February may have been a short month, but it delivered content in a big way: we saw Moonlight light up the Oscars with a Best Picture win after a suitably tragicomic mix-up involving La La Land, Beyoncé grace the Grammys with a phenomenal rendition of songs from Lemonade and Leicester City bid adieu to a teary Claudio Ranieri, proclaiming that his dream had “died” after a fairly toothless season from his formerly bellicose foxes.
Mirroring the pace that the world picks up, plenty’s been going on in the campaigns domain, too, from Pancake Day tweets that flipped social media norms upside down to the New York Times incurring the digital wrath of America’s overly-digital Tweeter-in-Chief.
We’ve taken a retrospective look at five of the last month’s best campaigns that got the world abuzz, online and off!
1) Coming Up: One Branded Content Record Breaker
When building a brand a persona on social media, there’s usually a degree of semblance between the channel’s tone and the company’s image. If the World Bank started tweeting in lolcats, for instance, we’d be right to be a little confused. However, February saw one company smash the performance record for branded content, with a modus operandi of doing exactly the opposite.
Denny’s describe themselves as an “America’s diner […] where guests have come for over 60 years now to sit back, relax and enjoy delicious, hearty meals”. Denny’s Twitter radically leaves behind this retro feel, operating instead in a weird, off-kilter territory that most brands would fear to tread, deftly and rapidly switching between equally hearty doses of irony and earnestness.
One of Denny’s Pancake Day tweets stunned the Internet and marketers alike, picking up over 100,000 retweets and over 150,000 likes:
zoom in on the syrup pic.twitter.com/omRBupjrXq
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) March 1, 2017
Denny’s meme-heavy content shows the importance of ensuring that you’re speaking with your audience as opposed to merely speaking to them, situating your brand within the same jokes and trends to which your customers respond.
we promise if we give you pancakes they are your pancakes and we will not take them away
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) February 27, 2017
2) Cancer Research Goes Contactless
— ThirdSector (@ThirdSector) February 2, 2017
Denny’s’ ongoing Twitter joy shows the importance of being current, staying relevant by ensuring that your brand remains in-time with the rhythms of contemporary life.
Though they’re in an entirely different field, Cancer Research have found similar success by taking a similarly progressive approach.
For this year’s World Cancer Day, the charity led a smart campaign of installing smart benches in Lewisham and Islington; these were seating areas complemented by smartphone charging docks, free internet access and a contactless donation panel that allowed people to donate £2 at a time.
— Cancer Research UK (@CR_UK) March 8, 2017
As a brand considering any type of installation, to think of simple ways in which modern technology can be integrated into the set-up is a wholly worthwhile angle to take.
3) Honda Scales New Heights with its New Civic
Honda’s advert for the newest generation of their classic Civic range arrived in the form of a breath-taking visual spectacle, presenting the remodelled vehicle through the rich metaphor of a person climbing up a mountainside. As the one minute thirty advert progresses, the camera reveals the mountain to be in the shape of a car.
Though it’s not an overly subtle image, it evokes a strong and affective sense of Honda’s timeliness as a brand, whose cars have been leaders on the road for well over fifty years. Simultaneously, the ad’s supremely high production values and sophisticated, polished camerawork balance the old with the new, evincing Honda’s long-term commitment to technological innovation.
It’s quite the far cry from Denny’s’ antics on Twitter; if their joy comes from a meticulously-crafted social channel that takes the brand out of orbit, here Honda have created an ad that matches their voice to perfection.
4) The New York Times Trumps Trump
In 2017, it’s clear that the Information Age has unfortunately spiralled into a Misinformation Age, with the biggest companies on the planet struggling to contain the rising tide of “fake news”. The New York Times have confirmed their commitment to the truth in a Droga5-led campaign titled “The Truth is Hard”, based in print media, online and in platforms such as a New York advertising board.
It’s rare for a campaign to pick up traction in the form of the attention of the President of the USA, but here it did, with President Trump remarking:
For first time the failing @nytimes will take an ad (a bad one) to help save its failing reputation. Try reporting accurately & fairly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2017
Ironically, Trump’s explosive and itinerant tweeting is likely to have dramatically increased the reach of the New York Times’ marketing!
5) Dominos Makes a Nintendo Switch
— Domino’s Pizza UK (@Dominos_UK) March 3, 2017
With the launch of the Nintendo Switch and the release of the newest addition to the Legend of Zelda saga of games, Domino’s have gone in for a slice of the action with a humorous Zelda/pizza hybrid campaign. The level of detail is relatively uncanny, right down to the pizza box shield and pizza cutter sword. It’s another great example of a brand wholly connecting with its customers’ humour and language, with the graphic picking up a highly positive response across social media channels.
by Helen Hargreave