The Year That Was – The Top Social Media Campaigns of 2013

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2013 has been an amazing year for social media. Platforms have taken off, trends have gone haywire and non profit organisations have taken to social media, new terms have been coined, old terms have been re-visited with Facebook changing their algorithm more times than Lady Gaga has caused an outcry. All said and done, 2013 has been a fantastic year for some social media campaigns – with fresh ideas rolling in and creativity vowing the digital spectrum.

What did 2013 bring? Too much. But to capture what stood out the most, here’s a countdown of the social media campaigns that got us talking in 2013, and will probably have us talking in 2014 too.

5. Nikon – The Warner Sound Captured

Influencer marketing is using the power of influential people to harness social media. This is an organic, new-found type of marketing that’s yet to join the mainstream. However, Nikon leveraged the power of this trust-building media tactic when it came up with The Warner Sound Captured. This campaign involved giving select fans Wi-Fi-enabled cameras to record and take photos of the three-day musical extravaganza, and instantly sharing them via social media. These attendees, though non-celebrities were great influencers due their technical expertise. The live streams of the concerts that Nikon uploaded as part of the campaign were watched for a huge 11 minutes on average – far surpassing the industry average of just two minutes.


This resulted in 166 million social impressions and created a lot of trust where fans respected Nikon’s faith in sharing its brand new cameras.

The success of this campaign arose from targeting the right influencers at the right time.

4. Oreo @ Super Bowl

This was the best spontaneous social media campaign of the year. It showed the importance of timing and recognizing and capitalizing on opportunities. Oreo tweeted “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark” during a 34 minute power outrage. This was accompanied by a picture of a cookie. The tweet capitalized on the impatience of fans. It led to 15800 retweets, 8000 new followers and generated further talk on Facebook and Instagram.

Power out? No problem.

— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013


This impulsive campaign was the brainchild of a special social media command designed to make the most of little opportunities.

The best part? They generated more buzz than all the other paid forms of advertisement at the Super Bowl.

+1 to Oreo!

 3. Starbucks – Tweet a Coffee 

Starbucks succeeded by revolutionizing e-gifting through social networking website Twitter. All one have to do was connect one’s Twitter account to their Starbucks account, tweet @tweetacoffee and their friend\’s Twitter handle, and your friend could click and add the gifted coffee to his or her Starbucks account.

Starbucks first launched this in 2011 and has extended this cool e-gifting platform to Facebook and mobile apps. They have managed to launch a seamless process that makes the online experience more shareable and personal. They also have the numbers to prove this. This has so far prompted $180,000 in purchases. What\’s great is that Starbucks has now linked 54,000 users\’ Twitter IDs to their mobile phone and customer IDs.


Though it’s still in a nascent stage, the e-gifting model of Starbucks is something that we sure have our eyes on.

2. Hashtag Killer

Do you remember #FirstWorldProblems where people tweet about how their iPhone 5 isn’t updating quickly enough? The Charity Organization Water is Life decided to kill this hashtag and raise awareness about real problems.

The campaign began with an anthem where Haitians sing about some problems that people have posted as First World problems. Their sarcastic statements include “I am sorry your leather seat wasn’t heated” will help you to put their problems in perspective.

The campaign was so successful that people donated 1 million days’ worth drinking water.

Dare we say ‘Social Media for change’?

 1. Dove’s Beauty Sketches

There is hardly anyone who’s not heard of The Dove Beauty Sketch Campaign. This campaign set out to prove that ‘A woman is her own enemy’ when it came to deciding how attractive she was. The video was a continuation of Dove’s attempt to understand and define real beauty. The three minute video has 54 million views making it the most watched video ad ever. It also has a six minute version where a forensic artist draws women based on their own descriptions and descriptions of people who have been introduced to them for the first time.

This eloquent, meaningful campaign proves once again that the power of social media campaign lies in moving beyond the product and into people’s life.

Dove drives this point home sealing the numero ono spot on our countdown for the best social media campaigns of 2013.

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