2012 in digital

Kit Kat used Facebook to get fans to decide a new flavour.

Kit Kat used Facebook to get fans to decide a new flavour.

I know everyone has been writing one of these, from Twitter’s top ten UK brands to Marketing Week’s Campaigns of the year, but in the same vein as my A Digital Summer post, I thought I’d round up the campaigns that had the biggest impact on me personally.

I’ll start by saying that I hold true to the sentiments of my summer post – I really do think @DairyMilk, @CadburyUK and @InnocentDrinks were the stars of Twitter for me. For such huge companies, their interactions gave them a personal voice and this is something that’s becoming incredibly important as is summer up nicely in this post from Communicate [Your] Skills.

On a personal level, I was particularly impressed with @TimeOutMel this year. Spending six months living in Australia gave me the chance to experience digital from both sides of the globe (Although with digital being digital I clearly could have done this from wherever I was!) and it allowed me to discover Twitter accounts who became a source of important information for me. I relied heavily upon Time Out Melbourne and Broadsheet Melbourne to find out about upcoming events and places to eat in the city and the former became a fountain of knowledge on Twitter. Their e-newsletter led me to attend plenty of free film screenings whilst a chance tweet asking for suggestions of what I should do in my final few weeks in the city resulted in them responding offering me a free meal to truly get the most of my experience. It was simple, it was personal and it was really effective in creating a positive connection between the brand and the consumer.

A look at their profile now seems as though they aren’t so interactive although there are a few retweets and mentions over the past month so there’s still hope.

Since starting my internship, I’ve spent a lot of time researching digital charity campaigns and I still remember coming across the Barnardo’s Re-Write Facebook campaign and it having a huge impact.

In regards to video, I loved Proctor & Gamble’s Thank You Mom campaign and am glad I saw it being aired on both sides of the globe. It’s a powerful video, but the supporting social media campaign only seemed to be aimed at a US audience and I’d have rather liked a more solid UK social media presence which would have really lifted the campaign for me. The US account has lots of great interactions, tweets with questions and thousands of followers but International accounts don’t always create the most personal impact – though I think this one does a pretty good job.

A better example of social media being used in the FMCG industry is Nestle’s Kit Kat Chunky Champion Campaign from the beginning of the year where Facebook fans (all 13 million of them) were invited to vote for their favourite trial Kit Kat Chunky Flavour through Facebook. Thousands of bars were given away via social media and it created a close link between the consumer and the product. Even today when I see Peanut Butter Kit Kat Chunkys on shop shelves I look at them with a geeky digital marketing fondness. And I am delighted to see the campaign has just returned for 2013 (Chocolate Fudge clearly has to win, right?)

Another social media presence I’ve really enjoyed this year has been that of Neighbours. You can knock the show all you want – I’ll commit a social media faux-pas and ignore you – but the social media presence for the show is great. The Facebook and Twitter pages are regularly updated with photos, spoilers and cast videos to keep fans in the loop. Recently there was a bit of an issue when a Tweet along the lines of “Who lives in Number 34 Ramsay Street – find out on Friday” caused a frenzy amongst the biggest fans thinking a new house was being built before the big reveal seeing a spin off web series called 34 Ramsay Street being released on Youtube. This resulted in a bit of criticism from the loyal fans who felt they’d been misled but ultimately it IS just a soap and the initial tweet fulfilled its intention of starting a discussion so I say good on them.

So that’s it. 2012 has definitely been the year I truely embrace digital as a platform for marketing and I’ve learnt so much this year. Bring on 2013. Maybe this time next year I’ll be part of a team who help create a digital presence for brands…

What were your favourite digital brands in 2012? Who needs to improve in 2013?