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We’re approaching around 15 years of mass social media, which feels like 100 years in internet time. The depth of change in cultures, in platforms and their usage, in memes and ads has been massive; the one thing that’s stayed the same is how much is changing. It can be easy to get lost in the data and strategies, especially if you’re a marketer trying to showcase your product up against many thousands of others. But! It can be done. Now and again we see the type of campaign that reminds us of the great potential in online film and marketing. You know the ones; social media campaigns that make through great demographic reach, originality and focus can resonate with consumers. Think Kendall Jenner in that Pepsi ad. (Just kidding, of course.) So, here are some of the best social campaigns to pay attention to, and what they did that made them stand out. 

Starbucks – #whatsyourname 

If you couldn’t tell from the hashtag, this campaign featured mainly on Twitter and Instagram. Starbucks partnered with Mermaids to create a campaign focused on inclusivity and Trans rights that was focused on a direct audience to help position the brand towards a larger one. This campaign centred on the idea of empowerment through names, which are both symbolically and physically important to members of the Trans community. It blends the difficult process of renaming with the Starbucks tradition of having your name written on a cup. The main features of the campaign were select members of the transgender community who were involved in short films, which were played during advertising slots as well as featuring on YouTube. Their website also had a section dedicated to those who featured, with little biographies accompanying the videos.

With this campaign, Starbucks wanted to put a strong foot forward in moving the brand towards a progressive image, as well as an inclusive place of safety. On YouTube, the ‘Every name’s a story’ series totalled over a million views, while on Twitter the main hashtag #whatsyourname trended globally during release. While there have been several companies incorporating support for the transgender community in their advertisements, Starbucks did so in a way that was not only tasteful but also highly personable, helping its relatability. The Starbucks marketing efforts were later rewarded with the Channel Four Diversity in Advertising Award for 2019. Starbucks’ central videos gained traction on YouTube due to being edited in a social-media friendly way, also highlighting the importance of versatility in film crafting. To learn more about how the team at The Jasper Picture Company can help create films for you, check out the information at the end of the article.

Apple – Shot On iPhone

Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign has been active for a little while now, launching for the iPhone 6 wayyyy back in 2015 (approx. 25 years ago in internet time) and still lasting in 2021. Interestingly, Apple eschewed most social media advertising to instead focus on native marketing through user-generated content. Essentially, they crafted a campaign that focused almost exclusively on photos and videos shot by people already using iPhones. Aside from a customer support page, Apple’s main online presence was through its Instagram account in which Apple curated its own ‘Shot on iPhone’ hashtag and featured selected photos using the hashtag – a hashtag that’s featured on several hundred thousand Instagram posts, by the way. Apple eventually took out over 10,000 billboards featuring these shots, re-vamped for every new iPhone launch. Many of these billboards were in Australia, with Melbourne’s public train stations often hosting these ads. 

The aim here was to generate buzz through combining physical and digital ad spaces and make the most of an already large consumer base. Did it work? It’s hard to get exact numbers with such a long-running campaign, but even the fact it’s lasted means that Apple has given its seal of approval – so it must be working. This campaign used mostly user-generated content (UGC), which helped increase customer participation and authenticity. Additionally, the nature of the campaign meant it was flexible and could operate for a longer period of time, as different photos could be shown for different areas, with different content shown over time to match the release of an iPhone.

Nike – #AirMaxDay (2018)

Nike’s annual AirMax Day celebrations are usually accompanied by strong marketing, but the 2018 edition took the cake. For this year’s edition, Nike took an innovative approach that dare we say may have fit perfectly into current trends. Nike opened up their design process and invited sneakerheads and would-be amateur shoe designers to create their take on the classic Nike shoe. This included using young athletes to promote their own ‘Imagineairs’, as well as targeted online advertising in cities all across the world, from Sydney to Singapore to San Francisco. It culminated in a competition in which people could vote on winning designs, with different flavours and styles reflecting the different cities they were designed in.

This campaign is a great example of what happens when online advertising efforts combine with native marketing to create something greater than the sum of its parts. By inspiring art, Nike already adds to its impact on pop culture, while its tacit support of underground or upcoming designers is inclusive and cost-effective all at once. It also respects the differences across cities and cultures, with the variety of designs and advertising highlighting the differences between these places, but putting Nike firmly in the centre of what brings consumers together. 

Figure 2 – The Winner of the 2018 AirMaxDay Design Competition

Enjoy learning about marketing on social media and film? The Jasper Picture Company is home to many more blogs like this, which you can find on our website here. As a leader in Melbourne’s videography field, the Jasper Picture team is experienced in delivering the quality film you need. To find out more about our work, check out our website and see how we can help your film needs today.