4 Renegade Social Media Campaigns That Won Big… And How You Can Steal Their Street Cred

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When it comes to marketing, social media has completely revolutionized the industry and made staying ahead of the curve a whole lot easier… and a whole lot harder all at once. Coming out on top today means being wildly innovative and daring to be the quirky oddball – even when being the quirky oddball could come back to bite you in the ass. From fast food giants to small potatoes, here are 4 rebel companies whose campaigns made waves or got banned, made sales or big news, and almost broke the internet… almost.

Burger Kind and The Whopper Sacrifice

Remember this little gem? When Burger King asked us to “Sacrifice ten Facebook friends and get a free Whopper” … it was truly uncanny how many of us became disposable. This marketing move was smart – incredibly smart. Not only did Burger King bring to light the fact that many of us keep “vanity friends” on our Facebook friends list, but they also created enough viral buzz from this short-lived campaign to give away 20,000 free Whoppers in only 10 days. The drama that Whopper Sacrifice caused wasn’t just limited to our friendships or lack thereof… Facebook claimed that the app violated its terms of service and sent it packing on its way to that big Whopper sacrifice in the sky.

Snag the Street Cred:

  • Create simple calls-to-action.

  • Take risks.

Office Depot’s Elf Yourself

Not only was the title a clever tongue-in-cheek crafting of wordplay at its finest, Elf Yourself became an instant viral hit that still lives on to this day. The premise? Cast yourself, family and friends in a live-action, musical Christmas greeting. People lined up from all over the internet for a chance to use Elf Yourself and now, each year, Office Depot adds new spins on its cult classic. Shared and re-shared millions of times, Elf Yourself gave Office Depot a claim to fame that had nothing to do with fax machines and office garb… and everything to do with marketing themselves as a fun, likable company who is now instantaneously recognized for its connections with Christmas, the biggest sales period of the year.

 Snag the Street Cred:

  • Create a tradition.

  • Know it is not always about the products, but your brand image.

Queensland Board of Tourism and The Best Job in the World

“Queensland? Where’s that again?” Few people will ever ask that question again thanks to the Queensland Board of Tourism’s very, very clever social media marketing campaign that began as job postings and want-ads. The premise? The hired applicant would receive 150,000 dollars for only 6-months work and beachside surroundings to boot. 34,000 people applied from more than 200 different countries. Plot twist… the winner is still the official ambassador of Queensland tourism and almost everyone knows where Queensland is.

Snag the Street Cred:

  • Don’t be a bore. Be unique.

 The Blair Witch Project

You might call this movie crew among the first of truly rebel social marketers. We all remember watching our TVs with horror as commercials for this blockbuster-hit played in the background wondering “Is this real?” Hollywood made this look SO eerily realistic because they kept the budget small and the backdoor open for rumors, rumors that it planted, to make this movie look like your worst nightmare incarnate. From throwback chat rooms to news feeds, people were talking about those poor, unfortunate filmmakers lost in the woods who happened upon something truly evil in real life. I guess our cue should have been “filmmakers”. Nevertheless, The Blair Witch Project raked in $250 million dollars on nothing more than rumors, chump change and a shoddy camera.

Steal the Street Cred:

  • The brand story is going strong… be a storyteller!

  • You don’t have to have big bucks to have a big hit.

Not only does a renegade social media campaign get you noticed, it can also boost your SEO efforts and put that extra cherry on top of everything you are already working so hard to achieve. Contact us today to find out how we can help you to go rogue, get noticed and see results.

To learn more about what goes into making stand-out social media campaign give us a call or send us a note today! 

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