7 Most Successful Social Media Campaigns Of 2014

Sub­way, ‘Orange Is The New Black’, Adi­das, siz­zle on social media.

Danny Goodwin By Danny Goodwin from Momentology. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Brands, from fast food chains to lux­u­ry fash­ion lines, pushed the bound­aries of social media to score the year’s biggest wins in cre­at­ing aware­ness and build­ing a loy­al com­mu­ni­ty.

With big bud­gets and top cre­ative tal­ent, big brands’ exper­i­ments in social media broke new ground and reaped major rewards. Take a page from the social media play­books of Sub­way, Net­flix, Adi­das and the City of Detroit as they grew their fan­base and daz­zled their way onto the media main stage in 2014.

Subway Animated GIFs Keep Subs Fresh On Social

Sand­wich shop Sub­way built an inter­ac­tive, visu­al social media com­po­nent on top of its catchy month­ly sub pro­mo­tion. Every month, Sub­way fea­tures one 6‑inch long sand­wich on its menu that cus­tomers can buy for $5. But Jan­u­ary is spe­cial because cus­tomer can get any sand­wich for five bucks, lead­ing to the com­pa­ny dub­bing the month “Jan­u­any.”

Sub­way part­nered with GIF search engine Giphy and cre­ative dig­i­tal shop 360i to serve up ani­mat­ed GIFs as a tasty social side to sand­wich-lov­ing cus­tomers look­ing for lunch ideas through­out Jan­u­ary.

On Twit­ter, @Subway, armed with a col­lec­tion of trip­py ani­mat­ed GIFs, replied to requests for lunch rec­om­men­da­tions hash­tagged #jan­u­ANY. About 100 viral-wor­thy visu­als were pushed by Sub­way for a jazzy spread on social media. Offi­cial­Sub­way on Tum­blr has kept the ani­mat­ed GIFs and kitschy visu­als fresh since the #jan­u­ANY kick­off, prov­ing its deserv­ing place among the year’s most suc­cess­ful social media cam­paigns.

Subway #januany animated gif more meatball sub Subway #januany animated gif trampoline sub Subway #januany animated gif volcano sub

Orange Is The New Black’ Social Keeps Fans Captive

In con­cert with its high­ly antic­i­pat­ed sec­ond sea­son launch in June, Net­flix orig­i­nal series “Orange Is The New Black” (OITNB) dom­i­nat­ed the social con­ver­sa­tion by pro­vid­ing visu­al fod­der and par­tic­i­pa­tion frame­work.

OINTB focused on com­mu­ni­ty build­ing and brand aware­ness through a deep col­lec­tion of graph­ics. The show’s social media team encour­aged fans to take part in a team pride day by wear­ing orange and post­ing pic­tures on Wednes­days, hash­tag­ging posts #OnWednes­daysWeWearO­r­ange.

There was no social chan­nel left out, as fans and the show post­ed to Insta­gram, Tum­blr, Face­book and Twit­ter, all tied togeth­er with the hash­tag #OITNB. The show’s cast did live Q&As with fans on Twit­ter and with Google+ Hang­outs. And along with its own graph­ics and visu­als, OINT­B’s social media cam­paign fea­tured fan art, encour­ag­ing fan loy­al­ty, and par­tic­i­pa­tion.

The size of the OITNB com­mu­ni­ties attest to the social media team’s suc­cess:

The OITNB cast answered fans’ ques­tions in live Q&As on social media.

animated gif of cockroach from Orange Is The New Black Tumblr

OINTB post­ed orig­i­nal art­work, like ani­mat­ed GIFs to illus­tra­tions of mem­o­rable show moments and favorite char­ac­ters.

Fans were encour­aged to wear orange on Wednes­days, and post their pics to social media with the hash­tag #OnWednes­daysWeWearO­r­ange.

The cast of the show would post behind-scenes-pho­tos to Insta­gram.

Fan art was post­ed on the show’s offi­cial social media chan­nels.

Coffee-Mate Courts Couples on Valentine’s Day

Riff­ing off its slo­gan “Cof­fee’s Per­fect Mate,” Nes­tle Cof­fee-Mate deliv­ered a sweet Valen­tine’s Day treat. Users sub­mit­ted love notes on Twit­ter and Face­book, hash­tagged #CMValen­tine, and a team of artists at Zoca­lo Group turned select­ed love notes into hand­craft­ed Valen­tines in an artis­tic and user inspired social media cam­paign.

Nes­tle cre­at­ed 100 Valen­tine’s Day cards inspired by every­day expres­sions of love, increas­ing their chan­nel engage­ment and adding new con­sumers to its social media com­mu­ni­ties. The cam­paign was named among the top five social media cam­paigns of the year by the Mashies awards.

City of Detroit Earns Title Of ‘Best Sports City’ Thanks to Social Support

In Sep­tem­ber, USA Today held a 10Best Read­ers Choice Awards con­test for Best Sports City.

Detroit took the title due to the vis­i­tor bureau’s suc­cess­ful social media cam­paigns. Detroit Metro Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tors Bureau, which goes by “Vis­it Detroit” online, focused on Face­book and Twit­ter but also pulled on Pin­ter­est, Insta­gram and Google+. It reached out to oth­er influ­en­tial com­mu­ni­ties with a vest­ed inter­est, and the city’s four major sports teams.

Dan Fuo­co, inter­ac­tive mar­ket­ing man­ag­er in charge of social media, told Mar­ket­ing­Sh­er­pa:

Every­one here knows that we have a strong loy­al­ty to sports and we have a strong fan base, so we said, let’s put it on social media and have them help vote … I fig­ured we had a good fan base and we should put it to the test.”

Detroit was named Best Sports City by the USA Today 10Best poll, and the cam­paign saw more than 4 mil­lion Twit­ter impres­sions and more than 6,000 click-throughs on Twit­ter.

Adidas Is World Cup’s Most Talked About Brand Through Real-Time Tweets

Brazil host­ed the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in June and July. The month-long soc­cer spec­ta­cle was a year in the mak­ing for Adi­das. Dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion, a team of some 40-odd mar­keters filled a “war room” for the sports gear brand, enabling the com­pa­ny to take real-time tweet­ing to a glob­al scale.

We want to be the most talked-about brand at World Cup,” Adi­das Foot­ball glob­al brand mar­ket­ing direc­tor Tom Rams­den told Adver­tis­ing Age. “The spin-off would be to be the most talked about in terms of how much traf­fic you can dri­ve to retail, use of things like the hash­tag and every­thing else.”

Adi­das teamed with We Are Social to come up with a “Con­tent Bible” of 1,000 images and 160 videos primed for use in reac­tion to game play. Six months before the tour­na­ment, Adi­das and We Are Social had an hour-by-hour cal­en­dar of the entire 32-day con­test, plan­ning con­tent in antic­i­pa­tion of every result.

The result of this social media cam­paign: 1.6 mil­lion tweets, retweets and replies men­tion­ing Adi­das with 570,000 men­tions of the brand’s most pop­u­lar tour­na­ment-relat­ed hash­tag #allin; 200,000 new YouTube sub­scribers; and more than 1 mil­lion new Face­book fans.

Burger King Motel Stokes An Affair To Remember As Diners Cheat On Beef

In New Zealand, Burg­er King took major mea­sures to get din­ers try a new item on its menu. The fast food chain’s most pop­u­lar burg­er is the Whop­per, so in March, Burg­er King took to social media to invite cus­tomers to cheat on beef with three new chick­en sand­wich­es in a real-world motel in Auck­land.

Rooms could be booked by inter­act­ing with BK on Face­book, and then when con­firmed, guests could show up to the motel with three friends to enjoy the Burg­er King brand­ed room and food. Guests shared their pho­tos of the stay online with the hash­tag #motel­BK.

The cam­paign, devised by Colen­so BBDO, got the Mashies top hon­ors as Best Social Media Cam­paign of the Year.

I’m cheat­ing on beef with chick­en #motel­bk A pho­to post­ed by Chang Hung (@changtiki) on

Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop Lets Daisy Girls Shop With Social Currency

Dur­ing New York Fash­ion Week in Feb­ru­ary, lux­u­ry brand Marc Jacobs became the first busi­ness to let shop­pers use “social cur­ren­cy” in exchange for goods. A pop-up shop went up in SoHo, and vis­i­tors could post to Twit­ter, Insta­gram and Face­book with the hash­tag #MJDasiy­Chain to get sun­glass­es, purs­es, and fra­grances.

What we’ve seen over the past few years is that the com­mu­ni­ty of girls, our Daisy girls, engage with the brand con­sis­tent­ly over social with a ter­rif­ic engage­ment rate,” Lori Singer, a VP of glob­al mar­ket­ing for the brand, told ClickZ. She explained that part of the pur­pose of the pop-up shop was “a way to say thanks to them and con­tin­ue to inspire and engage them.”

The brand says the social media cam­paign gen­er­at­ed 4,300 men­tions on Insta­gram, more than 770,000 likes on Face­book, and more than 13,500 men­tions on Twit­ter.

What oth­er suc­cess­ful social media cam­paigns did you take note of in 2014?

Danny Goodwin

Written by Danny Goodwin

Managing Editor, Momentology

Danny Goodwin is the former Managing Editor of Momentology. Previously, he was the editor of Search Engine Watch, where he was in charge of editing, content strategy, and writing about search industry news.

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