Social media is all about engaging with a brand's fans (and potential fans). But social media can be a lot more than a conversation too. At its best, it's also a collaboration.
Nothing speaks to this spirit of collaboration like a crowdsourced marketing campaign. And nothing is more authentic than the results of such campaigns. While plenty of marketers pay lip service to the idea of putting their brands in the hand of consumers, brands that have the courage to actually do so -- in a very public way -- reap real rewards, both in consumers' hearts and on their bottom lines.
Let's take a look at some of the best brand crowdsourcing efforts in recent memory. Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments.
Welch's "Pass the Glass"
Between Nov. 26 and Dec. 23 last year, Welch's tapped its social audience to help create "the world's longest Vine video" via its "Pass the Glass" campaign. (Grapes? Vines? Get it?) The campaign encouraged people to shoot six-second Vines of themselves receiving a glass of juice, taking a sip, and passing it on to someone else. Those that posted the videos to their social channels with the hashtag #ShareWhatsGood were incorporated into the continuing Vine on Welch's site. Better yet, the brand tied in a charity angle by promising that for every Vine contributed, it would donate a bottle of its juice to the families helped by the nonprofit hunger relief program Family-to-Family.
You can see the resulting Vines here.
Lay's: "Do Us a Flavor"
In 2013, Lay's crowdsourced "Do Us a Flavor" campaign brought us Cheese Garlic Bread potato chips. That was the fan-suggested concoction that ultimately beat out finalists Chicken & Waffles and Sriracha flavors in an online competition that drew more than 1 million votes on Facebook and Twitter and nearly 3.8 million consumer-generated flavors.
With that kind of response, you're probably not surprised to hear that Lay's is at it again. Earlier this year, the brand solicited flavor ideas via its website, with the finalist flavors slated to hit store shelves this summer. At that point, the social voting to determine the winning flavor (the originator of which will win $1 million) will be open.
This year, flavor nominations got goofy on the Lay's site, with delectable flavor suggestions including the below gems. Kudos to the brand for embracing the weirdness that comes with opening yourself up to such possibilities.
Grey Poupon: Crowd-sourced Emmy concession speech
Last year, Grey Poupon's TV spot "The Chase" earned the brand an Emmy nomination. It didn't win. (Canon did.) But the brand didn't let that rain on its parade. Instead, it decided to crowdsource a concession speech from its fans on Facebook and Twitter. The resulting nearly seven minute video is currently suspiciously absent from YouTube, though you can catch the beginning on Creativity. At that length, you might imagine the entire thing wasn't comedy gold. But damned if the brand didn't stay true to its promise that "this concession speech won't end until everyone's said their thanks."
For Valentine's Day, Honda decided to show its love for its customers through music. It asked users to post photos or videos to Instagram http://instagram.com/p/kZmM-1wha5/ of what they love about the holiday and tag them #LoveToday. Select responses were to be incorporated into the lyrics of the track used in the Honda Civic "Today Is Pretty Great" campaign featuring the band Vintage Trouble, and it was set to appear on a limited-edition heart-shaped LP that would be given away to 500 users. Honda promoted the campaign via Facebook, and, notably, the brand tapped into the relatively new Instagram Direct feature to notify users that they had won. These direct messages were accompanied by a special Valentine's Day photo of the 2014 Honda Civic.
ERV: Crowdsourced Instagram collage
Last year, Swedish insurance company ERV launched a cool competition (perhaps cooler than insurance deserves). It crowdsourced travel photos from Instagrammers and used them to compile a collage of a city skyline on the site "Semesterjakten" ("holiday hunt"). The pixelated image became clearer as more images were added, and the visitor who was able to identify the destination in the collage had an opportunity to win a trip to that city.
Grey Poupon image source here.