By Lauren Begley , PepperDigital, @LaurenBegley
Like many PR professionals, I found it a struggle to keep up with every latest and greatest social media platform, marketing best practice or slam-dunk communications campaign. Nearly two years ago, I began working with a group of other Peppercommers to form an agency Innovation Team. Collectively, we spend time each month trolling for best-of examples that we can share with our colleagues through our Innovation Mill newsletter.
As we approach the end of 2011, I wanted to share a compilation of some of the more interesting, creative and out-of-the-box examples using social and digital platforms over the past year. If you like what you see (or not), please post your feedback in the comments section or let us know if there are any other programs you think should have made the list.
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Earlier this year, high-end department store Neiman Marcus tapped into its social media community to launch a Foursquare challenge promoting its annual shoe and handbag sale. On a specific date, Nancy Gonzalez clutches were hidden at 15 stores. Visitors could check in to Foursquare where they would receive clues about their proximity to the coveted prizes. Those who found the bags got to keep the goods. We like this case study because it brings the hot topic of online gaming to life. Driving consumers into the retail outlets resulted in a strong level of online engagement that likely translated into in-store purchases. Talk about knowing your audience.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, a new website called “MomSpam” went live. The site allowed young people to send the type of emails mothers are known for sending (e.g. virus warning emails, pictures of funny cats, chain letters, etc.). Guests could select which spam they’d like to send to their mom in honor of the holiday. From the site, you have the option to share the link on Facebook and Twitter – at which point, you discover that the site was created by the agency Mother here in New York (get it?). Sneaky.
Remember when you were a kid and one of the best parts of visiting a fast food restaurant was being able to mix and match fountain sodas in one, large cup? A new Coca-Cola Facebook, iPhone and Android app lets adults relive those days by creating their own soda concoctions online. What’s more, Coke vending machines across the country will soon roll out offering the same feature. We prefer a little Cherry Coke mixed with Vanilla Coke. You?
Old Spice has done it again. The wildly successful ‘Old Spice Man’ campaign continues to engage audiences online. The company held a “hunk-off” that matched Isaiah Mustafa against the ultimate dreamboat, Fabio (settle down, ladies). Both personalities created original YouTube content and viewers were invited to grant points to their favorites. The 100+ videos tallied more than 22 million views and just as many swoons in one week.
The New York Public Library, the first public library to launch a Foursquare badge, invited 500 people to compete in a smartphone-based challenge for a library game night. “Find the Future: The Game” was a series of “quests” delivered via an app on players’ mobile devices that can be completed at the Library’s 42nd Street location. Players tackled a list of 100 overnight challenges designed to encourage players to explore and reflect upon the objects from the library’s collections. A player might have been tasked, for instance, to scan a QR code located at the Declaration of Independence, and then respond to a creative essay prompt. Once enough quests were completed, they were “unlocked” for the public, who could begin playing the game online after the exclusive launch. Who knew a library could lead to such an adventure?