Greatest Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Greatest Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Mar 6, 2012

The team at gets asked quite a bit about what makes for a good social media campaign.

To get an idea of just what a successful social media marketing campaign looks like and how success can be measured and quantified, take a look at these three outstanding examples of the form.

“Best Job in the World” Down Under

In June 2009, at the International Cannes Advertising Festival, a single marketing campaign took home a Grand Prix award in three categories simultaneously—direct, cyber and PR—something that had never happened before in the 50+ year history of the show. The unanimous winner of this unprecedented victory was a small tourism board promoting a little known island off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The winning campaign was called the “Best Job in the World” and was essentially a big online job search conducted through social media for a new “caretaker” for Hamilton Island in Queensland, Australia. Done on a relatively modest marketing budget of just $1.7 million and reliant on excellent PR and beneficial word of mouth, the campaign achieved stunning results, including more than 34,000 video entries from applicants in 200 countries, and more than seven million site visitors who generated nearly 500,000 votes.

In July 2009, the winner of the competition—a 34-year-old Brit named Ben Southall—was named.  In the ensuing six months, he toured around Queensland, sharing his adventures through a video blog, writing, Twitter account and Flickr photos—generating even more interest in Hamilton Island and all of Queensland in the process.

Outcome: Tangible results for the island included Amway Australia choosing it as the site of their annual conference.  Also, due to the rise in demand from travelers wanting to get to Hamilton Island, domestic Aussie airline Virgin Blue started flying a direct flight between Sydney and the island.

Old Spice YouTube

Considered one of the best social media campaigns of all time, the 2010 Old Spice YouTube campaign featured American actor Isaiah Mustafa, now widely known as the main character for a series of Old Spice TV commercials, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.  The campaign began last summer with simple TV ads, which then went viral on YouTube. The follow-up program in which Mustafa recorded funny videos in response to fans, bloggers and Twitter influencers sent the campaign into legendary status.  Adweek quoted Visible Measures’ Matt Cutler saying that the total Web views for all Old Spice brand videos reached 110 million, “surpassing the reach of traditional broadcast.”

The campaign achieved millions of viral video views quicker than past hits like Susan Boyle and U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2008 election victory speech.

  • Total views of the Mustafa videos reached 40 million in one week
  • Campaign impressions: 1.4 billion
  • Following the campaign launch, Old Spice body wash sales immediately went up by 27 percent, by 55 percent in three months, and by 107 percent in July 2010 (Nielsen).

Outcome: According to an article in BrandWeek, individual Old Spice products that were slipping in sales saw spikes after Mustafa showed them off in the TV and Internet video ads.

Obama 2008 Election Campaign

U.S. presidential elections aren’t quite the same thing as after shave lotion sales campaigns, but since it takes a billion dollars to win the White House, that’s more than enough to qualify an election campaign as a big business branding spend.

According to Trendrr, an online statistics mashup tool, Pres. Obama clearly led against GOP rival John McCain in using social media technology to connect to his audience, and also maintained an overall lead in mindshare in the blogosphere as a whole throughout the campaign.

While overall blog mentions of Obama and McCain varied greatly during the year before the election (with no determination if those were positive or negative posts), close to 500 million blog postings mentioned Obama starting from the beginning of the party conventions at the end of August 2008. During the same time period, only about 150 million blog posts mentioned McCain.

On the social networks, Obama also held a clear lead over McCain:

  • Facebook— On election day Nov. 4, 2008, Obama had three million Facebook supporters as opposed to McCain’s 600,000.
  • MySpace—Obama showed 844,927 MySpace friends compared to McCain’s 219,404. (Other sources reported 859,000 MySpace friends for Obama as opposed to McCain’s 319,000.)
  • Twitter—Obama had 115,623 Twitter followers as opposed to McCain’s 4,911.  (Other sources reported 118,107 for Obama and 4,942 for McCain.)
  • YouTube—Obama had 117,873 subscribers as opposed to McCain’s 2,902.

The Obama campaign achieved:

  • 5 million “friends” on more than 15 social networking sites.
  • 13 million email subscribers.
  • 8.5 million monthly visitors to (at its peak).
  • 3 million online donors.

Outcome: Barack Obama was elected 44th President of the United States. According to the Federal Election Commission, Obama received 62,704,840 of the total popular votes cast (or 52 percent) to John McCain’s 55,563,444 vote total (46 percent).

Did a social media marketing campaign produce this result?  Not completely of course, but it couldn’t have hurt.

Part I: Social Media Marketing Campaign Monitoring, Measurement & Analytics

Contact DigitalEYE Media for information on how to Monitor, Measure & Analyze your Social Media Marketing campaigns: P: 657.229.8394;