Nike – #MakeItCount

social media marketingNike’s #MakeItCount campaign started in 2012 as part an effort to publicize the release of the Fuel Band. It started with a viral YouTube effort, and then expanded to include Nike encouraging their fans and followers to tell them how they planned to “Make it Count” in 2012.

Nike promoted the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (and set up their own accounts on the networks, which posted images and statements related to the campaign). Nike also incorporated the hashtag into print and television advertisements as well.

The campaign was so successful in 2012, Nike extended the campaign, incorporating the hashtag into in-store retail displays and continuing to push the message well into 2013.

In fact, the Nike store in London is now featuring several prominent posters, which show the athletes at the most intense (and at times painful-looking) moments during training. Each athlete’s pledge is then written on top of the image, with the athletes’ Twitter handles and the “#MakeItCount” hashtag.

HGTV – #lovehome

advertising campaignIt’s not unusual to see a television network advertising itself, but HGTV recently tried to expand their marketing efforts beyond the television spots they ran spots on-air by to promote its “Love Home” social media campaign.

The network asked fans to share photos on Twitter or Instagram and label them with the hashtags #lovehome and #hgtv. Some lucky fans then got to see their images included later on in the later TV ads, as well as on the company blog.

Fully taking advantage of the growing trend of people who watch television with a mobile device within reach, the campaign was a success. HGTV also had a win with the campaign by focusing on personal expression, and the campaign got a huge response from its viewers. According to an official blog post, the channel received more than 40,000 submissions for the campaign.

The cross platform campaign also was able to promote its social profiles through their TV spots, and encouraged viewers to deepen their engagement with the brand by getting more involved with HGTV digitally.

Ben & Jerry’s – #CaptureEuphoria

hashtag campaignBen & Jerry’s got creative with an Instagram hashtag campaign sourcing user-generated content from their fans and community. Ben & Jerry’s invited fans to post Instagram photos tagged #captureeuphoria that depicted intense feelings of joy elicited by eating ice cream.

All of the tagged images are being displayed at the Capture Euphoria online gallery, hosted on a microsite. However, perhaps most creative about the campaign was Ben & Jerry’s plans to move some of the digitally submitted photos from the Instagram campaign and use them in print and billboard advertisements.

Ben & Jerry’s picked 20 of the best fan photos and ran in the area where the photographer lived, making him or her a local celebrity. The ads were placed in print, billboards and various outdoor venues.

HBO Game of Thrones – Influencer Boxes

branding social mediaHBO has been busy promoting the new season of Game of Thrones, which premiered March 31 on the network – and they are relying on many different mediums in order to promote the show, including social media.

In addition to unveiling the trailer for the new season on the official Game of Thrones YouTube Channel, HBO also tried to stir up buzz on Twitter and other social networks using creative tactics.

HBO shipped “Influencer” boxes to celebrities, bloggers and influential Twitter, which contained physical items from the fictional world of Westeros, where the series takes place. The creative campaign show HBO’s belief that the best strategy to draw new subscribers is not just to promote the show itself (which they continue to do), but rather the idea of the show as a social media event.

In additional to several physical items and trinkets contained in a wooden box, the Influencer Box also includes “exclusive extras which the owner can use on their social media sites to show off their fandom,” which HBO is now extending out to the “real fans” through a collection of site-specific giveaways on sites.

With the rise of second-screen viewing for many major television events, the goal of this campaign was to promote the ideas that Game of Thrones is bigger than just a television show – and has legs in the social media realm as well.

Audi – #SoLongVampires

audi hashtag campaignAudi hopped on the hashtag campaign train early in the game, which started by becoming the first brand to incorporate hashtag into one of their Super Bowl ads in 2011. Since then, Audi has been a frequent and successful player in the space the past several years.

In 2012, Audi used the #SoLongVampires hashtag in their Super Bowl advertisement, which resulted in it becoming the most-mentioned hashtag of that year’s Super Bowl, as well as generating four globally trending topics.

In an interview with Audi’s senior social-media manager Andy White featured on Ad Week, White emphasized that hashtags should be a natural way to market a brand or product when centered around a large cultural event and that Twitter is the best medium for “live, as-it-happens cultural zeitgeist.”

He also said that Audi has managed to extend the life of the hashtag campaigns through additional advertising, as well as curating an ongoing online dialogue.

Pepsi – Pepsi Pulse and #LiveforNow 

online marketing strategyPepsi unveiled its global, multi-year campaign Live for Now in 2012, and made social media, and the use of hashtags a core component of the large campaign.

The campaign includes TV, radio, cinema and outdoor advertising and Pepsi partnered with Twitter to organize a series of exclusive pop-up concerts. In conjunction with the roll out of the Live for Now marketing initiative, Pepsi also debuted Pepsi Pulse, a social media-driven interactive dashboard for everything pop culture.

The real-time platform (see above) lives at Pepsi.com and curates trending pop culture and entertainment news. You’ll also find original content, such as deals and celebrity challenges. The dashboard also highlights celebrity Twitter messages and user-generated content, displaying tweets from fans and follower using the hashtags #NOW or #LiveForNow.

As I wrote in “Build your Brand by Integrating User-Generated Content and Community into Your Website,” featuring user-generated content sourced from your community makes people feel like they are a part of your brand moving forward.

In addition, third-party validation communicated through third-party content, can help reinforce messaging and extend the reach, virality and impact of a campaigm. After all, a brand is not built based around logo or advertising or taglines, but rather by what OTHER people say about your product or services, and featuring that content directly on your website is a great way to reinforce your brand message.