Throughout the course of the year, many global brands have leveraged social media to create unique digital marketing strategies and then bring them to life in the real world. Several brands that have caught my eye include BOS ice tea, Kelloggs and Coca-Cola. These brands have created successful social media campaigns’ on Twitter, Facebook and smartphone mobile apps.
BOS ice tea, a South African brand, was the world’s first Twitter activated vending machine. BOS ice tea administered the BevMax 4.45 drink for free to people who stood in front of the vending machine, tweeted at @bos, and used the hashtag #BOSTWEET4T. With the vending machine’s innovative technology, it is able to compare its location to your tweet sent from your mobile phone. It then dispenses the beverage and displays your username on the machine’s screen display. Tweet instead of pay, we like it BOS!
Kellogg’s Special K Cracker Crisps in the UK gave away free snacks to Central Londoners who tweeted during their visit to The Tweet Shop. For four days, Special K girls greeted patrons at the door and assisted them with the process. Consumers paid for goods using a “social currency,” which wasn’t new at the time, but Kellogg’s claimed that it was the first time an entire store was dedicated to the concept. Kellogg’s received a large amount of positive brand praise in the social space boosting their image.
Coca-Cola’s Bill Backer, scribbled on a napkin back in the early 1970’s that he’d like to give the world a coke. While it was technologically impossible at the time, Coca-Cola made it happen by partnering with Google to tell a story. Google was looking for a way to market itself to big advertisers by re-envisioning classic ads from the analog area to modern marketing strategies digitally. Backer’s 1971 “Hilltop” ad was reinvented and inevitably correlated with Coca-Cola’s current marketing position “Open Happiness.” The end result? A mobile app and four vending machines in four different countries: Buenos Aires, Cape Town, New York and California. The mobile app allowed users to log-in anywhere in the world and purchase a coke for a person at a vending machine. The machine would dispense a Coke for free, film the receiver’s reaction, and then send the video back to the consumer who purchased the Coke. This real-life moment meant you could give the world a coke and catch them open a can with happiness.
These global strategies show the true meaning of how leveraging social media can be beneficial to brands. The ability to share positive consumer reactions, as well as build a connection with the brand is something a historical TV ad was never capable of.