Best Social Campaigns of 2013

Roughly a 4 minute read by Amy Richards

It’s safe to say that 2013 was a pretty hectic year in social media. If it’s true what they say that time goes faster the older you get, then it’s doubly true in the digital world. Can you believe that Vine didn’t exist at the beginning of the year? That Instagram was an independent business? That hashtags were a no-go on Facebook? That the word ‘selfie’ wasn’t in common use - and that politicians certainly weren’t on board with the trend? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

As brands and businesses start to cotton on to the fact that social media is now a necessity, and even more businesses invest time and money into innovative social media campaigns it’s getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd. Every brand worth its salt is plotting domination of the social space, but as Kellogg’s, Tesco and Epicurious have learnt the hard way, it’s all to easy to be noticed for the wrong reasons…

However, in the spirit of Christmas cheer, let’s focus on the positives! Here are our favourite social campaigns of 2013 (other than our phenomenal Boss of Beef campaign, that is…)

Audi #onemillionreasons

Everyone likes compliments, and it’s a known fact that positive recommendations from real people are the best marketing tools. In an innovative campaign, Audi transformed the comments their fans were making on their social media channels into a digital 3D experience. It’s certainly better than retweeting praise!

A similar tactic was used by the BBC to advertise the most recent Doctor Who episode. Tweets from Whovians using the hashtag #savetheday were built into a 3D digital Tardis. Not only that, but you could also upload your profile picture and get your face into the Doctor Who opening credits. Fantastic stuff! Personalisation of social content is going to be big in 2014 - you heard it here first...

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Oreo ‘You Can Still Dunk in the Dark’

For most brands, getting advertising in front of people during the Super Bowl means big ad spends, but Oreo took a different tact and it paid off big time. During the power outage at this year’s game, they tweeted a simple picture which immediately garnered them tens of thousands of retweets.

It’s a lesson for all of us on the importance of seizing opportunities on social media, of taking risks and in keeping things simple. Hats off to you, Oreo!

Three’s ‘Dance Pony Dance’

You can’t force something to go viral, but you can certainly help it along its way, which is exactly what Three did with their #danceponydance campaign. This campaign is an excellent example of how integrating digital and social alongside traditional forms of marketing like TV adverts will serve you well.

As well as capitalising on the Internet’s love of animals, particularly animals doing daft things, Three made sure that it was as easy as possible for its customers to get involved online. They introduced a ‘Pony Mixer’ microsite, a YouTube channel and a hashtag so their content could be shared across the Internet. Overall, their advert has had more than 10 million views on YouTube and the campaign has had over 100 million social impressions. Well-played, Three, well-played.

Water is Life - Hashtag Killer

We’ve all experienced First World Problems. I, for one, had a very frustrating search for Winter Pimms at the beginning of the month. Also, I only learnt to pronounce ‘turmeric’ and ‘quinoa’ properly this year. We also all know how ridiculous they are, right?

Water is Life brought this into sharp relief with a campaign earlier this year that attempted to change the #firstworldproblems conversation and get people tackling real world problems instead. In an innovative video campaign, they juxtaposed #firstworldproblems tweets with videos of people from Haiti consoling the original tweeters on their non-problems. For anyone who has ever complained about not being able to get their hands on organic hummus, this is hard-hitting stuff.

As well as successfully hijacking the #firstworldproblems hashtag and making it onto all the major news outlets, they also upped donations and managed to raise enough for one million days of clean water. That’s a winner.

What were your favourite social media campaigns of 2013?