The Top 10 Social Media Campaigns From The UK

  • Author: Lauren
  • Lauren Fisher,

The UK has hosted a series of brilliant social media campaigns over the last few years. Here's a roundup of the best campaigns to come from the region including an interactive TV ad, QR codes on the streets of Leeds and a movie voiceover to accompany your summer.

Mercedes A Class

A great example of a YouTube takeover, this time integrating with a TV ad campaign to be screened this weekend. Mercedes is letting people decide the outcome of a car chase that features the new Mercedes A Class. The ads are running over three different breaks during Saturday's X Factor, the first ad being aired earlier this month.

Viewers could tweet one of two hashtags to decide which direction the story went. The ads have also been integrated with Shazam, where people can access extra content, and the final ad will be screened today.

Belling's Tweet Pie

A cute little campaign here that shows an innovative use of Twitter while also benefiting a charity. Umpf created a campaign where it released a Twitter recipe book consisting of recipes that were just 140 characters long. The campaign made it onto CNN and also won Best Social Media Campaign at the CIPR awards 2012.

The 'twecipe' book was promoted as the shortest recipe book ever and contained recipes submitted by users.

The Orange Voiceover

Orange is consistent in providing impressive digital and social campaign case studies, and this is one of its most creative. What appeals about this campaign is the extent to which Orange was simply able to have a bit of fun and show a real innate understanding of what we want from brands in social.

In the summer of 2011, they dramatised its Twitter followers' travel plans by adding an epic movie-style voice over to people's tweets. You just had to tweet your travel plans with the hashtag #thissummer while Orange selected the best.

Kellogg's Tweet Shop

An adventurous campaign from Kellogg's here. One that involved a pop-up shop in Soho, London that leveraged social payments to a new level. It allowed people to pay for products with tweets instead of cash. What Kellogg's wanted was word of mouth so they asked its customers to send tweets plugging the brand so they could receive a pack of Kellogg's Special K crisps. Tweets were also displayed in the pop-up store, which closed on September 28th this year.

Amnesty International Time Bomb

An earlier example this time, one that promoted International Women's Day and raised awareness of abuse victims. Amnesty International co-ordinated a social media time bomb, where they asked people to send a single message at the same time to raise awareness. At 1:10 in March 2009 - timed to promote the campaign website oneten.org - people posted the message on Twitter and Facebook to ensure that the message was spread instantly. It's a great example of using the mechanics of social media without investing in a fancy app to run the campaign.

Lynx Excite

Stretching the definition of social media slightly here - as this was a real-life campaign that used new technology - but considering how quickly this also spread online, it deserves its place on the list. Lynx created a campaign using augmented reality, which ran in Victoria Station last year. Passersby could take part in the installation and 'interact' with the Lynx Angels in real-time, with some impressive results:

Foursquare Treasure Hunt

This is a great campaign that shows how luxury brands can embrace social media. In early 2010, at a time when Facebook was really starting to gain traction in the UK, Jimmy Choo decided to get in on the action by staging a treasure hunt that took place on Foursquare. They hid a pair of their lusted-after shoes in the centre of London and took people on a treasure hunt across the city by leaving clues on the app. You could track the shoes by following their check-ins until they reached the final destination. This was also Jimmy Choo's first social media campaign.

CBS #LookForLonger

If you live in London, you couldn't have escaped CBS' Twitter campaign which calls on you to 'look for longer'. The campaign features billboard ads which have been plastered across underground stations and also runs on the site lookforlonger.com.

The posters were initially run in secret by CBS, with the call to action to spot 75 tube stations within the image. By using the hashtag, friends were encouraged to help you solve the clues.

I Like It On...

Another great example of a charity campaign that uses simple mechanics to spread awareness. In October 2010, mysterious status updates with the suggestive line 'I Like It On' followed by 'the floor', 'the bed', etc.,  started appearing on females' profiles. However, it was then revealed that women were actually talking about where they like to leave their handbags. The campaign was engineered by Breast Cancer Awareness UK.

This has formed a series of campaigns for the charity, which started with asking women to leave a status update simply with the colour of their bra. The beauty of this campaign is that it really did grab your attention, resulting in strong brand awareness when the reveal was made. And it didn't cost a penny to run!

Simon On The Streets

To raise awareness of homelessness in Yorkshire last Christmas, the creative agency Propaganda created an innovative QR code campaign. They recreated homeless spots across Leeds by placing cardboard-printed QR codes among blankets, empty bottles and shopping bags. When a code was scanned, you were brought to a JustGiving page where you could support the charity Simon on the Streets.