Top 10 Social-Savvy Agencies

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Tarah Benner
Tarah Benner



social-savvy-awardWe asked agencies to share their most compelling social stories, most “like”-able campaigns and pin-spirational brand transformations.

Many of the campaigns we chose to feature boasted impressive increases in followers, “likes” or views, but they were winners because of the story appeal that motivated users to engage, connect and care about the brands.



#FaceOff Against Hunger

Atomicdust’s #FaceOff Against Hunger campaign began with a late night at the office and a hilarious photocopied face uploaded to Facebook. The agency lured unsuspecting locals to their St. Louis office to scan their faces by donating $5 per face to local non-profit Food Outreach.

Thanks to “word of mouse” on Facebook and Twitter, the campaign gained media attention, and locals began showing up at the Atomicdust office to get their faces scanned — to hilarious, artsy (and sometimes gross) results. With the help of the community, Atomicdust raised more than $4,000 for hunger relief.

Havas, Chicago

Sauza Tequila: Make it With a Fireman

Sauza Tequila reached out to the 50 percent of tequila drinkers most brands ignore — women. To turn up the heat, Sauza featured a hunky, kitten-rescuing fireman who shows ladies how to make a perfect margarita twist. In the smart, hilarious video punctuated by snappy one-liners like, “Don’t call me a hero — just call me,” the sexy Sauza man pledges to help a lady “choose leggings or pants, tell her leggings are pants, or discuss leggings and jeggings versus pants-pegging at her next night in.”

In a few weeks, the video had 3 million views and generated more than 40 million impressions. Sauza sales for the Cinco de Mayo period grew almost 17 percent, tripling the growth of category leader Jose Cuervo.


Hunted: Byzantium Security International

Campfire launched an immersive, transmedia narrative experience to build buzz for the premier of “Hunted” — an action-packed Cinemax series from X-Files writer and executive produce Frank Spotnitz that premiered October 19, 2012.

“Hunted” captured the public’s attention with posters on Wall Street luring passers-by to Byzantium’s “corporate website” that read: “We’re not for everyone. Just the 1% that matters.” As part of the subversive campaign, Campire worked with a cognitive psychologist and a magician to develop a series of immersive psychological tests for the fictional intelligence company, Byzantium Security International. The tests led to dark secrets at the heart of the show, and each stage of the campaign had sharing components designed to drive traffic across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ incorporated with the storyline. Most importantly, the psychological tests were designed to be social by giving fans something to talk about.


Tweet to Shoot

Neiman Labs is the in-house R&D unit that seeks to understand the opportunities of tomorrow — such as the melding of the physical and virtual worlds. After experimenting with social data manipulation, engineering, automation and robotics, they developed Tweet to Shoot, a Twitter-powered Nerf gun that lets anyone anywhere in the world fire a Nerf gun in Philadelphia.

Recreating the classic Nintendo game "Duck Hunt," Neiman rigged the gun to a 12-volt power supply, combed Twitter for mentions of #tweetoshoot and streamed the experiment for two days in September. In 14 hours, more than 1,600 shots were fired using the hashtag, and 3,000 people from 42 different countries visited the site.


The Clorox Lounge

It’s not often that advertisers get to use potty humor, but that’s exactly the premise of The Clorox Lounge, a social hub created to boost interest and engagement for a historically low-interest product.

By utilizing humorous content, promotions and giveaways, Clorox increased its Facebook community by 139 percent and generated 1.4 billion impressions. Some components included a live “Last Comic Sitting” event, “Ode to the Commode” — a series of humorous Facebook conversations — and a “Game for Thrones” $10,000 bathroom remodel giveaway.

DDB New York

WATERisLIFE: #FirstWorldProblems

In partnership with WATERisLIFE, the non-profit organization that attempted to eliminate the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems, DDB NY traveled with a film crew to Haiti to film locals reading tweets about trivial “first-world problems.” Each video was retweeted to the original author of the tweet with the simple call to action: “Donate to help solve real problems.”

The campaign garnered more than 2 million views of its 60-second anthem video and received the support of multiple celebrities via Twitter.

Evolution Bureau

Juicy Fruit: Serenading Unicorn

When 120-year-old brand Wrigley made the bold decision to move its entire budget for Juicy Fruit to digital, EVB created a social campaign to revive stagnant sales that hinged entirely on the syrupy ballads of the Serenading Unicorn.

The campaign was a huge success and gained the brand 300,000 new followers. A year later, they decided to build on its success for the launch of new flavor “Juicy Secret.” The team created a playlist of supremely sharable original songs to “sweeten people’s day,” including “Sorry You Lost Your Phone,” “Thanks For Always ‘Liking’ My Status Update” and “Birthday.”

HY Connect

The Dirty Dogs Contest

HY partnered with dog shelters nationwide and asked users to “clean out America’s shelters” by submitting a picture of their dog at their dirtiest to support the launch of Wahl Clipper Corporation’s new line of pet shampoo. The goal was to grow Wahl’s Facebook community while raising awareness among dog owners and influencers at a time when dog adoption is dismally low.

Users submitted pictures of their dogs at their dirtiest to receive a free sample of Wahl’s new, all-natural dog shampoo and product coupons. Wahl also donated thousands in grants to support shelters. The contest attracted more than 400 unique entries, an 800 percent increase in “likes,” and Wahl gave a $5,000 grant to the ROAR rescue on behalf of the dog receiving the most votes.

Blast Radius

Nike/Jordan: #RiseAbove

Gearing up for London 2012, Blast Radius used Instagram to make Nike/Jordan part of the conversation with their #RiseAbove campaign. Fueled by a series of mini-documentaries on YouTube, users submitted inspirational Instagram photos documenting their basketball stories and how the game helped them “rise above” obstacles in their lives.

The #RiseAbove campaign generated more than 500,000 “likes” on Instagram and Facebook, 1.7 million YouTube views and more than 327 million impressions.

Powerhouse Factories

Shaw Floors: 30 Days of HGTV HOME

To spark conversation around a product people aren’t usually buzzing about — home flooring — Shaw Floors partnered with HGTV to run a multi-channel campaign introducing its new line. Powerhouse invited 10 influential DIY and design bloggers to an exclusive three-day event hosted by HGTV’s Lisa LaPorta, where teams were challenged to design a room from the floor up in 48 hours using HGTV HOME Flooring by Shaw as inspiration.

Shaw Floors’ Facebook community asked bloggers questions about their rooms in real time, and Shaw turned before and after footage into mini webisodes that became the focal point of “30 Days of HGTV HOME” — the centerpiece of the campaign announcing the new line. Fans voted for their favorite room makeovers and entered a daily giveaway to win a Shaw floor of their own. The contest drove more than 36,000 entries and 39,000 “likes” in 30 days.

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