, by the way) and also  managed to cough up instant videos for Guy Kawasaki, the Huffington Post, Gizmodo, The Ellen Show, and hundreds more celebrities and followers on Twitter.

Needless to say, Old Spice gathered quite a few social media fans, some of whom have sworn to buy the product just to “mark the moment” and keep the clever ads going.

Winning points:  Well-developed and intelligent, this is social media used to its fullest potential with no qualms at all about going the extra mile to engage followers and celebrities. Short and witty, the Old Spice videos were extremely addictive and made for an interesting case study on brand awareness.  Extra points to the Old Spice social media team for targeting big names who were more than happy to jump into the viral campaign.  The video garnered for Wieden + Kennedy a Cannes Lions advertising award and a second Emmy. Additionally, Old Spice body wash sales at stores (excluding Wal-mart) went up 7.9 percent in the 52-week period ending June 13, 2010.

Dodge Journey

Social Media Dodge Journey

Another Wieden + Kennedy winner, the Dodge Journey campaign launched just September 10 won the 4th Annual Shorty Industry Award for Best Use of Social Media in Real Life.  The idea was to hide three Dodge Journeys across the country and inspire people to go on a scavenger hunt for the vehicles. Wieden + Kennedy approached the agency Digital Kitchen with the idea.  DK then crafted an interactive experience using live stream videos via YouTube with DK production assistant Mike leaving online clues for viewers.  Winners get to keep the Dodge Journeys they found.  Millions participated in the hunt with YouTube receiving more than 1.5 million views on the channel, which also got around 400,000 posts. Dodge Journey itself amassed a 910% increase in brand mentions.

Winning points:  So far the most successful YouTube brand campaign in history, the Dodge Journey scavenger hunt motivated thousands to get off their couches and explore the real world.  Although only three came out as winners, many would no doubt remember the thrill of a novel adventure.

Caine’s Arcade
Social Media Caine's Arcade
Image from
Nine-year-old Caine Monroy had a childhood dream – to convince more customers to visit his fantastical cardboard arcade located in his dad’s used car parts shop. Even though business was painfully slow, little Caine exerted more effort into the business, coming up with inventive ways to replicate the fun and strategic games you see in arcades.  The huge game-changer for Caine’s Arcade came in the way of filmmaker and accidental customer Nirvan Mullick. Mullick was looking for car parts when he came across Caine’s dad’s shop and found the DIY business instead. Amazed at the creativity of the venture, Mullick created a touching documentary about Caine’s Arcade.  With the help of Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, and other social media, Mullick’s video touched the hearts of viewers and quickly went viral. Mullick also built a website for Caine, asking viewers to imagine what Caine could build with an Engineering Degree and asking them to support Caine’s scholarship fund. Pretty soon, hundreds were lining up at Caine’s Arcade, awaiting their turns on the make-shift recreation center.

To date, Caine’s Arcade has 125,000 fans on Facebook. The video sequel has also reached over 500,000 views on YouTube.  Moreover, Mullick’s initiative spawned the Imagination Foundation, which aims to “find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids.”  The Foundation’s first project was Caine’s Arcade School Pilot Program, where over 100 schools in 9 countries used the film and cardboard arcade building to teach kids math, science, engineering, art, entrepreneurship, storytelling, creative thinking, and more.  On Oct. 6, the anniversary of Caine’s Arcade, Imagination Foundation will also be launching a Global Cardboard Challenge to celebrate creativity and ingenuity worldwide.

Winning Points:  Caine’s Arcade is one of the best examples of how social media can be used to positively change and impact lives.   Using a human interest approach to weave Caine’s story, Mullick’s video was a product of technical skill and sincere intentions.


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