Year-End Review: Top Social Media Campaigns of 2019

Social Media Wins - Notable Campaigns from 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, it can be difficult to remember which social campaigns cut through the noise to stand out from the crowd.

Take a moment to think about which social campaigns had the greatest impact on you and why. Perhaps one tugged at your heart strings or made you laugh enough to share it with others.

There are many reasons why a campaign may go viral, and no sure recipe for success, but these brands hit the mark and left a lasting impression.

1. Dove – #ShowUs

In a global study conducted by Dove, the brand found that 70% of women don’t feel represented by media and advertising images.

Images shape our perception of the world, including how we see and feel about ourselves. So when we’re inundated with imagery that perpetuates society’s narrow definition of beauty, the impact to our self-esteem and daily lives can be quite negative.

Partnering with Getty Images and Girlgaze, Dove’s latest marketing campaign sought to break down stereotypes and redefine what it means to look and feel beautiful. Created by self-identifying female and non-binary individuals, Project #ShowUs is the world’s first publicly accessible stock photo library showing women as they are, not as others believe they should be. The growing library of over 5,000 images offers a more inclusive vision of beauty to media and advertisers for use in content that reaches women globally.

2. Apple – #ShotOniPhone

It’s no surprise that Apple is a pro at advertising, but its “Shot on iPhone” campaign really stood out this year. Evolving from previous campaign iterations, Apple kicked off 2019 with a new twist – it added a challenge.

To participate in the challenge, users simply needed to post their best photo taken on an iPhone to Instagram or Twitter with the #ShotOniPhone hashtag. The ten winners selected from around the globe had their images featured on billboards in select cities, in apple retail stores, and online (and received an image licensing fee).

Implementing campaigns that feature user generated content is a creative way to increase engagement and build brand loyalty.

Below are the winning images. Follow this link to learn more about the photographers.

3. Nike – Dream Crazier

For me, one thing I remember most about February’s Academy Awards was Nike’s debut of their “Dream Crazier” ad.

As a follow-up to last year’s ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the new 90-second ad highlights powerful female athletes and tackles the gender bias women often face. Narrated by Serena Williams, the ad features sequences of female athletes who are working to push boundaries and break barriers. It encourages women to fight back against unfair gender stereotyping and follow their dreams.

The message is strong, inspiring, and memorable. A day later the ad went viral, racking up over 6 million views on YouTube and more than 28 million on Twitter.

“It’s only crazy until you do it. Just do it.”

4. Spotify – #SpotifyWrapped

Spotify kicked off its annual end-of-year “Wrapped” campaign last week, revealing listeners’ top artists, songs, podcasts, and genres. The personalized Wrapped experience has become an anticipated event, giving users the opportunity to take a deep dive into the music that shaped their year.

For the first time, Spotify let users view their Wrapped history within the mobile app instead of directing them to a website. Highlights are presented in a Stories-like fashion that auto-plays a series of animated cards. As you may have noticed, social media was flooded with images showing listeners’ yearly wrap-up. Also, as a shout out and thank you to fans, many artists associated with Spotify also shared their own Artist Wrapped stats on social.

Building on past marketing efforts, Spotify added an extra dose of nostalgia by giving listeners access to insights from the entire decade — a fun and creative way to engage listeners and draw attention to the app. Who were your top artists?

5. Aviation American Gin – New Beginnings

If your goal is to enhance social media engagement, a well-crafted humorous approach might do the trick.

After Peloton’s controversial Christmas commercial went viral in all the worst ways, Aviation Gin and brand owner Ryan Reynolds seized a timely marketing opportunity. With help from the same actress who appeared in the Peloton ad, the short :40s ad is a tongue-in-cheek sequel that tells the story of where the Peloton wife is now. 

The joke rapidly spread on Twitter, now at 9.8 million views and counting.

Do yourself a favor and watch the ad if you haven’t already.

“To new beginnings!”

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Author Colleen Hlywa is a Senior Product Manager at Cision. When she’s not working, Colleen can most likely be found at a concert or pointing at every cute dog that passes by.

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