And again, I must reiterate at this point that this post is intended for keeping up to date with social advertising rather than providing examples of campaigns that delivered incredible ROI.

You can also check out similar posts from February and January of this year. 

Now, on with the show!

Honda F1

In an effort to generate some interest in F1 racing Honda has anthropomorphised two of its car engines.

Fans will be able to tweet the ‘power-units’ in Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso’s cars, or just listen to them push out these captivating messages:

In fairness some of the video content is quite interesting, but I’d be fascinated to know the ultimate goal of this campaign.

Google+ is almost dead

At the beginning of March Google announced that it was splitting Google+ into separate apps for ‘photos’ and ‘streams’.

Like most people, I’ve never been a big user of Google+ so I’ll need to familiarise myself with the network again before I can work out exactly what this means for its functionality.

But I can’t see it having a huge impact in terms of attracting new users.

Up Adidas’ Periscope

The world of social media has been set all aquiver by the battle between Meerkat and Periscope, apps that enable users to live stream video footage.

In what might go down as one of the most boring uses of either app, Adidas used Periscope to live stream the moment that footballer James Rodriguez signed up to a new sponsorship deal.

Adidas has been building a closer relationship with Twitter recently and last month used the network’s new group direct message feature to let supporters have a private chat with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.

Aer Lingus

Irish airline Aer Lingus worked with around 20 travel bloggers in a campaign to promote its new route from Dublin to New York.

The unique selling point is that passengers can do all the necessary customs paperwork in Dublin so they are classified as domestic passengers on arrival in New York, which should save on queuing time.

I’m not sure what the requirements were for the campaign, but some of the bloggers wrote about what they would do in New York while others seem to have just written a brief post begging for votes.

Either way, people could vote for their favourite blogger, then free flights and spending money were awarded to the one who scored the most votes as well as one randomly selected voter.


There was some debate over whether Penguin was aware of the double meaning of its Mother’s Day hashtag – #YourMum.

It seems fairly obvious that the publisher was aware of the additional publicity it would generate, and it worked.

Every lunchtime in the week leading up to Mother’s Day Penguin Books gave followers the chance to win a gift for their mum if they tweeted using the hashtag.

Twitter users were obviously bemused at the apparent error and began tweeting jokes in response.

Penguin claimed innocence and gathered a whole load of extra publicity.

The Dress

Remember all that hullabaloo around the dress? Was it black and blue? Was it white and gold?

Well the Salvation Army tried to make something worthwhile from that massive waste of everyone’s time.

It used the hashtag to highlight the fact that one in six women are victims of domestic violence, asking “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?”

I’m sure The Salvation Army wasn’t the only brand that tried to hijack #thedress, but really I can’t imagine any others were as worthy or impactful as this one.

Instagram video ads

Ciroc launched what it claims is the first-ever Instagram video ad campaign by an alcohol brand.

Obviously that’s not the most amazing achievement in the world, but it’s still relatively interesting in the grand scheme of digital marketing. 

The vodka brand is using three 15-second videos and two Gifs (which it tried to label as ‘cinemagraphs’) during the six-week campaign targeting 1.24m Instagram users.

Samsung #StandTall

Samsung has revealed that its #StandTall campaign generated 45,000 interactions for the Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards.

The campaign aimed to drive awareness of the stories behind the young people being honoured at the awards.

Content was posted across Samsung’s various digital and social channels, as well as a dedicated page on its website that featured videos of the finalists.

Samsung was also able to utilise its massive digital ad screens in London’s Piccadilly Circus, sharing images and stories of the young finalists.

Backstage the tech giant set up a Twitter Mirror to take photos of celebrities showing their support for the #StandTall initiative.

Overall the campaign generated:

  • 681,217 impressions.
  • 7% engagement rate versus a benchmark of 1.5%.
  • The cost per engagement was 7p, versus a predicted benchmark of 50p.

Instagram ad success

Instagram has published the results of some of the first UK ad campaigns to run on its network.

Overall the campaigns produced three times higher levels of ad recall against the Nielsen Online Ads average. 

That could obviously be due to the novelty factor of the ads, but here are the results in more detail:

John Lewis

In the run up to Christmas John Lewis created shots of its new range that were exclusive to Instagram.

The results were:

  • Ad recall: +10 point lift.
  • Purchase intent: +14 point lift among 25-34 year-olds.
  • Brand favourability: +3 point lift among 18-24 year-olds.

However it’s important to point out that Instagram’s Creative Shop worked closely with John Lewis and its ad agency, including ‘scouting locations, defining the style of photography and briefing the photographer’.

Will all advertisers be afforded this kind of treatment?

Channel 4

Channel 4 used Instagram ads to drive awareness of new series of Gogglebox and Educating the East End.

The ads were created to mirror existing trends on the photo app, so for example it created a series of ‘things organized neatly’ using props that represented the various stars of Gogglebox and asked people whom they might belong to.

Again, Channel 4 had a lot of assistance from Instagram’s ad team. 

The results were:

  • Ad recall: +19 point lift.
  • Channel association: +7 point lift.
  • Consideration to watch: +3 point lift.

Heinz ‘Grow Your Own’

Heinz has relaunched its Grow Your Own campaign for the third year in a row.

It seeks to promote Heinz Ketchup by tying it to the idea of families growing their own food together.

A campaign app on Heinz’s Tomato Ketchup Facebook page gave people the chance to win free tomato seeds, and there was also a competition to win gardening equipment.

Heinz is also encouraging people to upload photos of their own tomato-growing efforts.

It’s not only running through Facebook though, as the campaign also includes print, in-store, TV and digital activations.

This campaign continues Heinz’s reliance on Facebook for ad campaigns. We’ve previously reported on its tomato soup and baked beans social promotions.


We round off this month’s post with a look at Betfair’s Instagram gambling stunt.

During the Cheltenham Festival Instagram users could place a bet by uploading a picture of the horse they want to back using the hashtag #Instaboom.

They were then given a free £5 bet in that race at the festival.

As it turns out, #Instaboom is a very popular hashtag so it was difficult to find any shots that had horses in them, but here are two such examples: