Top 10 Influential Social Media Campaigns of 2015

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December 11, 2015
Ericka Lewis Ericka Lewis

Well, well, well. It's that time of the year again folks! This year we've seen a magnanimous rise of social media use for all kinds of creative marketing campaigns. You've seen our Top 10 Influential Social Media Campaigns of 2013 list, and although we skipped a beat last year, we bring you this year's most creative and impactful social media marketing campaign.

Without further ado, here's our favorite social media marketing campaigns of 2015! 

1. Squatty Potty

Thanks to an adorable unicorn, a colorful marketing video, and an extremely creative (or weird, take your pick) concept, there's a pretty high chance you may never want to eat soft serve ice cream again -- arguably not that high of a price to pay for healthier bowel movements? Ha!

Squatty Potty shot up our most influential marketing campaigns list of this year with one o' those utterly baffling, definitely head-scratching, somewhere in between disgusting and brilliant (or brilliantly disgusting) memorable marketing videos.  

With over 10 million views since it launched about two months ago, this super viral sensation catapulted the product to #1 Best Seller in Amazon's Toilet Training Potties & Seats category. Now that ain't a sh---y (badum).

One of the biggest challenged in marketing and advertising hygiene-related products is the awkwardness of having to discuss its use. On one hand, you want to keep the attention of your audience without turning them off from tuning in, and on the other hand you have to, well... erm... market your product. The video is weird for sure, but it was undeniably pure genius.

By using a comical and a non-confrontational approach, the video enabled the company to talk to its audience about a not so "palatable" topic, if you will. Who knew you can beat awkward, by being even more... Well, awkward.

2. Save the Children's #HelpIsComing

Save The Children created one of the most powerful social media marketing campaigns of the year. In 2014, Save The Children tugged our heartstrings with one of the most powerful PSAs in recent years with the minute and a half long  "Most Shocking Second A Day" video that launched in the wake of the 3rd anniversary of the Syrian Civil War. 

Now, I'm pretty sure you remember this video (seen above). Apart from some airtime, the video blew up on social media garnering over 51,000,000 views and counting.

The organization is known for its remarkable approach -- reframing the situation in a Western light, enabling viewers to empathize  at a deeper level and delivered a riveting blow with a poignant ending line: “Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”

The well-meaning organization's brilliant use of creative influence marketing campaigns behind continued to make waves on social media this year. Using the hashtag #helpisontheway, Save the Children used compelling content amplified on social media to get attention their cause. The organization used interviews with child refugees and the help of artists like Benedict Cumberbatch and Crowded House to motivate people to give through a text campaign.

The Crowded House single "Help is Coming" was offered as a free downloadable piece from iTunes. Influential figures such as Nigella Lawson, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Ellie Goulding and Coldplay took part and shared the campaign via Facebook and Twitter. Since the campaign launched in September of this year, Google Trends indicates that searches for both "Syria" and the phrase "help is coming" have surged magnanimously, landing the mighty-hearted non-profit on our list.

3. Before I Die


Before I die is a participatory public art project that took a life of its own and garnered quite a bit of attention this year from its humble beginnings on creator Candy Chang's project on the shabby wall of an abandoned house in New Orleans.

After losing a dear loved one, Chang took to art to restore her perspective and find consolation with the help of her neighbors. Covering the dilapidated house with chalkboard paint, Chang stenciled in the line "Before I die I want to _______" and left some chalk for passers by.

Before long, the wall was filled with responses, garnering global attention almost instantaneously with shared images. 

This year, 1000 Before I Die walls have now been created in over 70 countries, including Iraq, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and South Africa. This influential campaign broke the taboo of contemplating death and discussing it in social media. It is a celebration of life that makes us all stop and think about the things that really matter to us. 

4. Epic Estonia

Ah yes, Estonia. Now let's be honest (and no offense to our good Estonian friends, we love ya!), most of us don't know anything about Estonia and probably don't know where it is on the map. Now when your job is to promote travel to a country most people aren't acquainted with, you have to be really really creative to be successful.

Enter, Epic Estonia! Unlike the typical bureaucratic travel ministry approach, when Estonia's travel ministry wanted to increase tourism, they simply took to social media and let the millennials do the talking (and the SnapChatting, and the blogging, and the Instagramming and the Facebooking, you name it) - BRILLIANT.

In a series of 90+ short and catchy videos tagged #EpicEstonia, they showcased everything from scuba diving in an underwater prison to spectacular rooftop tours given by an area chimney sweep. Each video ran around 30 seconds and is presented in a playlist, making it easy for those dreaming about exotic travel to go into virtual free-fall.

This campaign had all the makings of a well-followed travel blog, including blogs based on real experiences, real and high quality images and videos, a memorable hashtag, and a nifty Instagram meets Tumblr like website.

After clicking away in the Epic Estonia world we only have one thing to say -- Dear Estonians, your travel ministry is cool and your country is beautiful. 

Now ain't that a job well done? I think so!

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5. GoPro's Skateboarding Cat

One of the biggest and most transcendant rule of the internet is this:

"When in doubt, C-A-T."

Cats are in every corner of the internet -- lurking about, plotting world domination and whatnot. One can even argue that the fabric of the internet itself is perhaps made by cats. And this, my friends, is the exact thought that must have went through GoPro's marketing genius in a brainstorming conference room somewhere (I think lol if not, i'm sure it's close to this).

GoPro harnessed some feline charm and fur ball cuteness to appeal to the public (either that or their buyer personas are made up of mostly cat-ladies). And ladies and gents, it proved to be an utter success. The consumer-generated video earned higher engagement on Instagram than any other GoPro offering this year. Now whether this is a victory for GoPro or for cats? We will never know.

6. Burberry's Snapchat Pre-Show


Who likes spoilers? I do. Yes, my friends, I really actually do. Now whilst my friends were busy shutting me up from ruining the next chapters of Game of Thrones (read the books people), Burberry's brilliant marketing strategy was being crafted around an innate human nature -- curiosity.

While most brands (and myself) work damn hard to keep away from spilling spoilers on social media, Burberry took the opposite attack and got a whole lot of praise for it.

The fashionable company took to the digital world and happily shared their entire spring and summer line on Snapchat a day before the London Fashion Week launch. SAY WHAT?

Just when I was getting in trouble for wanting to spoil a book, Burberry was strikin' gold spoiling their London Fashion Week runway gems using the hashtag #LFW. Sure enough, the unexpected and influential social media marketing campaign generated buzz among the all-important Millennial audience, setting them apart as innovators beyond being a fashion titan.

7. Expedia's South American Getaway


It's safe to say that the travel industry and visual imagery go hand in hand. With over 400 million active Instagram users, Expedia launched a contest campaign on the social media platform and enjoyed much success.  

Hosting contests on social media is a great marketing strategy to generate massive amounts of user-generated content. Expedia ran a contest on Instagram offering a trip to Rio de Janeiro using lovely pictures to pique the interest of Instagrammers. The social media campaign did not disappoint. The travel photos evoked excitement and a sense of adventure leading to the campaign's whopping 999 score in engagement on Unmetric's platform.

8. Buzzfeed's Tasty

Launched July of this year, the creative and spunky social recipe publisher, Tasty has managed to gain over 14,000,000 Facebook followers and millions of views for every video they have posted. WOW. Now that's a badass and truly influential social media marketing campaign.

Tatsy is the brainchild of social campaign wiz, Buzzfeed. Tasty's social pages features Buzzfeed's short videos of recipe hacks and suits the average attention span of social media frequenters.

xsx Launched July of this year, the creative and spunky social recipe publisher, Tasty has managed to gain over 14,000,000 Facebook followers and millions of views for every video they have posted. WOW. Now that's a badass and truly influential social media marketing campaign

9. Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens is a tabletop game, created by a dream team that included cartoonist Matthew Inman of the Oatmeal and game designers Elan Lee and Shane Small, blew away all previous Kickstarting records.

The campaign astoundingly funded itself fully on its first day and is still the #1 most-funded game and the most-backed Kickstarter project in history.

The secret behind the quick-funding and far-reaching success lies in the bizarre, partly gross, but whimsical and entertaining is their art posted on social media, re-shared far and wide by fans of online comic strip The Oatmeal.

If the artwork from Exploding Kittens looks familiar, it could just be from a previous viral effort on the part of one of its creators. When copyright infringers threatened The Oatmeal with an expensive frivolous lawsuit, the artist responded with a $20K challenge to raise money for a cancer charity. Audiences responded to the tune of $211,223.04.

10. Presidential Hopefuls On Social Media


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Yep! How can we not put this in the list. This year, political campaigns on social media was on fire. Thanks to an upcoming and need I say, heated, Presidential election and the social media savvy masses, politicians have commandeered social media channels. 

With over 88% of Millennials using Facebook
and social media as primary sources for news,
it would simply be unwise for the political
world to ignore social media.

Now I'm not gonna say any more on this, but topic is next on my list so stay tuned to our blog! 

While it's still true that you can't force a post to go viral, there are plenty of creative methods you can explore to make your social posts much more persuasive and far more influential. Take the good stuff from these brands and I'll hopefully see you on this list next year! Peace!

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