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The best social media campaigns of 2014

The best social media campaigns of 2014 Lauren Friedman
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The world of social media is ever-changing and brands are experimenting more and more with how to get the most impact from their social campaigns. What I find most interesting is the decline in Facebook marketing. Is this a result of all the new changes Facebook has made to make it harder for marketers to reach their audience? Maybe. Regardless, Facebook isn't the only network in the deck. And there were plenty of innovative and creative campaigns this year. If you didn't catch my mid-year review, make sure you check it out!


AT&T's "@SummerBreak" campaign


Oh, Millenials. So elusive, yet so powerful. AT&T made it clear this year it was going after Millenials, and it has done just that. With the goal of reaching a specific target audience and getting them to follow AT&T on social channels, it launched a @SummerBreak campaign. The campaign, a digital video series that existed solely on social media channels, tapped into five YouTube influencers (which are really the strongest influencers right now) to film a series. The storyline entails a group of smartphone-addicted teenagers as they spend their last summer together and get ready for college life.


The series racked up more than 15 million views on YouTube and 10 million social engagements. It was such a success, there were two seasons.


Urban Hilton Weiner's selfie coupon codes


Urban Hilton Weiner, a South African clothing brand, launched a very unique and creative campaign that all retailers should consider. Its "pay with a selfie" campaign took the fashion brand to a whole new level. Urban Hilton Weiner wasn't a particularly big name before its "pay with a selfie" campaign, but now it's one of the most talked about brands in fashion.


Customers shopping for clothes in-store could post a selfie wearing its clothes and post it on social media (Instagram, Twitter, etc.) using the hashtag #urbanselfie to receive a $10 coupon.



This campaign was truly ingenious and accomplished everything that any retailer would want from a social media initiative -- it encouraged social sharing, showcased pieces of its clothing, and most importantly, gets people buying its clothes. In fact, French Connection, Marc Jacobs, and others have launched similar campaigns since.

P&G's Always #LikeAGirl campaign


Add this one to the stack of CPG women's self-help effort campaigns that have been launching recently. But this one is a bit different. In the video, adults and a kid brother are asked to show what it looks like to run, fight, and throw like a girl. They make silly and highly stereotyped efforts. Then, young girls (I would get around 10ish) are asked to do the sale thing. These girls make confident and energetic efforts. The message: Girls' confidence plummets during puberty, and Always wants to change the perception of the phrase "like a girl."



Needless to say, this campaign spread like wildfire generating 31 million views in the first week. To date, the video is over 53 million.

Tesco's Secret Scan-ta app


England-based grocery and general merchandise retailer has come up with a pretty fantastic way to choose gifts this year -- by scanning your friend's or family's Twitter stream. It works by scanning that person's Twitter stream and providing a gift recommendation based on the content shared.



Now, I'm not sure how great the gift suggestions are, but in any event, it's a very clever way to get people engaged and sharing.

April Fools: climate controlled Virgin flights


Each year, brands take April Fools' Day in their stride and join in the fun with some believable, and many unbelievable tricks. This past April, Virgin America did one that I absolutely loved.



Richard Branson proudly announced on YouTube that Virgin America would like to give more control to the passengers by introducing Total Temperature Control (TTC). This new feature would allow passengers to create their own personal climate controlled environment on the plane. With a partnership with Nest thermostats, this joke seemed pretty real. Virgin is always on the cutting edge of trendy technology and the fact that both CEOs appeared in the very professionally developed video made this joke pretty believable.


Brands are getting more and more strategic with their social campaigns. The generic "pin-it-to-win-it" contest isn't going to make it onto this list anymore. So, get creative!


Lauren Friedman is head of global social business enablement at Adobe Systems.


On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Lauren Friedman is the head of Global Social Business Enablement at Adobe.  She's a digital and social marketing authority, with extensive experience working with Fortune 500 brands to integrate digital and social media into their overarching...

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