This week we’ll be briefly covering the John Lewis hype, looking at some interesting campaigns from brands such as Virgin Trains and Brompton Bikes, and of course covering lots more social news. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best things we’ve seen in and around social media in the past month.

Aldi trolls John Lewis over its Christmas ad

The John Lewis ad spawned an incredible amount of related content on social media, but none more positively received than Aldi’s very own spoof of the inexplicably iconic advert. 

This was a great bit of reactive marketing, and the Twittersphere was predictably cock-a-hoop about the whole thing.

The word of the year is an emoji

Not specifically a social story, but absolutely relevant given that emojis play such a huge part in the way people communicate on social media. 

Much to the jowl-shaking dismay of pompous literary types everywhere, Oxford Dictionaries selected the ‘tears of joy’ emoji as its 2015 word of the year. 

tears of joy emoji oxford dictionaries word of the year 2015

Virgin Trains launches an emoji campaign for MOBO

The corporates are using emojis. Does this make them officially not-cool now? Either way, this campaign from Virgin Trains as part of its sponsorship campaign for this year’s MOBO Awards puts them to good use. 

Virgin Trains produced an emoji for each of the nominees in the ‘best newcomer’ category and then asked people to vote online using the appropriate emoji and the hashtag #eMOBOawards.  

Win a Rolls Royce with Peperami

As part of a Facebook and Twitter crowdsourcing campaign to launch the new Peperami Roll, the mystery meat-stick brand is giving people a chance to win a Rolls Royce. 

To enter, competitors have to literally ‘show how they roll’ by submitting a video of themselves rolling sideways in different locations, using the hashtag #HowIPeperamiRoll. 

Basically it involves lots of stuff with the word ‘roll’ in it. 

Twitter launches new ‘like’ button

Twitter has been making quite a few aesthetic changes recently, from the removal of background pictures to the introduction of its arguably pointless polls. 

But last month’s change perhaps prompted the biggest reaction from the site’s users, as Twitter removed the old star-shaped ‘favourite’ button in favour of a heart-shaped ‘like’ alternative

Twitter removes share count

Another big update from Twitter was removing the share count from its tweet buttons - the ones you see at the top or bottom of articles on publisher sites. 

Twitter’s group product manager Michael Ducker said of the decision:

This count does not reflect the impact on Twitter of conversation about your content — it doesn’t count replies, quote Tweets, variants of your URLs, nor does it reflect the fact that some people Tweeting these URLs might have many more followers than others.

The count was built in a time where the only button on the web was from Twitter. Today, it’s most commonly placed among a number of other share buttons, few of which have counts.

Currys PC World brings you Barry from Eastenders

He probably has a real name. Or maybe he doesn’t. Either way, he’ll always be Barry to me.

In this wonderfully silly clip, the big man teaches a group of perplexed people how to act like they’re not bitterly disappointed this Christmas, complete with a trippy flashback to one man’s miserable day. 

Barry from eastenders currys pc world

It’s the first in a series, too, so keep an eye out for Barry’s next performance.

Brompton Bikes runs an Instagram competition

Brompton Bikes invited people to post a 15-second film on Instagram, using the hashtag #MyUnseenCity, for a chance to win a limited-edition bike. 

The judging panel is made up of film industry types, including everyone’s favourite producer of comedic gangster movies Guy Ritchie. 

brompton bikes instagram campaign

brompton bikes instagram campaign

Asda launches a Tumblr campaign

Asda has launched its first ever content marketing campaign on Tumblr, #BecauseitsChristmas, targeting blogger mums with sponsored editorial. 

Using the campaign’s three themes: ‘bringing the family together’, ‘having fun’ and ‘enjoying food’, a range of content will be released in the run-up to Christmas.

Snapchat ad campaigns now start at $100k

Some of you might still be as wide-eyed as someone looking through a sponsored selfie filter after reading that subheading, but when you consider the starting price was $700,000 a year ago the current cost is a relative bargain. 

If you want to know why brands are willing to fork out so much to advertise on the platform, check out these Snapchat stats I put together recently

Constance Hotels uses influencers to grow its Instagram following

Luxury hotel chain Constance used the power of influencers to significantly increase its Instagram following.

It partnered with seven fashion, lifestyle and travel influencers and sent each of them to a different Constance location. 

Once there, the influencers posted images of their stay using the hashtag #MyConstanceMoment and invited followers to post their own content too. 

constance hotels instagram campaign

Constance hotels instagram campaign

Facebook brings 360-degree videos to iPhone and Gear VR

Facebook is adding support for iOS and Gear VR headsets and some consumer 360-degree cameras, it announced last month.

This will open up the format to brands who want to experiment with immersive content and will likely spark a trend going into next year. 

Facebook has supported this format since September, but previously it was only available through the social network’s website or the Android app. 

Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter launch combined holiday campaign

Net-A-Porter produced this short film, which apparently represents how brilliant its customer service is. Whether you glean that from the clip or not, it does look rather lovely. 

Facebook activates ‘Safety Check’ during Paris attacks

Social media played a huge part in the wake of the tragic events in Paris, as it did in other attacks that occurred last month. 

But one course of action that drew both praise and criticism – largely because it had not been used for atrocities in other countries – was Facebook using its Safety Check feature during a non-natural disaster for the first time.  

The feature uses location-targeting to assess whether you’re near to a disaster and enables you to confirm to friends and family that you’re safe.