Digital Marketing is evolving at breakneck speed. As it stands, there are quite a number of digital campaigns that have “broken the viral banks”. These campaigns have recorded great successes proving that truly, the power of marketing is now online.
Perhaps you have heard about them- or not.
Well today, you are in for a treat because we’ll be taking an in-depth look at 4 of the best of them.
We’ll trace how these digital marketing campaigns won, what made them tick and what events led to their explosive successes.
Some Best Digital Marketing Campaigns
THE DOVE BEAUTY SKETCHES
On April 14, 2013, Dove released Dove Beauty Sketches.
Dove Real Beauty Sketches is a social experiment featuring an FBI -trained sketch artist Gil Zamora and random women. He asks the women to describe themselves and he draws a sketch of each of them using the description they give him.
He then draws another sketch of the ladies using the description given to him by someone else. He does not get to see any of them until he is done.
The result is a deep, emotional depiction of how women undervalue their looks.
As soon as the video was shared, the conversation started, picked up speed and busted into being the most viral ad of all time(was it really an ad?).
By April 18, the 3-minute version had been downloaded 7.5 million times, while the 6-minute version had been viewed more than 900,000 times.
By April 21, the videos had more than 15 million views between them.
On Mashable, an article about the campaign was shared more than 500,000 times in 24 hours.
The video was among Buzzfeed’s top 10 items on April 18.
According to Adage, the campaign generated just under 30 million views and 660,000 Facebook shares during its first ten days.
As of April 27, 2013, the 3-minute video had been viewed 30.6 million times; user feedback on YouTube was 97.6% positive (98,000 likes and 2,200 dislikes).
The video has been uploaded in 25 languages and seen in 10 countries.Over1, 800 blog posts have been written about the campaign.
It has been awarded over 19 awards at Cannes Lions including the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes Lions.
To date, the campaign has generated almost five billion PR and blogger media impressions, which continue to increase daily. Global launch coverage highlights include 121 print features, including leading op-ed pieces, 484 major broadcast news and lifestyle segments and thousands of comments, likes and shares.
After watching the video for the umpteenth time, I’ve decided to buy any beauty product I found with the Dove logo on it.
BEFORE THE ACCOLADES
Dove Beauty Sketches was actually a part of The Dove Self-Esteem project campaign which was launched in September 2004.
Ten years ago.
The dove campaign for real beauty was borne out of the findings from a major global study tagged ‘The Real Beauty: A Global Report’.
The Report found out that only 2% of women around the world will describe themselves as beautiful.
The Dove Self-Esteem project was then created by Dove to challenge beauty stereotypes and provoke conversations about beauty.
The campaign was launched with an ad campaign featuring real women whose looks were not at par with the stereotypically ‘perfect’ looks.
Every year after that, the brand continued in its commitment to widening the narrow definition of beauty.
On October 6, 2006, they released an ad campaign called Evolution which did go viral(at a lesser level than Dove Beauty Sketches) garnering millions of views. It depicted the unrealistic portrayal of beauty in ads which average women are forced to measure themselves against.
The project also involves Dove educating young girls through lessons in schools, workshops for youth groups and online resources. All geared towards helping young girls and women change their perception of beauty.
According to Anselmo Ramos, Creative Director of Ogilvy& Mather and head of the Real Beauty Sketches project, the goal of the Real Beauty Campaign is to find a way to convince the other 96% of women that they are also beautiful.
96% may be too far-fetched, but they are making an impact.
- It was a part of a bigger campaign.
- It was deeply emotional.
- They found the perfect sweet spot.
- It was released online and nowhere else- Viral Marketing (aka word of Mouth) forces spread it.
- It was not just an ad; it was a real-life experiment.
Do you have other take-ways you would love to share? Leave them in the comments below!
OREO’S SUPERBOWL WIN
The Superbowl is usually a beehive of marketing activities. Brands spend millions of dollars vying for the attention of the already attentive audience.
However, for Superbowl XLVII on February 3, 2013, the winner for that night wasn’t the highest spender.
It was Oreo.
They won with a tweet.
‘The Lights went out and A New Era in Advertising was born’
During the Superbowl XLVII, there was a power outage which lasted for 34 minutes. Oreo took advantage of amoment every CMO dreams about when they tweeted an ad.
Within an hour, Oreo gained 15,000 retweets and 20,000 facebook likes.
BEFORE THE LIGHTS OUT
Oreo had just concluded their 100 days of ‘Daily Twist’ campaign project that kicked off on June 25. Oreo was celebrating its 100th birthday and wanted to use the anniversary to rejuvenate the brand.
The big idea was a massive PR and social media campaign to put an Oreo ‘twist’ on daily events.
The campaign was a solely social and digital campaign. There was a dedicated website – www.brands.nabisco.com/Oreo/dailytwistand a presence on Pinterest, Tumblr, and Facebook.
Cindy Chen (director of marketing for Oreo at Kraft Foods,) told Ad Age “Consumption of media has shifted quite a bit too digital, social and mobile. To be on pace with that is really important for the brand to continue to grow; that ‘s why the Daily Twist program was born”
Every day they released a new piece of branded content through its social channels. The content was highly topical and engaging. All of their posts garnered a high level of reach with some posts(the panda daily twist in honor of the birth of the Chinese panda Shin Shin’s baby) reaching a peak of 4,409,344(due to the forces of engagement.)
Indeed the topicality of their posting oozed daily relevance and engagement. Their facebook audiences rose by over 1 million and shares rose by 280%.
The campaign took a real time approach. Many daily twists during the campaign were turned around from concept to completion in as little as six or seven hours.
Perhaps it was this real time muscle building that prepared them for their big moment at Superbowl.
THE BIG NIGHT
It’s reported that Oreo had created “a command center specifically for the Super Bowl, complete with a 15-person social media monitoring team plus artists, strategists, and brand executives with the authority to green-light content on the spot.”
On the Superbowl feat, Sarah Hofstetter, President of 360i explained to Buzzfeed. ‘You need a brave brand to approve content that quickly. When all the stakeholders come together so quickly, you’ve got magic’.
According to her, the key was having Oreo executives in the room, and ready to pull the trigger. To seize the moment, they set up a central command center at our offices in New York with representation from strategy, creative, community, tech, and account.
- The Command Centre: Proof that marketing now, more than ever, needs to be a live collaboration between Client and agency to really be on to the meat.
- It was Agile-Marketing: Two elements were at play here: Real-time Marketing and News-Jacking. They were ready to market in real time. They jacked on an unexpected happening and steered the conversation towards their cookie.
- They just finished their 100 days of Daily Twists so obviously, they had had some practice at agile marketing.
Are you ready for you Oreo Moment?
VOLVO’S “EPIC SPLIT”.
Now we all love Jean Claude Van Damme’s ‘Epic Split’.
In November 2013 Volvo released ‘The Epic Split’. In the Epic Split, Jean-Claude Damme performs a split between two reversing Volvo trucks. This was done to demonstrate the stability and precision of Volvo’s dynamic steering.
The video garnered over 90 million views.
While Anders Vilhelmsson (Public Relations Manager Volvo Trucks Global) declined to discuss sales figures, he did share with Adweek some of the results of the brand’s recent survey of 2,200 commercial truck owners and buyers:
i. Nearly half who saw the “Live Test” videos, including “Epic Split,” said they are now more likely to choose Volvo the next time they make a truck purchase.
ii. A third of respondents had contacted a dealer or visited a Volvo Trucks website to learn more.
iii. The survey showed “a very positive impact on the perception of Volvo Trucks as an innovative and modern truck brand.”
“If we talk to our salespeople in our 140 markets all over the world,” Vilhelmsson said, “they tell us very often one of the first things prospective customers bring up in conversation is the viral film.”
BEFORE THE SPLIT
The Epic Split isactually the sixth in a series of “Live Test” films. The “live test” idea is a series of daring stunts meant to demonstrate the inventiveness of Volvo’s vehicles.
Before the Epic Split was ‘The Ballerina Stunt’. The Ballerina Stunt films two trucks speeding toward a tunnel. World-record holding high-liner, Faith Dickey is seen attempting to make it across the two speeding trucks on a wire crossing. She had to make it to the other truck before they hit the tunnel. If she didn’t make it on time, she would drop on the ground and break into pieces.
According to Bjorn Engstrom of Frosman & Bodenfors, We did everything to make it a success. ‘We really had a lot of planning and PR,” Engström said. “But you can never plan for a success like this. It’s one of the most viewed ads ever on YouTube.”
SOME KEY TAKE-AWAYS
- Distribution is King
- It was Shared only online
- Stunts rock but Stunts with celebrities super-rock.A celebrity was – Jean Claude was thrown into the mix and viewer numbers soared.
- It was an experience, not just an ad communication.
RED BULL STRATOS MISSION
Perhaps the greatest stunt ever sponsored by a brand is the Red Bull Stratos.
This was a space diving project involving Austrian skydiver and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner.
On 14 October Baumgartner flew approximately 39 kilometers (24 miles) into the stratosphere over New Mexico, United States, in a helium balloon before free falling in a pressure suit and then parachuting to earth. The total jump lasted for ten minutes.
At the peak of the coverage on Sunday, over 8 million people watched the live stream on YouTube — the site’s largest number of concurrent viewers ever.
As a result of the quest, Red Bull recorded 2,000,000 unique consumer actions, 1,000,000 distinct Stratos participants,2,000,000 new subscribers acquired, 820,000 pieces of extremely positive content created,400% increase over the average length of consumer engagement, 50,000 distinct links shared and 61,634,000 trusted impressions generated.
At its apex, some 1% of all online conversations worldwide were about Baumgartner, Red Bull and the Stratos Mission: 54% on Twitter, 26% on Facebook, 6% on blogs and 14% on other video sites.
Six months immediately following Stratos, sales rose 7% to $1.6 billion in the U.S
Years before Stratos, Red Bull has been creating out of the ordinary, extreme stunts-all the while propagating their dare-devil image. They mastered the art of connecting with its audience through their ‘playground content’- extreme sports coverage, cutting-edge pop culture, hot music news etc.
Robin Grant of Global MD of We are Social says“Red Bull has hopefully inspired marketers to demand more from ourselves. Sure, not all companies have the budget to send a man into space, but everyone has the capacity to set themselves a higher standard and not just settle for a mediocre concept,” says We Are Social, Global MD.
SOME KEY TAKE-AWAYS
Indeed, all the campaigns enlisted and many others inspire us to set a higher standard for ourselves.
The digital world is obviously now where the greater marketing power resides. It’s no longer a small part of marketing, a touch point that is given an afterthought after traditional marketing.
It is the center of marketing.
Though it has been said that viral marketing has no handbook, these campaigns have recurrent sign-posts that prod discerning marketers in the right direction.
From Oreo Cookies, that helped marketers summarize the power of social in the hands of a switched on and responsive marketing team to Red Bull Stratos that has shown us the power of content in winning over the minds and hearts of the consumers, there is a lot to be learned from these campaigns.