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5 of the best social media ad campaigns out there

There’s always that ad that you’ll watch, hear or see that just makes you stop in your tracks and say, “Well, (insert four letter word) that campaign is brilliant,” no matter what your place in the advertising or marketing industry.

At Wilesmith, we do some pretty incredible ads and try to maintain that transient advantage that so many people and our clients strive for by continuing to innovate. It’s the thinking that makes us different, I’m sure you’ve heard.

Now, social media is the newest medium out there for advertisers. It’s one that a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to “get” and very few actually end up getting. Note: it’s also very hard to limit this list to five, so there may be another edition of it.

Here’s our list of some of the best social media campaigns out there:

• Oreo’s Daily Twist Campaign
During a short period in 2012, Oreo came out with something that the world had pretty much never seen before – an entertaining, engaging and informative social media campaign that still managed to fully immerse itself in the product. The campaign used Oreo cookies to create important moments in history, sports, politics and music. From an Elvis Oreo to a gay pride Oreo, the cookies told a tale and made us all hungry for a little (or a lot) of those little black and white treats. Oreo then managed to blow us away again in 2013, with some serious real-time marketing at the Super Bowl when they launched their infamous “you can still dunk in the dark” Twitter ad when the power went out at the game. This ad ushered in a new way to advertise and we still see many similar ads today, though Oreo is seemingly the first to do it.

• Human Rights Campaign’s marriage equality Facebook profile photos
Facebook, which is perceived as a somewhat outdated social medium, managed to serve as a successful platform for the Human Rights Campaign in 2013 during the marriage equality discussions surrounding Proposition 8 and the Supreme Court. The red equality or equals sign logo went viral around the Internet with over 9 million people seeing the logo. This was a key way for a brand with a purpose to get the word out about a specific cause.

• NASA global selfie
Oh, the selfie. The definition of narcissim in a nutshell, yet somehow an everyday observance. If you can’t beat them, join them, I guess. This is what NASA did to incorporate the underrated holiday that is Earth Day and engage the general public. Alas, we got the “global selfie” an accumulation of 40,000 fan submitted photos from more than 100 countries to create a “globe” of photos.

• A.1. sauce rebrand
A.1. taught us marketers that there’s more to Facebook than just the day-to-day posts we see every day. Those with a link, photo, etc. A.1. for a few words has been really playing the social media game. It began in 2014, according to AdWeek, when CP+B, my former employer for the sake of transparency, created a campaign where A.1. Sauce had some “new friend requests.” They changed the name, for one, to just A.!. Original Sauce and then released an ad where the sauce “broke up” with steak and received a bunch of requests from “other foods” that were fighting for its heart. The campaign used Facebook, made it modern and attempted to attract the right demographic.

• Turnip for What
Perhaps it was just a timng issue, but before the Obama Administration there was seemingly no White House transparency when it came to social media. One of the most viral, and talked about, (but also extremely confusing and random!) campaigns of 2014 was Michelle Obama’s “#turnipforwhat” Vine post. The First Lady made a spoof on the popular Lil Jon/DJ Snake song “Turn Down For What?” in order to promote her healthy eating campaign. The first lady, essentially, danced with a turnip and received huge amounts of press for it. No matter what their initial mission was, Mrs. Obama seemingly accomplished it.


Image by mkhmarketing,, used under cc.


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