Top Ten Social Media Campaigns

Top Ten Social Media Campaigns

With the technology of today, social media has become increasingly important to marketers as a channel between themselves and their audience. More and more marketers are beginning to develop campaigns revolving around social media with a mixed degree of success.

The degree of the success of a social media marketing campaign is measured by a variety of different factors:

an increase in brand awareness

increased sales

popularity on YouTube (number of views)

anything else that helps the brand work towards its goals


Three experts from Forbes were recently chosen to rank the world’s top ten best social media campaigns based on three factors: the success of the campaign, the quality of its execution and the creativity of the campaign.

The top ten social media campaigns according to the three expert judges are:

1. The Blair Witch Project

This 1999 low budget horror film became the world’s most profitable movie ever after grossing over $240 million while taking only $22,000 to make. They did this by using a viral social media campaign to stimulate anticipation and interest months before its release. Through message boards, fake newspaper clippings and police photos, etc. the marketers of the film spread rumors about the fate of the movie’s main characters that incited curiosity throughout their audiences.

2. Blendtec: Will it Blend

These videos, starting in 2006, depict the Blentec Total Blender “blending” anything and everything the campaign managers decided to throw into it. By showing the power of the blender this campaign increased home sales of the blender by 700%.

3. Old Spice: “Smell Like a Man, Man”

Old Spice expanded its brand around the world when it created a campaign that allowed the popular actor portrayed in the Old Spice commercials, Isaiah Mustafa, to answer questions via online videos and Twitter. The high expansion of the brand already demonstrates a highly successful campaign, but the full results are still being counted.

4. Burger King: “Subservient Chicken”

A website created in 2004 for Burger King by the advertising agency Crispin, Porter + Bogusky received 15 million hits in 5 days. The campaign advertised Burger King’s TenderCrisp Sandwich through the use of a person dressed in a chicken suit that responds to commands such as “make a sandwich” or “moonwalk”.

5. Pepsi Refresh

This campaign is still running and gives people the chance to get funding for philanthropy and charity. The goal is to give Pepsi a new identity while maintaining its youthful image.

6. VW: Fun Theory

By transforming a Swedish subway staircase into a giant functioning piano, Volkswagen was able to influence 66% more people to use the steps instead of the escalator. This was a social experiment in order to influence customer behavior, and was the winner of the 2010 Cyber Grand Prix Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival.

7. Office Max: “Elf Yourself”

During this 2006 holiday campaign, people were encouraged to upload pictures of themselves and others into a website that would use technology to transplant the heads of the people in the photos onto the bodies of dancing elves. This creative campaign led to the creation 122 million elves, more brand awareness and increased sales.

8. Evian: “Roller Babies”

This Guinness Book of Records “most watched online ad in viewing history” with over 60 million views and 54,000 comments depicts babies break dancing and busting out moves on roller skates.

9. Ikea: “Facebook Showroom”

This marketing campaign saw vast increases in product awareness for Ikea. It involved posting pictures of new showrooms on Facebook and the first person who tagged an item won it. This sparked a huge, viral word of mouth campaign that quickly spread to people’s Facebook friends.

10. Hotmail

This was a controversial choice for the tenth spot because the judges were split. This campaign started in 1996 and saw Hotmail running ads such as “get your free email at Hotmail” at the bottom of every email message. The debate was over whether or not it qualifies as a social media campaign, but no matter if it was or not, no one can argue against it being successful in getting more product awareness.


Many of these social media campaigns had the same basic core elements that made them a success. From what I’ve seen and read, the two biggest contributing elements to the success of a social media marketing campaign are curiosity and humor. People enjoy being entertained and don’t like the unknown, making these the two most important factors when developing a social media campaign in my opinion.


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