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Our look at the most – and least – engaging social media

Southwest Airlines gave away 12 $1,000 gift cards for travel on the airline in a “12 Days of Luv” December Twitter contest. Southwest asked its followers to tweet different holiday-themed photos each day of the contest, such as a brand-themed snowman. Participants had to tweet back using the #12daysofluv hashtag, giving the airline pages upon pages of free branded tweets. Southwest’s incentive — $1,000 in free travel — was strong enough to motivate even the most weary holiday shopper.

Honda added a cheeky social component to its annual end-of-year holiday campaign, “Happy Honda Days.” The Honda NaughtyOrNice-a-tron Facebook app scrolls through a user’s 2010 status posts, giving a “naughty” or “nice” rating. It also tallies “likes” and invitation acceptances to find out whether you have “been a good Facebook boy or girl.” In under a week, 22,000 Facebook users opted in to the app — not a complete viral hit but three weeks remained in the Happy Honda Days sale.

Helzberg Diamonds launched an ad campaign supported by social media to revive its decades-old “I am loved” slogan. The brand grew its Twitter and Facebook followings through giveaways and invitations for consumers to post their own stories. The brand’s YouTube channel also hosted viewer-created videos as well as its TV commercials. Future plans include a “Facebook Collect” tool that enables consumers to sign up for weekly e-mails through the social networking website.

Philips Electronics’ strategy to promote its ChargeOn phone charger pokes fun at pharma advertising by highlighting “Dead Battery Anxiety,” a made-up ailment. Its playful microsite elements include “treatment options” which recommend a purchase. It’s supported by a Facebook page and Twitter feed. Phillips is promoting it through online advertising, contests and radio ads in select markets. Kudos to Phillips for enlivening a dry topic and supporting social with additional media, but 242 likes and 183 followers is ho-hum, and its repeated tweets are ill-advised.

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Our look at the most — and least — engaging social strategies

Columbia Sportswear warmed up its younger consumers to the brand through numerous digital marketing initiatives for its launch of Omni-Heat, a reflective liner technology that helps consumers maintain body heat. The brand adeptly incorporated a YouTube Channel, a microsite, a mobile media effort and a Facebook tie-in called “Ice Pics,” which asked fans to upload photos of themselves wearing the product to win weekly prizes. Columbia Sportswear worked with Ad Mob on the mobile program. 

Disney Parks smartly gave consumers the chance to star in a future marketing campaign through a user generated effort enabling consumers to share their theme park experiences. Winning content will be featured in the 2011 “Let the Memories Begin” effort, which will use videos, photos and other user-created content shared on the campaign website through the end of next year. 

Navistar International creatively usede-mail, digital advertising and search marketing in its b-to-b campaign, “Get in Gear.” The brand accelerated racing fan attention by using drivers Dario Franchitti and Jamie McMurray in a digital initiative that allowed consumers to create and send personalized voice messages from the two stars via e-mail or a handset device. The brand also revved up fan enthusiasm with a sweepstakes, giving consumers a shot at winning a trip to the 2011 Daytona 500. The truck and diesel engine maker worked with Fathom Communications on the effort.

Feed the Children engaged consumers through e-mail, Facebook and Twitter tie-ins, asking consumers to donate money and to spread the word to their friends that October was “Hunger Awareness Month.” The campaign also used direct mail. The nonprofit also sent an e-mail blast to regular donors, targeting younger demographics. The campaign earned a 10% gain in Twitter and Facebook followers, but could’ve benefitted from more interactive content or required action.

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Our look at the most – and least – engaging social media campaigns and social marketing strategies

A Bunch of Carrot Farmers engaged consumers by launching BabyCarrots.com and releasing free iPhone and iPod Touch games. The apps ask users to crunch real baby carrots into a mic to play the game, thereby requiring that consumers buy the product in order to play. The campaign also included dynamic packaging and experimental vending machines. Ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky led overall strategy, creative and media efforts.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network sought to raise public awareness of the disease by encouraging consumers to upload stories, photos and videos of people they know who are fighting the disease. The organization also asked for other consumer action, such as sending letters to members of Congress and encouraged them to share the site with their friends and relatives. The nonprofit worked with communications firm Neimand Collaborative on the effort.

Stride Shift chewing gum launched an engaging campaign, called “Change Your Flavor, Change Your Life,” last month. The company created an application that enabled consumers to upload photos of themselves and then change the background to portray fun and offbeat scenarios, such as kayaking, fortune-telling, ostrich jockeying and clowning around at the rodeo. Users can then publish a digital “photo album” of the enhanced “adventures” to share with friends. Customers are also prompted to sign up for future promotions. The gum brand worked with ad agency JWT on the social campaign.

Campbell Soup Company targeted young consumers with the “It’s Amazing What Soup Can Do” effort. The company encouraged customers to scan a barcode on the product packaging and attach photos and video using a downloadable app. The likelihood of young consumers breaking stride at the supermarket to scan the can may be a stretch. The campaign also included TV, print, radio and in-store elements. Agencies BBDO and Young & Rubicam worked on the effort.

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