From Snapchat to Vine to Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter...and don't forget Facebook (or should we?) there are so many avenues to engage with customers online. As more and more social networks are popping up, it's certainly been an interesting year seeing what will stick -- especially with Millennials. The Millennial generation has been one of the hottest topics of the year, and it's no surprise marketers did everything they could to reach the coveted demographic in 2015.
Unique, funny, or just plain old smart, here are some of my favorite social media campaigns of 2015.
In the true spirit of engaging Millennials, HP extended their successful #BendTheRules campaign into 2015 by leveraging celebrities and Vine stars. In this year's version of #BendTheRules, content creators are "Going Epic" and are given large budgets to pull off crazy stunts. See for yourself:
The result is a bunch of impressive tricks and stunts (or just trying to bend a standard laptop like the HP convertible laptop), all using HP devices with the purpose of engaging HP's younger demographic.
Westin's Out of Office Generator
Now, this one isn't social media specific, but it sure is clever and received quite a bit of buzz. As part of Westin Hotels & Resorts new "You Need Better Vacation Days" campaign, the brand partnered with hilarious humorists at McSweeney's to develop the Out of Office Generator. All you have to do is answer a few questions -- business or pleasure? Family or friends? Who to contact in your absence? -- and you'll be presented with a variety of messages to choose from. There are OOO messages for Facebook, Twitter, and email, and they're all wickedly funny while still somehow maintaining a level of professionalism.
World Wildlife Fund's the #LastSelfie
As a winner of a 2015 Webby Award, this campaign tugs on the heartstrings of every animal lover out there. Not to mention, it's one of the most creative and on-brand uses of Snapchat I've ever seen. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) harnessed Snapchat's model of selfies that disappear after 10 seconds (or so) to demonstrate the speed with which animal species are dying out across the planet.
The campaign was a huge success and was shared so many times that donations increased for the entire month just days after launching. This, of course, is another campaign targeting Millennials who have the power to change the future of animal extinction.
Lowes' Fix in Six Vine Campaign
Vine is perfect for DIY videos if you can be creative enough to jam it into six seconds. Lowes' "Fix in Six" uses Vine to share quick, cute, and fun six-second videos on how to solve some everyday household problems, or spreading the wealth on some very handy tips:
Have a smelly garbage disposal? Throw a chopped up lemon down there and give it a whirl.
Cut the bottom off a soda bottle and reuse for a bag dispenser. Who would have thought?
L'Oreal's Golden Globes Shoppable GIFs
Who doesn't love a good GIF? Well, L'Oreal took the land of GIFs to a new level by recreating red carpet looks in the form of a shoppable GIF and posting on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. Not only is this a super clever way to engage and add value to their social community, it's also one of the best real-time marketing campaigns I've seen this year.
The social team used a 360-degree camera to shoot video recreating makeup looks as celebrities walked down the red carpet. The videos were turned into GIFs and were uploaded to L'Oreal's Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. The best part (and smartest part…) is that each post contained e-commerce links to shop the looks.
Bonnaroo "Megathon" announcement
Bonnaroo, like many music festivals, keeps its coveted lineup secret until the perfect time for a big reveal. This year, the festival wanted its fans to break the news about the lineup on social media. Fans called a specific phone number and if they got through, they were given the name of an artist. The fan then shared their find on Instagram, Twitter or Vine using the hashtag #bonnaroo. Needless to say, the lineup spread on social media like wild fire.
It will continue to be an interesting (and sometimes crowded) space in the social sphere. Customized, innovative campaigns that truly use the individual social networks as they're meant to be used are the campaigns that perform the best. I'm excited to see how creative brands can get in 2016!
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"Social media logos on tablet computer" image via iStock.