5 best social media campaigns 2019

5 best social media campaigns 2019

Winning on social media is tough. But never impossible. We’re looking back at the best social media campaigns 2019, to see how some of the globe’s best brands created memorable commercial marketing. With insights that you can action to drive a successful strategy in 2020.

Know the social media trends for 2020

Another year is round the corner. That means another year of planning your social media campaign ideas. A whole 366 days of trying to create the most memorable, and engaging pieces of content ever.

So get inspired with the best of the best from 2019. As we look at the most exciting, most innovative, most memorable social marketing campaigns from the last year, to help motivate you for the next.

  1. Popeyes

The first ad for Popeyes new chicken sandwich was big. But it was just a taste of things to come.

Social media campaign

New chicken sandwich


Turn product launch into a trend

Why it worked

Here’s the thing. The launch of the new Popeyes chicken sandwich didn’t start off big. Following trials at branches across the US, Popeyes launched their chicken sandwich on August 12.

For a launch tweet, the results were slim, with a modest 36.1k engagements.

But within a week, people were starting to feast on the trend. Consumers went crazy for the new chicken sandwich, with people mentioning it 1.1 million times in the week commencing August 19.

Popeyes fed the success, encouraging users to get excited by sharing user-generated content about the launch in their TV ads.

The campaign grew away from social, as Popeyes used UGC to create buzz on TV.

Within 2 weeks of launch, Popeyes had sold out. They underestimated how popular the sandwich was going to be. But that only encouraged the craze, so once they’d evaluated the situation, they were ready to launch again on Nov 3. With the relaunch tweet driving 119.2k engagement.

Best social media campaigns 2019 Popeyes Mentions

Here we can see mentions over time. With the relaunch creating vastly more mentions than the initial launch.

How do you use user-generated content?

Popeyes didn’t know how quickly the sandwich would trend. But they did know how to tap into the conversation. As well as using user-generated content, they used self-deprecating content to encourage memes. And even mocked competitors, to appear edgier. Who would have thought a chicken sandwich would be a popular Halloween costume this year.

Who are you calling chicken?

  1. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz’s new #GirlsHaveNoLimits social video.

Social media campaign



Brand purpose

Why it worked

Brands have to challenge the world in which we live. Positioning their brand in a way that drives social impact, and not just revenue. If done honestly, it can drive a lot of results, especially from the socially savvy Gen Zs.

The #GirlsHaveNoLimits social campaigns united Mercedes-Benz with Matchbox and the NGC Project, to help change the perception of girls relating to cars and STEM subjects.

Launched only last month, this video content has already driven 59.2k video views on Twitter, 5.1k views on Facebook, and 18.2k views on Instagram.

In the US, the hashtag was only responsible for around 1% of brand mentions following its launch. But this wasn’t about driving mentions. It was about changing perceptions. And that type of content can be a slow builder.

Best social media campaigns 2019 Mercedes Benz GirlsHaveNoLimits

The sentiment for the video is much higher than Mercedes’ own, showing the campaign can help drive more positive emotions for the brand.

What we can see straight away is the change in sentiment. In the week following the launch, Mercedes’ net sentiment increased by 425% from the previous week.

How to run a successful brand purpose campaign

The one thing to remember with this campaign is that it wasn’t a one off. If you want to run a successful brand purpose campaign, you must believe (and demonstrate) that purpose throughout your business. They supported similar projects in the past, such as sponsoring Glamour Women of the Year. They worked hard across all aspects of the business to say that women can love cars too.

Find a cause you’re passionate about, and drive it from the heart of your business. If you’re transparent, then any promotion you do around it will deliver success.

  1. ASOS

It all started with a bad Tinder experience, and one tweet.

Social media campaign

Consumer engagement


Engaged with viral content

Why it worked

It started with a tweet. Thea Lauryn Chippendale had a bad experience on Tinder, where one match criticized a photo because of her outfit. When she shared it on Twitter she didn’t know how viral the message would go.

Best social media campaigns 2019 ASOS Virality map

The journey of that one tweet as it went viral.

With 117k engagement, the tweet quickly got a lot of attention. With no mention of the product in the tweet or any logos in the picture, the story could have ended there. Except Thea mentioned ASOS in a follow-up tweet, and within 24 hours, ASOS dm’d with a plan.

ASOS took the story, and got the last laugh.

They included the original picture on the ASOS website, turning her into a model overnight. And the whole experience into a newsworthy story. Within days, ASOS gained 20.8k mentions with over 223k engagement.

It took little effort but the strategy won big for the brand. Not only did it drive brand share, as ASOS’ second most engaging tweet of the year, but helped drive intent to buy.

ASOS turned the tale into engaging, sales driving content.

And as Thea notes herself, it gained ASOS 67 backlinks to their product page.

How to use social listening for amazing campaign results

The key here was active listening. The brand caught the story, saw how popular it was and quickly sprung into action.

But timing was key. The conversation died out within 2 weeks of the initial post, so the fact that ASOS created an action plan and response in under 4 days allowed them to join the conversation while it was still active.

The trick to copy is to actively listen and respond quickly. You never know when your brand may be pulled into viral content, and you need to be ready to react to make the most from that content.

  1. German Rail (Deutsche Bahn)

Best social media campaigns 2019 German Rail Campaign shot

An overview of German Rail’s ‘Around the world in Germany’ campaign.

Social media campaign

Around the world in Germany


Technically powered creative

Why it worked

When it comes to the best social media campaigns, the simplest ideas are the best. And for the consumer, German Rail’s 'Around the World in Germany' campaign, produced by Ogilvy, looked simple. But underneath the images, was a complex social marketing example.

The paid ads displayed two similar pictures, one from a popular global destination, and the other, a local German destination. They were targeted on Facebook to people who had been looking to travel, and pitched with 2 price points: how much to fly to the tropical destination, and the 19 euro price tag of a rail ticket to the local equivalent.

Best social media campaigns 2019 German Rail Ad examples

2 similar destinations. 2 very different prices.

Though it’s currently difficult to measure the results on social, due to it being paid promotion, the brand claimed an 850% CTR, 6.61% conversion rate and +24% revenue. A huge lead generation success.

But better still, the originality of the campaign drove more brand promotion. As an innovative idea, it was praised by the industry, driving more press and blog mentions.

Best social media campaigns 2019 German Rail Word cloud

A Talkwalker word cloud showing the key phrases around the campaign.

The word-cloud surrounding the campaign highlights how targeted and engaging this social media marketing idea was.

How to create data-driven ads

Be creative. And be personal. These data-driven ads defined their target audience, people looking to travel, and then delivered a personalized advert that was focused on that user’s need.

You can’t replicate this precisely, but consider how you can use data effectively to really identify your specific consumers, and then use dynamic content to deliver a message that will work.

  1. SK-II

The trailer of SK-II’s series with James Corden & Chloë Grace Moretz.

Social media campaign



Celebrity endorsement

Why it worked

It can be difficult for brands to develop into new markets, especially when crossing to one with very different consumers. SK-II is a skin-care product that originates from Japan, but is slowly gaining traction in the US & the rest of the world.

How did they crack the market? By including two personalities known well in the US, James Corden and Chloë Grace Moretz. Allowing them to tap into the American market without isolating their current audience.

Best social media campaigns 2019 SK-II Share of voice

The share of voice for SK-II mentions increased dramatically for the US from pre- to post-campaign.

And it worked. Prior to the campaign, in January and February 2019, only 6.6% of brand mentions originated from the US. But following the launch, in March to June, 12.9% of mentions came from the United States.

How to use influencer marketing

Use influencer marketing. Personalities that consumers admire bring a lot more with them than a famous face. They have a fanbase, an audience that has been nurtured to enjoy the content they produce. And if that audience is relevant to you, then that can quickly pay off.

But that doesn’t mean you need to include Hollywood A-listers. Influencers can have as few as 500 hundred followers, and still get you results. In fact, these smaller influencers can have higher engagement rates, due to them having a more engaged and nurtured audience.

Get ready for successful social media campaigns

This is just a taste of some of the social media campaign examples that we loved this year. But there’s plenty more out there. Feel free to drop yours in the comments below.

And don’t forget to download the social media trends 2020 eBook, to discover all the trends that will matter next year. And how you can profit from them.

Best social media campaigns 2019 CTA