There’s been a bit of drama on the social media photo-sharing front recently, hasn’t there? We didn’t spend too much time following the playground Twitter vs. Instagram “filter fight” that had tech bloggers wondering which property would come out on top or the recent outrage over new privacy policies–and we still think Instagram will be the visual branding tool of choice for the foreseeable future.
On that note, we thought we’d highlight a few successful Instagram projects from 2012 via brands that know how to do visual PR.
(Quite a few brands have great Instagram accounts, but for the purposes of this post we only considered theme-driven branding campaigns.)
Five names that stood out in 2012:
Click through for some notes on each:
- “Capture Euphoria” is a great example of a branding campaign in which content doesn’t necessarily have to relate to the product in question. While quite a few of the featured photos on the site do indeed include images of ice cream, the theme (capture what the word “euphoria” means to you) is broad enough to allow for pics of infants, puppies, mountains, etc. This particular campaign didn’t promise any prizes–and it didn’t need to. Winners’ pics were simply featured in B&J ads and on the brand’s website.
- Like the Ben & Jerry’s campaign, Ford’s promo efforts for its new Fiesta model were broad: users simply had to submit their visual interpretations of the word “fiesta” to join the running for a free car and other assorted prizes. Again, the brand clearly understood the key appeal of Instagram: encouraging users to put small, creative touches on the timeless art of photography. Prizes are nice and all, but the real appeal was seeing one’s picture featured by a big brand.
- High fashion and Instagram are a natural match–and Burberry’s decision to post photos of its 2013 runway collection before, during and after its debut show was a great way to get every interested party’s eyes on the things that matter most: the clothes. Never before have fashion addicts been able to get this close to the industry’s biggest events: the event website combined video with front-row and backstage pics to provide fans with a “3D” experience.
- Urban Outfitters may be petulant and ideologically conflicted–but the brand knows its audience and does an excellent job with targeted messaging. Its 2012 “Free People” campaign promoted its sister denim brand by playing to the vanity of its audience members, thereby crowdsourcing content in the form of personalized pics of users wearing Free People jeans. It was a brilliant way to simultaneously promote and humanize the brand.
- OK, we cheated on this last one a little bit–it started in September of 2011. But we still love it, so we decided to include it in the list anyway. Why is it so great? Because it allows brand loyalists to answer the question “What does Bergdorf Goodman mean to you?” without using any words. It also highlights the island that made the brand famous while allowing for contributions from outsiders around the US. See, Bergdorf lovers aren’t completely exclusive snobs–they just happen to be concentrated in New York City, the capitol of fashion in America!
PR pros: What do we think of these campaigns? Do we have other examples of great Instagram branding efforts from 2012?
Also of interest: Any brands looking for Instagram tools will almost certainly be intrigued by VenueSeen, the first “Instagram campaign management” software we’ve come across so far. Based on this video, it’s designed to make the entire process easier and help companies incorporate their campaigns into their websites.