7 Genius uses of Social Media Marketing in 2015 (Pt. 2)

Welcome to the much anticipated second half of 7 Genius uses of Social Media Marketing in 2015. Some of the year’s best have been saved for last. Honest Tea #Refreshinglyhonest Honest Tea decided to promote their range of naturally sweetened teas with a challenge for the nation. Who would pay for the product by the honour system if no one appeared to be watching? They tested this in 26 different cities across the country with their “Honest Stores”, selling the product for a dollar.

They were able to determine the most honest city, gender and even haircolour. If you’re a brunette woman living in Atlanta, GA, you’re doing just fine. You can check out all of the results at their National Honesty Index  The company worked with Influential, a mobile first enterprise technology that pairs top brands with their own selected “influencers” using demographic data. They then promote the product, or in this case challenge, through word of mouth. Why is this genius? Much like HP’s use of the influencer, Honest Tea relied on the public to direct the content of their campaign. Where they went further is their use of the word of mouth and local SEO. This experiment physically branched their product out to every major city in the U.S. and then reunited them online with the results of their poll, all while maintaining their wholesome image. Salvation Army Indeed Social Media is a wonderful connecting tool. It can send powerful messages sweeping across the globe, bringing with it a wave of change. Through recognized memes, images and symbols it can unite us through our universal language; laughter.

The global fixation on “the dress” though, was not one of the shining moments of the joining power of Social Media. People became fiercely obsessed with determining the true colours of the garment, with full diagrams becoming available online arguing one way or the other by self proclaimed experts. In fact, the whole thing was treated like a forensic investigation, the dress being the victim lacking vindication, until someone put a representative of an entire group of actual victims that often go without recognition or global discussion. The Salvation Army (and agency Ireland Davenport) created this powerful response, showing a battered woman in a gold and white dress, with the headline, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?”

Why is this genius?  This was not the only use of this bizarre fixation in a campaign, but this original print ad went viral itself due to its clever wording and hard hitting message. It used the ridiculous nature of the dress debate to bring up something that should be much more of a pressing issue. It’s cleverness stopped us from dismissing it as preachy, while its potent message stopped us from dismissing it as attention seeking. Always Though often used for selling female specific products, a major theme this year was female empowerment, something that’s not hard to get behind. Always, knowing that their line of hygienic products wasn’t going to hit it big with men anytime soon, Always created the memorable hashtag campaign #LikeAGirl.

The #LikeAGirl campaign, paired with an adorable video, was one of the most successful campaigns launched on Facebook. It challenged our perceptions about what “like a girl” truly implies and subsequently challenged businesses preconceived notions of what Facebook could do for your company. Why is this genius? 

How many times did you see this video reposted? Be honest. Better question, how many of your Facebook friends are women? Always put the message before the product, while simultaneously appealing to their future (or not so distant future) customers. But this campaign works on multiple levels, as it includes various ages and both genders, directing the message to all of us. Being a woman doesn’t make you weaker, ditsier, or lesser; it just means you’re gonna have a period. Burberry It could be said that Burberry had managed to corner a niche market. They could easily appeal to their local Brits with the paring of their two significant clothing articles, their signature plaid and their famously slick trench coat. Both of these things are of extreme value to a region infamous for their rainy weather and posh style.

So how does a brand with products most commonly associated with one tiny (yet undeniably influential) Island branch itself out to new markets? They launch their clothing line in the most opposite of climates, Los Angeles, California, bebe. The show, aptly titled “London in Los Angeles” was able to draw more clientele from another time zone, but this this wasn’t enough for the global launch the company hoped for. In comes Periscope, the new app launched by Twitter only a month before the show. The app allows you to “broadcast live video to the world. Going live will instantly notify your followers, who can join, comment and send you hearts in real time. The more hearts you get, the higher they flutter on the screen,”(iTunes App Store). Why is this genius?  They introduce a new line of globally themed clothes, invite all the hottest celebrities and then show them a new exciting app that streams live video to the world. Oh yeah, and the app favours videos that are shown the most love, increasing the flag on a global map for people to view around the world. Did I mention that the place was filled with celebrities, each with hundreds of thousands of adoring fans worldwide?

Did I also mention that this app was a month old, rendering their competition for the most loved video virtual nilch? There’s a theme here, it’s global domination, and staying true to their colourful colonialist past, the Brits have certainly put themselves on the map. As the list and the year come to a close, there are a few patterns that we can recognize and bring with us into 2016. New applications and technology were key, companies finding creative and meaningful ways to best utilize these tools. They found innovative ways to make the application relevant, rather than relying on the relevancy of the technology. Similarly, successful campaigns not only jumped on trending topics, but increased the popularity of said trend through creative marketing. Social Media does not guarantee success, but creative design, timing and a strong theme certainly help. For those companies not mentioned, never fear, there’s always next year. Happy New Year!

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