Pepsi | #LiveForNow

This might be difficult for most companies to pull off unless you have a large enough budget to make room for these special effects. As part of Pepsi's #livefornow campaign, they created this incredible bus shelter in London that's designed to get funny reaction from people. This is one you really have to watch. 

Doritos | #crashthesuperbowl

Doritos utilizes two great strategies in this campaign: highlighting user-generated content and building off of the buzz from a huge event -- the Superbowl. This social media contest allows fans to submit their Doritios commercials and the winner gets their video on TV during the Superbowl, along with other cool prizes.

Kohls | #PeterSomForKohls

A lot of brands are undecided on how to leverage Google+, because it doesn't fit neatly into one category of social media. However, Kohls has found a way to leverage the popularity of influencers to promote their Peter Som line of clothing on Google+ -- while still keeping it fun for the fans.

CapitalOne | Personable Brand Voice

Banks and other financial institutions generally don't do a great job of connecting with people through social media. (Amex is the notable exception.) However, CaptialOne does a great job of consistently posting snappy and relatable content on their LinkedIn page. This is a reminder that "serious" businesses can get away with keeping it casual on social media.

Tiffany | Tiffany Blue by

Sugar Pop Wishes shows you can position your brand around nearly anything to increase brand awareness -- in their case it's around their signature blue. Instagram users posts tens of thousands of photos with the hashtag #tiffanyblue and many of the blue items have nothing to do with Tiffany. 

Urban Decay | Get Electric. Festival Style.

Urban Decay built a social campaign on Pinterest where users could submit their best recreations of makeup styles that they've seen at their favorite music festivals. Throughout the campaign Urban Decay gave away free festival tickets to Pinterest users that created the best boards featuring festival looks. 

Essence | Justin Bieber Believe Tour Sponsorship

The European beauty brand Essence made the most of their sponsorship of Justin Bieber's Believe Tour by creating social media events around each show.
They gave away free products at shows and offered various sweepstakes that highlighted user-generated content as contest entries for free tickets and other prizes.
Not only did they generate a lot of interest in their own brand, but they helped build buzz around each of the shows on the tour. The campaign resulted in 263 million brand impressions, 82,615 brand expressions, and 35 percent of on-site activation through social.

National Geographic | My Nat Geo Covershot

National Geographic launched a Facebook contest where their fans had a chance to have their own photo featured on the cover of the magazine and win two tickets for a free vacation. All the fans had to do was upload their photos and caption it and they were automatically entered to win.

Samuel Adams| April Fools: Helium Beer

This is a perfect example of leveraging a holiday to create a viral piece of social content. The beer maker Sam Adams posted this video across their social media platforms, showing off their new helium beer as an April Fools prank. You have to watch the video to see why it was such a hit.

Honey Bunches of Oats | 50 Million Smiles and Counting

Honey Bunches of Oats ran a campaign with the tagline “50 Million Smiles and Counting,” during which they shared the testimonial videos, images, and quotes from fans they had "made smile" across the country in exchange for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip. By sharing the user-submitted content across Facebook and Instagram, they were able to add 162,000 new fans (a 721% increase) and increase engagement and traffic to their pages.

Qdoba | Queso Bliss Showdown

Popular restaurant chain, Qdoba, created a campaign where their fans could vote for their favorite queso, deciding which one the company would keep and which one would have to go.
The best part about this social media campaign was that the Qdoba team updated the results in real-time, keeping everyone engaged, and building suspense around the showdown. 

TD Ameritrade | #itaddsup

With this campaign, TD Ameritrade was able to capitalize on the 2014 Winter Olympics hype by comparing the accumulation of small investments over time to the practice and preparation that athletes go through to compete.
An entire staff created for the campaign stayed in Sochi to document the athletes' journeys with photos, videos, and other content. The campaign resulted in 78,000+ uses of the campaign hashtag #itaddsup, a 12% increase in overall social audience, and 97 million brand impressions.

Biltwell | Fan Helmet Art

Biltwell sells motorcycling accessories and does a great job of keeping their fans engaged and passionate about their brand using their Facebook fan page. 

One way they do this is by sharing fan-shared helmet art on their timeline. Fans get their 15 minutes of fame and Biltwell gets to show off the awesome things people do with their products and "delight" their fans in the process.

GE | #6SecondScienceFair

GE launched a campaign hosting a #6SecondScienceFair on Vine and Tumblr where they re-vined posts from people using this tag to encourage interest in science, increase engagement, and build GE's reputation as an innovator. 

The particular Vine below highlights what happens when you combine milk, food coloring, and dish soap. It has been liked 130,000 times and re-vined 105,000 times.

Volkswagen | Trailer Assist

January - March 2016
Branded Content,Online


The market for large family cars is very competitive, and the launch of the new Passat was somewhat a challenge, as the design was not indicating this was a completely new car. 
Advanced driving assist systems, though, are main features in the new Passat including Trailer Assist. The optional Trailer Assist steers automatically while the driver is still responsible for gear shifting, acceleration and braking.  

The target audience was adult men with a family and the need for a roomy car, which often also means from time to time a need of a trailer. Passat is segment leader among family cars, and most of them are equipped with a trailer hitch. 
The agency also build on one basic insight: Most people find it difficult to reverse with a trailer and hate to do it. A system that will help them out will obviously create attention. However, MediaCom needed to demonstrate it in an exceptional way, to ensure that the target group would find it worthwhile seeing and sharing. 
Since social media to a large degree is about entertainment, and surprising videos always create a large number of viewers and involvement it decided to move along that path. 
This gave MediaCom the communication strategy and the idea for the campaign. 


The fight for attention is hard even for entertaining video content. MediaCom believed it had content with a potential for sharing, but in order to make it happen it had it to get it right from the start, and decided to make the content look less like a commercial thus increasing the potential for sharing. 
Most importantly it decided to focus its paid digital media towards young adult men even though the average car buyer is 40 years +. By targeting influencers rather than the actual car buyer, it expected to achieve far higher sharing and thus organic views of the video, and the car buyers would get the video from their younger colleagues and children rather than from Volkswagen directly.  
Even though it was tempting to use TV from the start, the agency decided to place TV at the end of the campaign period, to create as many organic views as possible before launching the TV ad. 
At the start it sponsored Facebook posts and placed the video on selected sites in the BeOn network. It made the content easy to share and used YouTube as the hub for organic viewing and sharing.  
The content lived up to its potential and was shared even faster than assumed. This gave a good story to use in PR, and the 250 online articles in 46 countries further increased the engagement. 


The creative solution was to perform a stunt where the agency wanted to demonstrate an exceptional maneuvering with a trailer in reverse at high speed.  
In ordinary streets and along ordinary roads where the public should believe they observed a 100% real reverse driving with a trailer.  
In order for the illusion to be realistic, it built a trailer around a car, which it stripped for the body. This way it allowed the “trailer” to reverse with a new Passat, giving the illusion that the Passat was reversing. 
Stuntmen drove the trailer and the car and everything was recorded on video, which gave two films: One that shows the actual stunt and one behind-the-scenes film. Both produced primarily for the use in social media. 


The campaign reached the following global results initiated from a country with only five million people: 
 Created a Facebook reach of more than 55 million,   Achieved more than 28 million video views so far, 69% of these were organic.  The videos were watched in 125 different countries  Close to 1,800,000 engagements with the campaign: - 1.190.000 likes - 470.000 shares - 133.000 comments. 
 Reached 2.4 million views on YouTube, all of these were organic  The stunt was described in more than 250 online articles in more than 46 countries with more than 396 million potential readers  The campaign was launched in a post diesel gate atmosphere with a lot of negative buzz around the brand, and managed to break the negative curve  The sale of Volkswagen Passat in Norway increased 15% the following month.

Unilever | Bright Future

This week saw the roll-out of Unilever's latest film in its wider 'Bright Future' sustainability campaign, which highlights the 'social good' that its brands – including Dove, Persil and Domestos - are doing to help build a better future. 
The TV, online and in-store campaign, by Ogilvy, is running in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia, putting the spotlight on sustainability initiatives carried out by its individual brands, rather than just the corporate entity.  

“People increasingly care about how the decisions they make affect the world we live in," said Keith Wedd, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever. "Our Bright Future campaign shows people that when they buy our products they’re not just purchasing a bar of soap, they’re enabling children to live past the age of five by helping to teach handwashing; and they’re helping children access education." 
“Brands with a purpose are at the heart of Unilever and we believe that the small choices we all make every day can make a big difference to the world we live in,” he added. 
The campaign centres on a video called 'So Long Old World', featuring a young girl talking about changes happening in the world, alongside which text pops up to show exactly how Unilever's brands have contributed to that.  

Vodafone| Sunday Grannies

    October 2014 - January 2015
    McCann Erickson


    Vodafone is one of the largest mobile phone network providers in Romania, and also one of the oldest. In fact, when it launched into the market in 1997, it was the first 2G provider in the country. 
    But in 2015, Vodafone’s market share was under threat. 
    German operator Deutsche Telekom had recently entered Romania for the first time, integrating two local mobile networks to form the most powerful group in the category. To ensure immediate success, Deutsche Telekom had launched a massive above-the-line advertising campaign announcing its competitive contract offers. 
    This spelled trouble for Vodafone, which was getting ready to launch its new superfast 4G mobile smartphone contracts.  
    Without the budget of Deutsche Telekom, regular price-driven campaigns wouldn’t have been effective. Instead, UM needed a more personable message that would trade on Vodafone’s established place as one of Romania’s longest-serving mobile providers. 
    The agency's objectives were to:  
    • Re-establish Vodafone’s credentials as a customer-friendly mobile provider that empowers Romanians to stay connected with friends and loved ones • Drive sales of new Vodafone 4G phone contracts and increase usage of data. 


    Statistics show that more than four million Romanians over 75 live alone. For these lonely senior citizens who live isolated in the small apartments of urban Romania, life often feels challenging. 
    However, as the insights revealed, despite living alone, most of these old people – especially grandmothers – still try to make the most of things, by cooking large family meals on a Sunday. They don’t regularly have visitors, but it’s a tradition they just can’t bring themselves to stop – just in case their loved ones come over to visit. 
    This contrasts sharply with the habits of university students. For them, a home-cooked meal is a rare delicacy. Unhealthy fast-food and ready-made meals make up most of their diet. This gave UM an idea. 
    It would show how technology (and Vodafone’s new superfast 4G service) could fight loneliness and help people ‘Make the most of now’. If Granny’s family couldn’t join her for dinner, it would connect her with someone who could (and would really appreciate a little home-cooking): local students. 
    In line with Vodafone’s desire to celebrate ‘Romanian empowerment’ (it only uses real people in its advertising, not actors), the agency would select two real grannies and make them the face of the campaign – and Romania’s first senior citizen internet stars.  
    Using the power of Vodafone 4G internet, it would help the grannies put out a call on Vodafone’s social media channels, offering free dinner spots to the first students who responded to her message, and amplify the grannies’ social message with above the line advertising on TV, radio and outdoor.  
    In line with Vodafone’s empowerment message, it would show how Vodafone’s new superfast 4G mobile internet services could connect people and help change lives for the better. 


    Introducing: Sunday Grannies. 
    The agency identified Tanti Ani and Marcela, two ladies from Bucharest to be the face of this campaign. 
    It showed them the basics of social networks, helped them create profile pages on Facebook, and asked them to post pictures of their latest menus. UM then invited students on Facebook to visit the grannies for a free Sunday lunch.  
    As the unusual invitations began generating social buzz, UM activated the next phase of the campaign: full-spectrum ATL (above the line) activity.  
    It made a documentary showing how the lives of the two grannies had started to change and put it on TV. Soon their lonely apartment became the hottest lunch place in town. Romanian celebrities, like tennis player Simona Halep booked a seat for lunch. And even a judge from top-rated food TV show Masterchef was invited to see how the grannies’ food compared to the professionals’. 
    Asthe grannies’ recipes became more famous, Vodafone took their fame to the next level by launching they own cooking show through a series of segments integrated into Romania’s most successful morning show.  Partnering with Mega Image, the biggest food retailer in Bucharest, it even turned one of the grannies’ most popular recipes – their signature Lemon Pie – into a product consumers could buy in their local supermarket.  
    As the message spread among Romanians of all ages, UM launched a Facebook app to help other grannies across Romania organize pop-up Sunday lunches and invite people over.  


    Sunday Grannies connected the nation and turned empty houses into happy homes again. The campaign achieved over 380M media impressions, for a 99% reach. 
    The story was reported on all major Romania media outlets. Over 430,000 fans joined their Facebook page – making it the second most-popular Facebook page in Romania (after Coca-Cola).  
    The thrilling social outcome was a triple rate of Facebook adoption for seniors, from the launch of the campaign, extending to Q1 of 2015. This drove an impressive 20% increase in the total number of Facebook accounts owned by people over 65 years in Romania. 
    Moreover, Vodafone brand KPIs showed significant improvements in Simplicity (+9%) and Customer Service (+7%), attributes which were directly connected to the grannies’ demonstrations. 
    And the best bit? Sales of Vodafone’s 4G smartphone sales shot up by 79% in 2014 Q4, compared to 2013 Q4.  
    The Facebook community is still growing without paid media support, and the grannies are still cooking.

    Active Wheel | Lo Kar Lo Baat

    Active Wheel
    Hindustan Unilever
    Household Goods
    June 2015 - February 2016


      In rural India, there is an increasing trend of men having to move away from home to secure work.
      Whilst this has, in many ways, made positive in-roads towards women gaining greater influence in the running of households, it also means there are now 4.2m married Indian couples living apart in order to provide for their families.
      The only way for these couples to keep in touch is through mobile phones. And there is, of course, also the issue of how much it costs to call on a regular basis and how much of the weekly household budget would be used up. 
      Keeping in touch with the person you love is becoming, for many, an expensive luxury. (Single most important insight)


      Apart from the functional benefits of providing a clean and fragrant wash to clothes, the core of brand Wheel stands for the light and playful romance between the husband and wife. The brand catalyses and holds alive the romance between couples through various boring daily chores such as doing laundry.
      Since the Active wheel consumers are couples who are living apart and are consumed by the daily grind of making ends meet, the brand wanted to bring alive its core of kindling romance between them, by enabling easy communication hence bringing a smile on their faces.
      The idea was to elevate the ‘renewal of the product formulation’ message and make it relevant to consumers by helping them keep in touch with their partners periodically, through an easy and accessible mechanism, without sending their monthly household budgets in a tizzy no matter how far apart they were.
      Laundry detergents are one of the most penetrated categories in India and Active Wheel was ready to introduce 10 million packs in the market with the ‘new formulation’ messaging. The fact that the consumer was based in geographies with little or no access to traditional media apart from mobile phones, the product packs were more likely to reach them than any form of media, hence the go-to-market strategy for the campaign was designed to use the Active Wheel packs as the medium.


      PHD created LO KAR LO BAAT – a mobile service which offered couples a FREE three minute mobile phone

      conversation that wouldn’t use up their mobile phone currency.
      With its own packaging as the communication medium, LO KAR LO BAAT had a free-to-dial phone number on the pack with the promise of a call back mechanism from the superstar actor (and housewife favourite and the brand ambassador for Active Wheel) Salman Khan, who played cupid by acting as their personal telephone operator, connecting them to their loved one.
      What’s more, LO KAR LO BAAT is accessible to one and all, with no terms and conditions that required the caller to have even bought the product.
      The process was designed to be as simple as possible. No registration or code redemption was required.
      Once connected to a pre-recording of Khan, all the caller needed to do was read out the phone number they wanted to call and he would connect them to their loved one, with the help of a thoughtfully created voice recognition software which was developed to recognise 19 different Indian dialects, making it user friendly for the semi urban population with limited literacy levels.
      Whilst this connection was happening, a 30 second ad for Active Wheel would play on both ends of the call.


      With no purchase required, even in the least connected regions of India, news spread fast making it one of the most successful campaigns in the history of the brand, with consumers using the service even six months after the ‘packs with the campaign message’ were introduced in the market.
      The campaign used no traditional media spends, which was instead vectored to providing talktime to consumers.
      • The service connected 10 million unique phone numbers
      • Today, it continues to receive 200,000 calls PER DAY, despite the packs only appearing on shelves for three months till July 2015
      This has led to a 145% increase in Top of Mind Awareness post campaign. Sales in the market grew by 5% in the second half of 2015 which was otherwise declining by 5.3% in the second half of 2014 volume growth.
      Active Wheel had connected 10 million Indian hearts and won a place in all of their hearts. That’s how the brand created an emotional connect beyond the functional campaign message.

      Knorr| Love at First Taste

      The Netherlands 
      South Africa 
      United Kingdom 
      United States 
      April - May 2016


        There’s never been a better time to be a food brand. 
        However, as each year passes, big food becomes a little less relevant, as a new wave of food brands that better meet the heightened expectations of food lovers are stealing market share across the globe. 
        Knorr, as the biggest cooking brand in the world, had to evolve to stay relevant. 
        The first step in this progression, was to better understand the power of flavour in people’s lives.  
        PHD conducted a study amongst 12,000 people in 12 markets and what it found out intrigued and inspired... 
        The majority of people surveyed would rather give up sex, their careers, their social media profiles and even their right to vote over flavour; but even more intriguing was the importance of flavour in relationships. 
        78% of people would be more attracted to their partner if they enjoyed the same flavours. 
        One in three claim that if their partner didn’t share the same flavour palette, they would be worried about their long-term future together. 
        Flavour was more powerful than the agency thought. 


        Having discovered flavour was a key component of compatibility, the agency would use this insight to inspire an activation that would help it connect with food lovers and food culture in a more authentic, relevant and talkable manner than ever before. 
        It would explore whether someone’s flavour personality, determined by the Knorr Flavour Profiler, a digital tool PHD launched with the campaign, could ultimately help people find #LoveAtFirstTaste. 
        A social experiment, captured as a film, would spark intrigue and interest across the world, inspiring others to do the same and find out their own Knorr Flavour Profile along the way. 
        In order to give both the creative idea and the digital tools that supported it the best chance of doing the job they had been designed to do, the role for media was focused on three areas: - 
        1. Give the whole world the chance to experience #LoveAtFirstTaste - By distributing the hero film and associated edits in the newsfeeds and the viewsfeeds of food lovers across the world, it would spark conversation and desire for people to determine their own flavour profile. 
        2. Take the Knorr Flavour Profiler out of the hub and into the newsfeed - To scale the impact and efficacy of the profiler, bespoke partnerships with tech platform PlayBuzz and Social Food Juggernaut TasteMade, would natively seed the profiler and the meal inspiration that sat inside it across the open and social web, opening up new sources of attention for the brand and creating alternative routes into the profiler. 
        3. Relentlessly pursue marginal gains in distribution - synchronised media and PR launch across 12 markets within a campaign command centre at Unilever HQ, would allow the agency to understand which assets were most effective in unlocking the attention and action of audiences in each market it activated in, thus increasing the reach and resonance of the campaign for each € deployed. 


        In order to give #LoveAtFirstTaste the best chance of penetrating popular culture, the agency needed a quick start, so it synchronised PR coverage and accelerated video distribution across the largest video and social platforms on the web. 
        In a first for Twitter, PHD combined ‘First View’ with ‘Conversational Video’ cards, to pose the question as to whether people believed in #LoveAtFirstGlance or #LoveAtFirstTaste. 
        On Facebook, it reached all available ‘foodies’ across its Top 10 markets through the opening days of the command centre – dropping into the newsfeeds of over 150M people across the Globe. 
        To scale beyond the newsfeed, the agency used YouTube’s TrueView and Unruly’s emotional targeting to reach people pre-disposed to engage with the hero film. 
        Once it had reached critical mass, PHD launched bespoke media partnerships with PlayBuzz & Tastemade, to scale the impact and efficacy of the Knorr Flavour Profiler beyond the website. 
        PlayBuzz rebuilt and natively distributed the profiler via thousands of publishers across the open web, whilst Tastemade built a ‘hands-on’ recipe video series inspired by the profiler, distributed on their owned platforms, as well as by the agency to target foodies, need-states and flavour preferences across Facebook, Instagram & Twitter in firsts for the brand. 
        With all assets and activities controlled via a command centre at Unilever HQ, the agency was able to monitor and act upon the cost of distribution, the social reaction, the media’s reaction to and brand impact of a range of assets in real time, scaling optimisations globally with immediate effect. 


        #LoveAtFirstTaste captured the attention and imagination of the newsfeeds and the viewsfeeds across the globe. 
        Currently sitting at 112M views across all platforms, and topping the viral charts, not only did people engage with the story (2x audience retention for films of a similar length), it created a spark that triggered a huge social reaction in Knorr's favour, with over 2.7M social actions taking place in the first two weeks, 400K Likes and 200K shares of the main film and associated assets; with 1.87M clicking to find out their own flavour profile.  
        As anticipated, the media partnerships scaled the impact of the Knorr Flavour Profiler, with PlayBuzz doubling the volume of people engaging with it, with less than 10% of the campaign budget, whilst Tastemade’s hands-on recipe series has driven 9M views of Knorr product demos, with completion rates over 10x higher and share rates over 50x higher than typical advertising on Facebook. 
        This groundswell of interest triggered a huge reaction from the media, with the campaign receiving coverage on talkshows, radio stations, newspapers and websites across the globe, generating 1.4 billion PR impressions along the way. 
        Brand favourability is shifting where results are available: US +1500bps, France +900bps, UK +900bps… and market share increased by 140bps in May, during and immediately after the campaign. 
        Not bad for a 175 year old cooking brand.