Major Brand Thinking Out of the Box on Social Media

Today’s brands are savvy. They’re utilizing social media to handle customer service requests and to connect intimately with customers where they hang out most. But some brands are taking it to the next level, pushing the envelope on what social media can truly accomplish.

marcjacobsFashion icon Marc Jacobs recently finished up his second casting call for a new ad campaign through social media, and the results were impressive. Aspiring models were encouraged to post photos of themselves through Instagram and Twitter, using hashtag #castmemarc to become the new face of Marc by Marc Jacobs. Over 70,000 hopefuls entered during the one week casting period, eager to be part of an ad campaign for one of today’s hottest fashion brands. Eligible participants were narrowed down to the final 50, then 30, and finally nine lucky winners. Marc Jacobs got fresh new faces for their campaign, and nine aspiring models got a chance to build their careers: a win-win.

The campaign was wonderfully successful for several reasons. First, the contest was easy to understand and easy to enter. There wasn’t much complexity, or too many steps. Typically, the more challenging a contest is to enter, the more you will lose people along the way. The Marc Jacobs campaign required two steps only: post a photo of yourself, and use hashtag #castmemarc. There really isn’t much room for error, or time to lose the user’s interest.

Secondly, the prize was desirable. You can’t give away a pencil and expect tons of buzz and excitement. Marc Jacobs gave away something that was enviable for professional models and amateurs alike. Furthermore, he put professionals and amateurs on a level playing field – giving everyone a fair chance to win, and giving all participants a way to engage regardless of their level of experience. For anyone trying to break into the modeling world, this was an opportunity unlike any other.

Lastly, the campaign served multiple purposes. Of course, it gave aspiring models a platform to get in front of a major ad campaign. But it also gave Marc by Marc Jacobs something special. The brand itself tends to be a bit offbeat. It is unique and alternative, so naturally, they cast models that represent this. By opening up their casting call to the entire world of Twitter and Instagram, they are able to find models that live and breathe this lifestyle. They are opened up to a whole new world of people who embody the Marc by Marc Jacobs brand, which they most likely wouldn’t have tapped into without social media.

The #castmemarc campaign has been one of my favorites. It used the power of social media to draw people from all over the world, creating something memorable and rare, and made the brand feel more approachable as a result.

Is your brand thinking outside of the box when it comes to social media? Let us know how in the comments.