3 of the top social media campaigns of 2012

Social Media

Social Media

We all love social media and we use it to share elements of our lives on a daily basis. Oft times we share a thought or a sentiment that seems to resonate with the general public and our social post goes viral. It gets picked up and shared by random strangers – and we feel pretty damn important for about three seconds.

Then there are those social campaigns that are intentionally designed to “get famous”. Here are a few that did exceptionally well in 2012.

Nike #MakeItCount

This Nike campaign, which was launched in January of 2012, was succinct and to the point; urging people to make a difference in their daily lives and to push their boundaries. The campaign kick-off was a small selection of YouTube videos that featured 11 athletes from three countries talking about how they push their boundaries. While the videos themselves raked in relatively modest views (by Nike standards) the tweets on the hashtag (#makeitcount) throughout the year we consistently high and the campaign went viral within a few weeks.

The momentum was carried by a well thought out concept that resonated with its audience. This was a great example of how social media success is not always reliant on a huge budget.

The Dollar Shave Club

The Dollar Shave Club is one of the videos of 2012 that we have undoubtedly all seen, laughed at and forwarded to our friends. For those that haven’t, the video shows the CEO Michael Dubin moving through its warehouse and engaging with his audience, telling the story of the brand and conveying their values of good service and great prices. The video is full of humour and is incredibly relatable.

This video apparently cost the company US$4 500 to make and has arguably brought back its weight in gold.

Cadbury says thank you

The popular chocolate brand launched a number of new products this year and was intent on using social media intrinsically in the launch of each of them, from Facebook to Google +, Twitter and beyond.

A problem that Cadbury had was that while it had one-million fans on Facebook, only around 16% of them were engaged. It decided to create a campaign to engage its following more and part of this campaign was to create a giant “thumbs up” á la Facebook like, out of chocolate. It started its campaign with a teaser video and soon not only were its fans getting engaged (350 000 engaged fans) but it also gained an extra 40 000 fans in the process.


Now while each of these examples has some form of video at their core, it does not mean that video is the key to social media success. Video is a great way to engage with sound and sight. It is quick and easy to find, consume and share – which certainly helps. But the real reason each of these campaigns are successful is because of a few things.

  1. The idea was simple
  2. The message was clear and uncluttered and delivered directly to the target audience
  3. There was no selling or marketing speak involved – the message was the value proposition

When engaging with any form of social media – subconsciously, this is the Holy Trinity that makes the difference between a social success and a social failure.



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