Social Media Marketing Blog


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Everyone has seen the Sara McLaughlin videos encouraging audiences to donate to save the lives of malnourished and poorly treated animals.  These videos are phenomenal at tugging at the heart strings of animal lovers to generate donations.  In 2015, a PSA for Friends of Animals took a completely different approach to generating awareness for animals on social media—comedy.

In a 90 second PSA video, Danny Trejo, a well known movie star famous for roles in Breaking Bad and Machete, dresses up as a floppy-eared dog to showcase the importance of spaying and neutering pets by embodying the challenges a stray dog goes through.  At the end of the video, delivers the sobering message that this year, 3 million cats and dogs will die in shelters this year because they cannot find new homes.  With spaying and neutering, this number can be reduced.

This campaign was successful because it draws viewers in with the comedy and keeps them hooked with the lasting message at the end of the video.  Additionally, it leverages the popularity of Danny Trejo to further entice viewers to watch the video the whole way through.  The risk in waiting for the true message to be at the very end is that viewers may watch the funny part and move on or decide to note watch the film in entirety.

This campaign was very successful in generating hundreds of thousands of unpaid media impressions on Reddit, Fast Company and Adweek.  Since Friends of Animals did not sped a single dollar on paid media, the campaign was widely successful as it generated more than a million impressions on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.  Finally, the most important achievement was that spay and neuter vouchers were up 200% vs last year and Friends of Animals saw a significant increase in donations and website traffic following the release of the video.

Check out the clip below and let me know your thoughts!

Friends of Animals – #RuffLife with Danny Trejo



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In 2015, iHeartRadio hosted it’s fifth annual music festival in Las Vegas.  After launching the company in 2008, iHeartRadio had quickly become a well known brand in the music industry after partnering closely with radio station, artists and music festivals.  For their fifth self-hosted music festival, they sought to engage fans and artists and achieve even greater social success than prior years.  As part of the two day music festival, more than 35 musical acts performed between two different stages.

To increase social awareness, iHeartRadio created a social capture area at the two primary gathering locations of the festival allowing artists to visit and engage with fans online.  In addition to this, iHeartRadio leverages a new Twitter Challenger app which allows people to challenge others to difference tasks.  This allowed fans to challenge the musical festival artists to various tasks such as: (1) hit their highest and lowest notes, (2) show their best impromptu dance, (3) show off their best accent, and (4) perform their best dad dance.

This app allowed fans to increase their engagement with artists and these videos quickly become hilarious viral clips that were shared in real time on Twitter.  To further increase engagement, iHeartRadio leveraged its relationships with artists to organize Twitter and Instagram takeovers giving fans an insight look at the music festival and a direct communication line with their favorite celebrities.  Finally, throughout the weekend, photos, videos and editorial content was shared live with fans across all social media platforms to engage fans including Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Tumblr, Flipboard and Periscope.

The results of this campaign were very successful driving:

  • 6.5B social media impressions which beats the Super Bowl for the third year in a row.
  • #1 hashtag worldwide, in the US and across more than 80 cities (#iHeartRadio)

What are your thoughts on iHeartRadio?  Have you learned about it more through radio or through social media?  Share your thoughts below!

2015 iHeartRadio Music Festival Reel



In the Fall of 2014, Motorola launched the second generation of its Moto X smartphone.  To boost awareness about the customization options of the smartphone, Motorola handcrafted (pun intended) a parody video about artisanal selfie sticks.  These selfie sticks were made of wood or leather similar to the actual smartphone.  The video was released for April Fool’s Day and was successful in getting people talking about #MotoSelfieSticks on the social web.

While this campaign only lasted 72 hours to capitalized on April Fool’s traffic, the results were still incredible.  The metrics associated with the campaign include:

  • 200M earned impressions beating the campaign goal by 120%
  • 40+ headlines including Wall Street Journal, Forbes
  • 1.5M video views beating the campaign goal by 436%
  • 205% sales goal beat associated with the #MotoSelfieStick discount

Part of the reason this campaign worked so well was because it engaged social influencers including Demi Lovato, Jimmy Kimmel and Marques Brownlee.  These influencers helped spread the message quickly and increased the spread of users that witnessed the prank.  Furthermore, paid media partnerships and placements ensured the campaign quickly became recognized across the social web.

For me, the reason this campaign was successful was because it capitalized on a trend that was a fad at the time — selfie sticks.  Love them or hate them, everyone knew what a selfie stick was so it allowed the social web to easily identify with the topic at hand.  Additionally, it played on the dichotomy of the situation.  Selfie sticks are traditionally understood to be cheap devices that you pick up at the dollar store.  For Motorola’s campaign, however, they were portrayed as luxury devices that entice customers with the expensive commodities used to craft them.

Why do you think this campaign worked?  What company’s April Fools joke is your favorite?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Moto Selfie Stick Video

Love Has No Labels

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For Valentine’s Day 2016, the several non-profit partners including the Perception Institute, Human Rights Campaign, AARP, AAPD, ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center combined forces to make as many people as possible rethink bias and make unconventional images of love feel celebrated and more normalized.  Especially in today’s world, there is an implicit bias in societal stereotypes that affects people even if they don’t know it.

To change this, the non-profit partners launched a live x-ray installation in Santa Monica, CA.  The display showcased skeleton figures kissing, hugging and dancing while thousands of onlookers mentally processed the composition of these skeletons.  Then, unbeknownst to viewers, the skeletons stepped out from the side of the screen showing who they actually were.  This often created surprises for the audience who internally thought of the individuals as something different than who they actually were.  The intent of this campaign was to educate onlookers about bias and diversity.

The results of this campaign were incredible as social media picked up on the videos and responses quickly turning the local installment into a global viral campaign.  The metrics include:

  • 10K people witnessing the event live
  • 40M views of the live event in two days
  • 2nd most viewed and shared PSA in history after just three weeks
  • 1.8B media impressions

This campaign was influential because it was short, unexpected and powerful.  For me, this is what most viral campaigns represent.  It is not something that the non-profit partners necessarily planned for, but happened because of the surprise factor.  This campaign will certainly draw a wide variety of responses depending on your own social situation and upbringing, but what is important to recognize is why the campaign was successful.

How is your marketing strategy aligned to ensure widespread sharing?  What can you do to improve your blog or social web approach to increase interest in your content?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Love Has No Labels Website

Love Has No Lablels | Diversity & Inclusion | Ad Council


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Box Tops for Education is one of America’s largest school earning loyalty programs which as earned America’s schools over $600 million.  To capitalize on this important program, Heft, the only trash bag that supports Box Tops for Education set out to build momentum for the program during 2015’s back-to-school promotion window.

During a compelling online campaign, Hefty started the hashtag #SaidNoSchoolEver which was supported by online video, social media and influencers.  In each media used, the campaign showcased the problem facing all public schools across the country—lack of funding.  In addition to this, Hefty raised awareness for the brand that is often loved by moms with school-aged children which is one persona Hefty likes to target.

The campaign was very effective and building support for and recognizing great teachers.  The campaign resulted in over 57 million video and over 72 million impressions.  In addition, the campaign sparked a conversation that continues to occur today between the target audience and educators.

This campaign represents a great way that social media can support businesses, but also good causes at the same time.  So far, Hefty has raised over $3.5 million dollars to support education through the Box Tops for Education program.

Do you purchase Hefty and use the Box Tops for Education program in your school?  What do you like about it most?  Check out the hilarious Hefty video below!

Hefty – Teachers – #SaidNoOneEver



In 2015, JetBlue sought to build even stronger relationships in the Boston local community for fliers that frequent Boston’s Logan International Airport.  To do this, JetBlue became the official airline partner of the New England Patriots.  In order to build community awareness for this newly formed relationship, JetBlue worked with ad agency MullenLowe to develop a campaign that would resonate with Boston sport fans while concurrently aligning with the JetBlue values.

Coincidentally, one of JetBlue’s pilots — Chief Pilot Paul Hocking—was the uncle of New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.  As a result, MullenLowe’s idea for a social media campaign was to utilize the hashtag #GronkIsMyCopilot playing tribute to JetBlue pilots and the New England Patriots star.

Leveraging a suite of creative videos, GIFs and social media photos, Boston sports media outlets were provided various marketing media examples of Gronkowski and his pilot uncle conversing comically followed by Gronkowski in the pilot’s seat of the plane.

In order to engage audiences more, MullenLowe utilized partner channels including and Grownkowski’s twitter handle.  Furthermore, during football season, Patriots fans flying on JetBlue through Boston’s Logan Airport were enticed to wear their official Patriots gear to gain access to early boarding which strengthens JetBlue’s connection to the team and their fans.

The results of this campaign were very successful including:

  • 221 million PR impressions
  • 25 million social impressions
  • 3 million video views
  • 46 thousand Facebook likes
  • 67% video completion rate on video views
  • 10 thousand social media shares

How can your brand leverage relationships with well known celebrities or teams?  Do you find this campaign as an effective means to increase buzz and engagement for newly formed relationships? Share your thoughts int he comments below!


Lucy the Robot


Double Robotics is a global technology company that is best known for it’s telepresence robot that allows remote users to control the robot from afar while interacting with the world via build-in video and audio devices.  To tap into the Australia market, Double Robotics decided to take advantage of the fact that this target market had no preconceived notions of robots.  This gave the company a tremendous opportunity to engage with the imagination and interest of these new customers.

Knowing that customers typically think of robots as lacking personality, they sought to give the robot personality to drive consumer generated content and drive media perception as well.  To do this, Double Robotics capitalized on the launch of the latest iPhone launch — iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — which is often a global event.

When selecting the robot driver that would be the face of the campaign, they chose Lucy Kelly who was a young, energetic and innovative woman who did not want to withstand the elements—rain in particular—that was in the forecast for the Australian launch of the iPhone 6s.  The telepresence robot was placed outside the George Street Apple store in Sydney and interacted with Apple fans and media persons for the days leading up the launch.  Then, on launch day, the robot was the first person to buy iPhone 6s to encourage media outlets to write the story: ‘Robot buys the first iPhone 6s in the world.’

The results for this campaign were incredible and helps catapult Double Robotics into the global conversation:

  • 4,000 stories across print and TV
  • 32 language translations of these stories
  • 123 million people reached
  • $73 million media valuation for the campaign
  • 12 thousand sales leads
  • $45 million in sales opportunities
  • +1200% brand favorability

Why do you think this campaign worked so well?  How can your company use social media marketing to spread awareness for new products you are working on?  Share your thoughts below!

The Atomic 212° Robot

Whiskey Yule Log


To celebrate Christmas 2015, Diageo, the distiller of Scotland’s finest single malt whiskies including Lagavulin and Oban, embarked on a social media campaign to achieve three goals including: (1) Change the appeal of single malt whiskey for younger consumers, (2) Become apart of the brand conversation on social media to connect with younger single malt whiskey consumers, and (3) Increase viewership on the YouTube channel ‘My Tales of Whisky’ which seems to achieve the first two goals.

As part of this campaign, Diageo partnered with actor, author, woodworker and scotch enthusiast Nick Offerman to create a Yule Log video in time for the Christmas season when people enjoy watching crackling fires.  For those who do not know who Nick Offerman is, he plays the character Ron Swanson on NBC’s hit TV show Parks and Recreation.

The campaign used was a single shot video for 45 minutes showing Offerman sitting next to the traditional holiday Yule Log and enjoying a bottle of Lagavulin in complete silence.

The simplicity of this campaign was what made it most successful.  The Ron Swanson character is known for being very manly—hence the use of scotch, a fine leather chair, a detailed wood library and a crackling fire.  Additionally, Ron Swanson’s character is known for being very quiet and a man of few words—hence the use of 45 minutes of video without a single word mentioned.

The combination of these factors created a viral video that was an instant success as it utilized the perfect combination of the right content creators, the right influencer, a great idea and a strategically executed campaign that can set the fire ablaze (pun intended).

So was this campaign successful?  Absolutely!  The key metrics from the campaign are as follows:

  • 175 national stories about the video
  • 840 million media impressions
  • 18 thousand new YouTube subscribers
  • 1 million YouTube views in only two days

Did you see this video during the holiday season?  How often do you watch Yule Log videos during the holidays? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Nick Offerman’s ‘Yule Log’

Social Media in Space


Social media has become so influential, even astronauts are using it!  In October 2015, Scott Kelly, commander of the International Space Station broke the world record for the longest continuous space flight at 382 cumulative days.

During his year in space, Scott Kelly became an avid social media user particularly on Instagram and Twitter.  Before he went to space, Scott was encouraged by President Obama to Instagram his mission to build interest in science and space.  Adhering to this request, Scott regularly used Twitter and Instagram to share beautiful photos from space raising awareness for the beauty and power of Earth.

Throughout his mission, Scott was more active on social media than most people on Earth achieving:

  • 1.0M followers on Twitter
  • 1.0M followers on Instagram
  • 2.3K tweets shared from space
  • 0.8K Instagram posts shared from space

Because astronauts are the only people capable of capturing the majesty of seeing Earth from afar and sharing the importance of living sustainable, NASA has a social media manager to train astronauts.  John Yembrick, NASA’s social media manager, said, “Before astronauts launch to the station, there is social media training where an overview of all the platforms available and best practices are discussed.”

In addition to simply posting photos, Scott participated in Reddit Ask Me Anything events, Facebook Q&A sessions and Tweetchats to build a sense of community around his mission and the importance and beauty of space.  Scott’s ability to use social media effectively was deftly stated by Boston Globes’ Heather Circas who said, “His personality and engagement are what kept most people coming back.”

Did you see the photos that Scott Kelly sent during his year in space?  Check out the complete set of photos on Instagram and Twitter in the linked below, then share your thoughts in the comments!

Scott Kelly’s Instagram

Scott Kelly’s Twitter

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