A very concrete example of how social media can be used for effective branding by big corporations is Procter and Gamble “spicing up” the advertising scenario with a release of a series of ads for their brand Old Spice, back in 2010. The videos got an astounding 140 million views on YouTube, a 2700% increase in the brand’s Twitter followers and over 1.2 million fans at the end of that year on Facebook. The 2010 end-of-year sales of Old Spice grew by double digits.
This demonstrated to the company – and the world at large – the power of social media campaigns and embraced the platform of Facebook to a greater extent after this. They opened up offices in Silicon Valley in order to focus on creating their social presence properly and make the most of all the opportunities that social networking affords any business, if utilized correctly.
By establishing its Social Media Lab, P&G has forever changed the way it communicates with its consumers. The aim is not simple marketing but an interaction with people who matter. It is precisely this understanding of the practical implications of using the available digital forums that has helped the organization to effectively come out on top.
P&G’s social footprint is not simply limited to advertising though. Their 2011 anti-bullying campaign “Mean Stinks” on Facebook for their deodorant Secret is a prime illustration. The first fifteen days of the campaign reportedly increased the number of fans by 50,000 alone, with a total of a six-figure number currently. Yet, the ball didn’t stop rolling here.
Fan engagement was increased 24 times to previous levels – a feat in itself for “likers” to go beyond clicking the Like button and actually engaging with a page dedicated to a brand. It would seem P&G has found the fabled pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: creating the perfect brand image on social media while promoting a worthy cause.
Nevertheless, an organization the size of Procter and Gamble needs to continue to “up” their game at all possible times. Their recent venture of Future Friendly seems to be the exactly what the current atmosphere ordered. Geared towards environmental sustainability, the program aims to “empower consumers to save energy, save water and reduce waste, using science [and] innovation…to share these solutions with consumers so they can realize the benefits in their own homes…”. And of course, Tweets, YouTube videos and blog posts are the main disseminating medium.
Clearly, Procter and Gamble are not running with the pack wolves, but are one stride ahead. They undoubtedly understand both the power and extent of influence of exploiting opportunities that social mediums provide. At the same time, they also seem to have grasped, fully, the fact that innovation and trend-setting is the key to being an effective social player in today’s competitive world.