The Best Social Marketing Campaigns of 2019 — So Far
Great social media marketing cuts through the noise and resonates with audiences. Last year we released our list of the Best Social Marketing Campaigns of 2018 — So Far, in which we showcased the ad campaigns we thought hit the mark in being original, on trend, and personable. Most important, these campaigns were able to involve their audiences and communicate a clear message. With another year and tons of new content in the books, we compiled a list of ads that were up to the challenge of being the best at took social media marketing to new heights in 2019.
While the year is not quite over, we know neither is your digital campaign planning. The following ads — and our takeaways — will help you understand what’s working in digital marketing right now and what’s likely to work in the future.
Moreover, to find even more information on succeeding on social, check out our Social Media Pocket Guide.
Budweiser revisits its 50s, 60s, and 70s ads
In honor of International Women’s Day, Budweiser released a series of vintage-styled ads highlighting positive depictions of women. Appreciating their own metaphorical glass house, the brand returned to their own ads from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Instead of characterizing women as wives, and ultimately aiming to sell Budweiser to their husbands, this campaign instead focuses on the storylines of women.
The takeaway: When looking to improve your brand image, identifying where you have fallen short in the past is a pathway to reinvention. Ultimately, by adjusting their image, Budweiser showed they are not a beer for men, rather a beer for people. As a result, they have positioned themselves to become more appealing to more audiences.
Banza Chickpea Pasta gets cheeky
While fairly innocent, health-focused pasta producer Banza’s nod to the social media reference “send noods” (aka send noodles) is without a doubt very cheeky (pun intended).
The brand is able to play up its most attractive quality: being a healthier alternative to conventional pasta, by subtly creating an association between summer fitness and their product. As a result, they dismiss the notation of having to give up a favorite food to look your best during the summer months. Moreover, in utilizing warm summer colors alongside vintage-styled illustrations this Instagram ad stands out that much more.
The takeaway: Last year online dating app OKCupid released their “DTFall Head Over Heels” campaign, which, while controversial, boosted their social media mentions by 50%. At the time we said, “campaigns that appeal to social media users won’t always appeal to the boardroom, but that’s okay.” This is yet another example of just that. In the right setting for the right audience, candor is well-received and memorable.
Marmite infuses humor with politics
Whether you live in Great Britain or not, Brexit has been an unavoidable topic of conversation this year. As the March deadline passed and the new October deadline approaches, questions about what Britain will do next remains pertinent. Enter Marmite, who took advantage of the similar pronunciations of Brexit and Breakfast.
The takeaway: Clever word play and a sense of humor rarely disappoint.
HULU's throws subtlety out the window
This year, streaming service Hulu launched coverage for live sports. Among streaming providers, this capability is one of the last differentiators between traditional cable and streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. During the Women’s FIFA Cup, Hulu added their voice to the gender pay gap conversation with a Twitter campaign featuring the four-time champion US Women's National Soccer Team holding a very, very large check.
In her Tweet, Team Co-Captain and equal pay advocate Megan Rapinoe added the caption: “Hulu's paying us lots and lots and lots of dollars to tell you that #HuluHasLiveSports. Watch us in the World Cup this summer - live on @hulu! #TeamHuluSellouts #HuluSellouts #ad”
The takeaway: Subtlety can be overrated. With this topical and direct ad, Hulu established themselves as innovative and forward thinking with respect to both their content and how they do business in the modern era.
Sweetgreen stands out with simplicity
Sweetgreen has become a well-loved and known fast casual chain on the East and West coasts of the US. Although primarily located in Washington DC, NYC, Massachusetts, and California, the brand is spreading into new regions around the country while utilizing simple and highly aesthetic marketing campaigns. Offering a small, but customizable menu, Sweetgreen plays with the colors, shapes, and textures of their ingredients in their social marketing.
The takeaway: The adage “show, don’t tell,” very much applies in the world of social media marketing. Some of the biggest obstacles in the way of a successful social media marketing strategy are thinking too big and losing focus. Keeping the theme of their campaign clean and simple is what makes Sweetgreen a standout. Visual repetition, texture, bright colors, and a collection of safe for work jokes create the brand’s minimalistic and successful social media strategy.
As 2019 continues, remember that social media is an excellent space to experiment with new ad campaign styles. There is a huge opportunity to attract undiscovered audiences and amplify brand recognition just like these stand-out brands were able to do. And to gain more insights about social media marketing, remember to download our Social Media Pocket Guide.