Four good examples of social media campaigns

Earlier this month, I led judging in the social media strategy category for the 4A’s 2010 Jay Chiat Awards. A couple years ago, I assembled a list of 300+ social media marketing examples with help from dozens of contributors. This time I requested the help of some friends to judge the fourteen entries: David Armano, Joseph Jaffe, and Jeremiah Owyang.

We decided on four award winners in our category. While the voting wasn’t unanimous, one thing we all did agree on was that even the best entries were reflective of campaigns rather than sustainable strategy. On the worst end, some entries were nothing more than a Facebook group or Twitter account.

Here are the winners and some brief notes on the entries.


  • McKinney//Travelocity: “Gnome on Chatroulette” – a clever way to tie a brand into a timely cultural phenomenon. Over 40 days and nights, the Roaming Gnome generated 350,000 impressions on site, engaged in 40 conversations, and generated over 19 million total media impressions for the brand.  
  • Saatchi & Saatchi LA//Toyota Sienna: “How Mom & Dad Got Their Swagger Back” – although I’m in the target demographic (I think), I will still never buy a minivan…but I can respect the execution. The Swagger Wagon YouTube video has generated almost 7 million views and has successfully ignited consumer participation – only 3% of views have been driven by advertising.


  • Team Detroit//Ford Fiesta: “Fiesta Movement” – a campaign that most people in the social media industry have heard of, where 100 cars were loaned to 100 influencers for a year. The campaign was cited as part of Ford being named Ad Age’s Marketer of the Year. It created plenty of buzz: 31,000 pieces of original Fiesta content and 10,000 online vehicle reservations – but the jury’s still out on efficacy towards the end goal of increasing sales.  

Honorable Mention

  • RPA//Honda: “Friending Honda” – curious that three out of the four winning campaigns were for auto manufacturers. Honda launched an integrated media campaign supported by an interesting Facebook presence. The campaign increased fans from 15k to 422k, generating over 3,500 dealer quote requests. Clearly driven more by main brand idea than social strategy, but it worked.

Congratulations to these winners. Looking forward to tighter cross-channel integration, solid business goals, and meaningful measurement next year!


Join the Conversation


  1. Thanks Peter. It’s interesting how the 3 winners where all auto OEM’s, was this a category specific competition or did the winners just happen to be car companies? At any rate I’m sure there were lots of entries and as you mentioned, most are only making a run on FB or Twitter. One company that I think is doing some cool things is Threadless. I have no ties to them, but their FB page is pretty trick with thousands of lines of custom code They are in my memory the first company to really integrate ecommerce with FB in seemless way. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

    -Bryan Elliott

  2. Hi Bryan – the vertical grouping is coincidence; there were plenty of other industries in the submissions. Perhaps the budgets and planning windows happened to be bigger for auto, thus producing better results? Just a hunch, as that level of detail was not included in the evaluation materials.

    +1 Threadless

  3. Good morning Peter,
    I thought that not listing the gold medal winner here was a quasi-linkbait to get me clicking over to the site. Of course, I bit, and found the “no gold medal was awarded” conclusion.
    I have to ask… What criteria did you use to select winners?
    I was surprised to see that Wieden + Kennedy’s Old Spice Guy youtube series didn’t win anything.

  4. Hi John – there were a set of questions to consider when evaluating each submission. The judges didn’t always see eye to eye, but we were able to agree on a consensus outcome for the winners.

    Old Spice was certainly mentioned by several presenters at the conference.

  5. Interesting campaigns, Peter, and well chosen. I will be very happy when the success of social media is measured in terms of how it has moved forward the customer relationships, which I believe is one of the sweet spots for social media. Did the campaign reach out to get existing customers more engaged? Did it help them spread the word about their favorite product or brand? Did it get them to buy more/expand share of wallet?

    I know these are not easy to measure, but I truly believe we need to get past impressions and views if we are going to really show the world that social media is something different.

    Just my two cents! Great to see you blogging more again; I have been a little lax myself and am working to get back into it.

    You rock, Peter!

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