Ten campaigns of 2012 raised the bar for social stream initiatives, by virtue of their unique adaptation to the social stream, specialized targeting, or creative approach.
Let’s jump in:
10. PBS: Downton Abbey
For PBS, Downton Abbey was a big hit with social users. People were always talking about it. Even Patton Oswalt couldn’t help live-tweeting it. Maybe that’s why the Downton Abbey Season 2 social ad campaign won such a big response with 140 Proof audiences.
Aided by interest graph targeting and exclusively focusing on native social ad units, this campaign had the highest performance (by CTR) of any campaign that ran in 2012. We doff our caps to you.
9. Alaska Airlines: Disney Dream Suite
Alaska Airlines, in a West Coast initiative in partnership with Disney, aimed to drive people in social to enter the Disney Dream Suite Sweepstakes. Disney fans could enter for a chance to win an evening’s stay in one of the most special places in the entire Disneyland Resort, the Disneyland Dream Suite, built to honor one of the dreams of Walt Disney.
Since 2011, moms and other family decision makers have taken to social in droves, so 140 Proof could offer Alaska Airlines a large audience to reach with the opportunity. The grand prize: a trip to Disneyland Resort, including a once-in-a-lifetime stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite.
8. 5 Gum: #TheSwitch
To celebrate the launch of new RPM™ flavors, 5 Gum integrated a launch campaign across multiple social platforms, most notably YouTube and Twitter. 5 Gum’s flavors emphasize duality and changeability, so they decided to help people choose music according to their tastes, too. 5 Gum sponsored #TheSwitch, a live online music event where viewers chose an artist to suit their mood. Viewers could stimulate their senses by switching between bands in real time according to their mood.
The first live session launched on March 28, and viewers were invited to select an upbeat, energizing performance from Givers, or a relaxing, soulful set from Theophilus London. Archived performances are available on YouTube.
7. Goldman Sachs: 10,000 Small Businesses
Goldman Sachs, as part of a nationwide economic recovery effort, designed its “10,000 Small Businesses” program for business owners poised for growth in selected cities across the country. 140 Proof helped amplify awareness of special content promoted by Goldman Sachs, highlighting stories of economic progress.
Participants applied for the 10,000 Small Businesses program and were selected based on involvement in their own communities and current business revenue. They were rewarded with educational seminars and peer review from investment luminaries such as Warren Buffett.
6. Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday
Rap artist Nicki Minaj is shooting for the celebrity fragrance hall of fame. Differentiating yourself in the celebrity fragrance market these days ain’t easy: stars must contend with other big names such as Katy Perry’s Purr and Lady Gaga’s Fame.
To announce the availability of Pink Friday, Minaj chose social as a primary awareness vector. 140 Proof helped Minaj reach her fans through the Blended Interest Graph, targeting fashion, celebrity, music, beauty, and urban audiences. The campaign drove to the website of partner retailer Macy’s, where fans could pick up the fragrance in its trademark pink-and-gold bottle.
5. Chevrolet: Super Bowl
The new way to run a successful Super Bowl campaign now requires more than TV. To make it in the top ten advertisers for the Super Bowl, a brand must have a social strategy.
For Chevrolet, that meant taking over the mobile, desktop, and tablet screens of automotive and sports audiences on Super Bowl Sunday to drive awareness of their TV spot. A classic Continuity strategy. It worked! Chevrolet survived the Super Bowl, just like its trucks survived the Apocalypse.
4. ESPN: Monday Night Football
The cool thing that ESPN did with Monday Night Football was turning a standard Second Screen strategy inside out: instead of running the flight during the show in order to catch people tuning into the show, they conducted time-locked, 6-hour flights encouraging people to tune into Monday Night Football.
Many media brands haven’t yet discovered that they can build up to events in social much like they do in TV media. ESPN has one of the best, most diverse media strategies in social right now, and social is a perfect space for them, too. Sports fans are highly active on social platforms and there are a lot of influencers for them to choose from when building a targetable audience.
3. Oscar Mayer: Bacon Barter
Josh Sankey had one task: cross the United States. But he also had one challenge: no money. To make his way from New York to Los Angeles, he needed to trade the only thing he had in abundance: bacon.
Oscar Mayer, seeing the potential their Butcher Thick Cut Bacon had for people nationwide, assigned Sankey the Bacon Barter assignment and promoted the journey across social, where it was most likely to be taken up by social audiences and go viral.
One thing that ordinary people do to set themselves apart in social platforms is they write great copy. That’s what Skittles set about doing here. Sample creative from the campaign: “Remember to go through life with open hands. No one can pour Skittles into a fist.”
Skittle dares to use social the way it was meant to be used. Great social creative never lasts long and isn’t a perfect brand message, but it does fit perfectly in a social context. Congratulations, Skittles.
1. IBM: US Open
To carry off the greatest paid social campaign of 2012, IBM took advantage of the Blended Interest Graph to promote its sponsorship of the US Open. IBM took 140 Proof’s powerful, standard interest graph targeting and added a twist. To reach their chosen audience of tech followers and tennis fans, they targeted the followers of influencers like IBM, Wired, Cloudera, Roger Federer, #USOpen, NBC Tennis, and the Williams sisters. Then, in an innovative expansion, they also targeted all people checking in locally at the US Open.
By using newly developed location check-in targeting, IBM reached 5,000 US Open attendees with locally-tuned messaging while conducting a larger campaign nationwide reaching fans following the event on TV.
December 14, 2012 - 5 months ago
We meet a lot of media planners (people who organize advertising campaigns on behalf of brands), because our job is to help them excel at their jobs. As we gear up for Thanksgiving, there are 5 things that we guess they might be giving thanks for this year, given all that happens in media planning.
The following is written just for media planners, with our thanks for the work they do.
1. Holiday sales radar
You and all your media planner friends are more on top of marketing news than almost anybody else. Only Best Buy, Walmart, and Gizmodo know more. So hit the Black Friday sales strategically and drop us a hint, would you?
2. More client pitchables
People say Black Friday ain’t what it used to be, what with Cyber Monday and online retailers taking over gift shoppers’ lists. But experts are also saying that brand marketers started their holiday promotions before Thanksgiving. That afforded media planners, a few lucky ones at least, some extra time to pitch longer campaigns that start before Thanksgiving (and, we expect, allow more time for adjustments and optimizations).
3. Worry-free turkey day
Maybe Thanksgiving is never entirely worry-free, depending on who’s cooking. But at least with your 140 Proof campaigns (and likely other full-service ad companies), your account manager handles campaign launches and reporting for you over Thanksgiving weekend. Unlike platforms that require you to click around for reporting and manually launch new creative, 140 Proof does it all automatically. Have a scoop of stuffing for us.
4. Gift shopping from your desk
Thanksgiving also marks the beginning of holiday schwag season. As is tradition among vendors, schwag must flow to clients as a sign of commitment and holiday love. Sometimes, it’s all bumper stickers and reusable shopping bags. But sometimes it’s REGIFTABLE schwag. Cha ching! More cash in your pocket for candy canes. And you know what? If you’re a media planner and you want to outfit your family in 140 Proof schwag, just pick out your faves and drop us a note.
5. Family braggables
It’s the high season in advertising, especially for luxury, retail, and CPG brands. That means more ads to go around for everyone. And while you’re off for a holiday and your second cousins ask you what you do for a living, you’ll have something to point at. “I did that,” you’ll say during a commercial break of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And they’ll understand.
To all our media planner friends: have an awesome Thanksgiving!
November 19, 2012 - 6 months ago
When we got our start, there wasn’t anything really resembling a “social ad” on popular social platforms, and the Facebook Like hadn’t even been invented yet. We created 140 Proof Platform and our Relevance Engine technology with Twitter as our springboard, and our partners came to us from the verdant ecosystem of Twitter apps. Some of the first publishers in our network were the most popular apps in the Twitter ecosystem, and this was a great proving ground for us.
But we knew that focusing on a single social network for data and audience wasn’t enough. Our future would grow beyond the ecosystem regime and beyond the “tweet ad” that some of our die-hard customers still love. And we have been transforming our focus all this time in a number of ways:
First, we’ve been growing 140 Proof Platform in what, as social has matured, has become a universally integrated social landscape, greater than the sum of the many social network parts. Beyond apps and tweet ads, we’ve grown our audience and network to encompass swaths of socially plugged-in digital users wherever they go. Big premium publishers, myriad flavors of smartphone games, tablet weather apps, and desktop utilities, messaging apps, browser extensions, and of course the good old website (where digital advertising got its start) are all part of the 140 Proof Media Network now.
140 Proof Platform targeting technology, audience, and data assets have evolved too. The interest graph-powered Relevance Engine that matches audiences with relevant ads was originally powered by public Twitter API data, and now it weaves public data from many social sources — including platforms like Foursquare, Tumblr, and Pinterest. The blended interest graph is larger and richer than single platforms: we draw the richest social signals from over 2 billion produced daily. It’s the full picture of global social relationships between people and their interests as defined by what they follow and like, and the content that they see. The blended interest graph allows us a more dimensional picture than any single platform can on its own. (If you’d like to learn more about the Interest Graph, read our special report.)
And third, we’ve created a rich portfolio of creative options for our customers. Our network supports rich media ads, video ads, and mobile banners, and we still do donuts in social with 140 characters of text. Your ads can go anywhere, on any device, and sometimes they auto expand into their own apps. A cruise line can present a full microsite within our audience’s favorite iPad apps, popping tantalizing galleries into view with a tap of a banner. A finance brand can bring its latest product video to people on Scribd.com browsing for articles on investing. Or, highly social CPG brands can run short, shareable messages across all screens and devices — natively just like they always have with us.
As we’ve always felt, social is everywhere, and it’s not owned by any one social network or platform. Social doesn’t even live only on apps or the “.com’s” of Silicon Valley. Social manifests itself as more than streams and feeds and even the ecosystem; it’s a layer blanketing all of our online, and increasingly offline, activity.
Sometimes people, hearing about how our scope has grown, ask us if we’ll change our name. We plan to stick with 140 Proof, to honor our deeply social roots and the social DNA in every aspect of 140 Proof Platform and the Relevance Engine. We’re excited about the course we’ve chosen into the frontier of social, and we’re delighted to have you along for the journey.
— The 140 Proof Team
November 13, 2012 - 6 months ago
Our partner outreach team has been hard at work creating goodies for the 140 Proof friends and family. We’re proud to announce that our schwag store is now open! Outfit your team with gear from the official sponsors of social advertising.
Can’t decide? Try the 140 Proof T-Shirt Gift Guide:
- For the media director, we suggest the classic “Creative, Brief.”
- For the paid social expert: the 140 Proof Lolcat.
- For the search analyst: “I’ve got Proof.”
- For the Rails developer: “You Can’t Spell Capitalism without ‘API’” (recently in TechCrunch!)
- For your laptop: stickers of all kinds, only $1.
Strapped for cash? Not to worry! Just contact your 140 Proof sales rep for the hookup.
August 15, 2012 - 9 months ago
140 Proof, the proud sponsor of social advertising, brings you the latest social news from the Olympics. Here’s the latest roundup from the world of social:
Social Dominates as the Second Screen of the Games
Social and online channels have changed the face of the Olympic Games, perhaps even more than the first televised broadcast of the Olympics in 1960. This year, thousands of hours of coverage are planned, across global and domestic TV and online streams.
Consider this: in 1996, NBC broadcast 176.5 hours of Olympics coverage.
In 2012, the Games will be covered on NBC and online channels for a total of 5,535 hours.
All that coverage means huge volumes of second screen discussion in social. The Olympic opening ceremony alone earned almost 10 million mentions from fans on Twitter. Twitter reports that Olympic tweet volume is about 100X the rate seen for Beijing in 2008. (Thanks for providing us at 140 Proof with so much targeting fodder!)
Twitter Triumphs over Facebook for Olympic Mentions, But Official Olympic Channels Win More Fans on Facebook
The Telegraph reports that overall, 97% of social media mentions of the Olympics have originated on Twitter as opposed to Facebook.
The most popular Olympic sport on Twitter (measured in mentions)? Volleyball.
However, the Facebook page for the Olympic Games has won over 3 million Likes so far, with @Olympics on Twitter winning about half that with 1.4 million followers. YouTube trails with just over 100,000 subscribers for its Official Olympic Channel, and “London 2012” on Google+ has nearly 700,000 followers.
Social Is Powerful — and When Mishandled, It Can Cut Both Ways
Some of the social frenzy over the Games has even affected athletes’ performance in the Games themselves, with Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm blaming Twitter and Facebook for affecting her focus and ultimately her performance. Seebohm won silver in the 100 meter backstroke, but late nights talking to fans on Twitter and Facebook had her believing she’d already won gold.
The popularity of social media affects athletes financially, too — athletes sponsored by brands other than official Olympic sponsors are restricted in what they can share in social during the Games (an effort by the Olympic Committee to prevent ambush marketing). The restriction, known as Rule 40, has led to online protest using the tags #WeDemandChange and #Rule40.
Social is showing its power in other ways, too: tweets are getting news people kicked off Twitter, and athletes kicked out of the games. For example, the Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristo (@papaxristoutj) was ejected from the Games for criticizing Africans via a West Nile joke in her tweet. And earlier this week, Swiss soccer defender Michael Morganella (@morgastoss) insulted Koreans in a tweet and was similarly banned.
Journalist Guy Adams (@guyadams) was not kicked out of the games, but off of Twitter itself, for including an NBC exec’s email address in a series of tweets criticizing coverage of the Olympics. (The account has since been reinstated.)
140 Proof’s Favorite Olympians to Follow
At 140 Proof, our favorite Summer Games sports are swimming, weightlifting, and track. Follow our favorite Olympians in social:
- @UsainBolt, Track, Jamaica
- @RyanLochte, Swimming, USA
- @dekker_inge, Swimming, Netherlands
- @zoepablosmith, Weightlifting, UK
Four Apps for Following the Olympics
We recommend four great apps for following the Olympics in social:
- For the fan who wants the latest updates on their number one sport, ifttt can send you a text message whenever Team USA wins a medal.
- Check out the world’s best looking factbook of the Olympics on Visual.ly, the best infographics resource on the web.
- For live updates from the Games, follow the #Olympics hashtag on Twitter.
- Connect with the official Olympics Page for Facebook updates and official media.
Bonus Material: Winning Olympic Quips
And finally, we leave you with a selection of our favorite #London2012 tweets:
August 1, 2012 - 9 months ago
We love to give our customers the spotlight at 140 Proof, and starting today we’ll be doing it every month, highlighting an innovative social ad campaign from our network. We’re pleased this month to feature Starburst® as they promote their popular, fruit-friendly brand on the 140 Proof network through a partnership with VEVO.
Wrigley, the Starburst parent brand, has taken the lead among music fans in social by sponsoring multiple music campaigns. Wrigley originated the concept of the sponsored live festival broadcast at Coachella in 2011 and, in 2012, repeated the success by building excitement around live online concerts for its campaign.
This month, Starburst® and VEVO have teamed up to bring music to social with VEVO Go Shows. VEVO Go Shows feature artists like Selena Gomez, All American Rejects, La Roux, Demi Lovato, Florence + The Machine, and others. 140 Proof music lovers are invited to enjoy free the VEVO Go Shows on Facebook, with new videos every week and behind-the-scenes scoops on the stars.
The Wrigley Starburst® campaign comes to us from our partners at Starcom Chicago. We’re honored to be working with you!
June 29, 2012 - 10 months ago
We were psyched to host our friends from Starcom Chicago at a classic matchup at Wrigley Field: Chicago Cubs vs Detroit Tigers.
The 140 Proof and Starcom crew set up shop in the skyboxes on Sheffield, and we were treated to a beautiful night and a great game.
The hashtag for the night was: #OURD (Occupy Upper Red Deck)
- Alex Birchmeir, Drew Gascon, and Stephanie Rezac (Allstate)
- Ellen Pajakowski and Kelly Woodward (US Cellular)
- Elle Cordes, Zach Zaban and Catherine Sauers (Wrigley)
- Jeffrey Wang (pictured) and Ross Boveri (ESPN)
- Daryl Blanco and Claude Palacios (Kraft)
- Allison Tesnar and Collette Trudea (Blackberry)
- Shane Doyle, 140 Proof Detroit (Go Tigers!)
- Patti Costello, 140 Proof Chicago (Go Cubbies!)
Thank you Starcom Chicago for an awesome night!
June 26, 2012 - 10 months ago
At the Cannes International Festival of Creativity 2012, Chevrolet and Goodby Silverstein were honored with the first-ever Mobile Cannes Lion for its Game Time app, which 140 Proof supported in social.
As reported in the New York Times:
The Chevy Game Time app was created to enhance second screen viewing during Super Bowl XLVI, allowing users to play games in real time and enter to win prizes, including 20 Chevys and thousands of other giveaways.
With so many ads during the Super Bowl, the Chevy Game Time app succeeded in breaking through the clutter and allowing users to experience Super Bowl Sunday in a new way. The app was the first of its kind, which makes it only fitting it earns the first-ever Mobile Cannes Lion.
140 Proof highlighted this campaign on our blog back in January when brands were gearing up for the Super Bowl. We are proud to have been invited to support this award-winning campaign.
Congratulations to Chevrolet and Goodby Silverstein & Partners!
June 25, 2012 - 10 months ago