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It's almost the end of May, which means it's time to round up some of the more noteworthy social campaigns we've seen this month.
This time around it includes Quorn, a security guard from Arcadia, Reiss, Free Tibet, Bestival and a clever video from A1 Sauce.
This isn’t really a social campaign, but it’s still an interesting example of how brands can gain great PR exposure if they react quickly to opportunities in social.
Earlier this month the Twitter hashtag #GiveGregAHoliday began trending in the UK after a security guard at the Arcadia retail group accidentally sent his holiday request to the company's 3,500 staff.
Many people were caught up in the excitement of it all (including the Econsultancy content team), and a canny tour company from the US called TrekAmerica eventually offered Greg a free trip to Las Vegas.
It was a great piece of opportunism as TrekAmerica was quick to notice the hashtag and because its offer was in context with the trend.
However, it wasn’t long before other brands tried to get in on the act. These ranged from clever offers of free holiday clothes, to pointless and cynical attempts to gain a bit of free exposure.
To find out more about the campaign, read Matt Owen’s excellent write up of the day’s events.
The Free Tibet campaign has created a range of social content to help promote its cause.
The latest video hasn’t been hugely successful, but it deserves to gain wider exposure as it’s an important issue and also because the clip pokes fun at pathetic X Factor contestants.
The group has also created a fake hotel website to raise awareness of the fact that InterContinental is building a luxury resort in Tibet to cater for Chinese tourists.
UK’s most stylish man
This campaign actually lacks any obvious social elements, but I’ve included it to highlight how major brands sometimes drop the ball.
Clothing retailer Reiss is currently running a campaign with Shortlist magazine and Remington to find the UK’s most stylish man.
Entrants have to send a full length photo of themselves in their finest attire and describe what they’re wearing and why.
Judges will pick the winner who will be rewarded with Remington product, Reiss clothes and a style shoot with Shortlist.
It’s the kind of campaign that’s crying out for social interaction, as people could share their favourite looks, vote for their friends, or nominate people.
Currently there isn’t even an associated hashtag and the social buttons share a generic link promoting the campaign rather than details of the individual entrants.
The idea behind the campaign is good, but I feel it would benefit from being more integrated with the three brands’ social channels.
Bestival ran a simple but fun competition in May that involved hiding glitterballs in cities around the UK.
It then tweeted clues as to their whereabouts and the first person to find one was rewarded with a pair of tickets to the festival in September.
As mentioned, it’s a simple campaign but one that I quite liked as it’s a decent prize and people have to actually work for it rather than just submitting and email address.
Also, Bestival has a ‘Desert Island Disco’ theme this year so the idea of finding glitterballs is a clever touch.
A1 Sauce posted YouTube video this month that used Facebook to highlight that the sauce goes with foods other than steak.
The idea was that A1 Sauce began making Facebook friends with other meat products, which damaged its relationship with steak.
It’s not necessarily a new idea, but it’s a funny clip and has been viewed almost 100,000 times in a couple of weeks. Bravo A1.
Adidas Instagram shoes
Adidas has announced a new app that allows people to put their favourite Instagram pictures onto the new ZX Flux shoes.
Admittedly it isn’t available until August so it has no business appearing in a round up for May, but the Adidas Photo Print app is a great way of allowing people to customise their shoes via a social network.
And it’s certainly more creative than the usual tactic of simply creating a Facebook app to do the job instead.
Quorn’s Facebook recipes
Vegetarian food brand Quorn has launched a social campaign that requires people to submit their own recipes ideas via a Facebook app.
There will be a prize up for grabs every fortnight with spot prizes also awarded at random. The ultimate prize is the chance to see your recipe appear in the 2015 Quorn calendar.
Quorn has more than 150,000 Facebook fans and this is a decent way of keeping them engaged, but it also seems like a sly way of grabbing a few extra ‘likes’ a in order to even view the app you have to agree to let the brand scrape all your personal data.