Examples of Social Marketing – Campaigns that Moved the World

By 3 months agoLessons
examples of social marketing

Industry players have over the years come to recognize the immense power that social marketing campaigns wield. Indeed, some of the campaigns have been so good that today, they serve as solid examples of social marketing.

We have enlisted 6 of the most moving and memorable social marketing campaigns that impacted society forever bringing positive changes to communities.


Find out how the objectives gave birth to solutions and how these remarkable solutions brought amazing results based on these campaigns:

Example 1 – The #missingtype Campaign

The campaign was carried out in the first 2 weeks of 2014 for NHS Blood and Transplant.

The Campaign Objective

The campaign aimed to raise awareness amongst members of the general population on the importance of blood donation. This arose from the realization that blood supply in the blood banks had been rapidly declining in the previous 10 years. As such, there was the need to rekindle blood donors’ interest in order to safeguard future blood supply.


NHS Blood and Transplant contracted Engine, a PR company, to activate the social marketing campaign during the National Blood Week. The firm used some missing letters of the alphabet to emphasize the dire need for more blood donations.

The idea was to capture the attention of the population at this time with the aim of getting new donors to come forward. The marketing team came up with an innovative 3-phase plan that would encourage behavior change and spur the growth in donor numbers.

In addition to the traditional methods of creating awareness, the campaign used social media to target person between the ages of 17 and 25.

A teaser was made for the first phase and aim of this phase was to create the series of activities that would be used for the sensitization exercise. The PR firm relied on reputable firms in this endeavor.

The Last Phase (Momentum) ran between 8th and 14th June, during the National Blood Week per se. By this time, almost all the mainstream and social media networks were awash with the blood donation message.

For example, the Daily mirror ran all its copies with the letter A and O missing from its key headlines. This highlighted the most sought-after blood types (#MissingType).


This is one social marketing example that has received impressive results. The media blitz reached over 2 billion people from all parts of the UK and the registration of new donors rose by close to 47%, of which the 17-25 year-olds accounted for 18,000 people.

The campaign attracted the support of key influencers. F. 26,000 mentions of #MissingType took place on Twitter over this period. NHS Blood & Transplant has never broken this record in a media campaign since then.

Most importantly, experts estimate that the news donors donated blood with the potential to save over 120,000 lives.


Example 2 – Know The Signs Campaign

The Campaign Objective

This social marketing campaign is run by the SPRC of the US. SPRC intends to sensitize health care professionals, suicide prevention practitioners, journalists, policymakers and other stakeholders on how best to tackle suicide-related concerns.

The issue of suicidal behavior has been on the rise in the recent past. In fact, studies show that the suicide rate in the United States has outstripped the rate of homicides.

From 2000, the rate of suicide rose consistently from 10.43 per 100,000 to settle at 13.92 in 2016. The study showed that incidences of suicide were higher among the males than females. In addition, it was more prevalent in the towns/cities than rural areas.


SPRC advocates the use of a comprehensive approach to identify people at risk of suicide and provide intervention measures for them.

This calls for the involvement of colleagues, friends, family, teachers and any other person who plays an important role in the potential victim’s life.

The campaign helps to sensitize all stakeholders on a three-pronged approach:

    • Suicide Risk – Healthcare professionals can play an instrumental in identifying persons at risk of suicide. They should have the resources necessary to provide adequate measures if the person turns positive for suicide risk.
    • Assistance Provision – This involves building mechanisms that offer help for persons who have a high suicide risk. Such mechanisms include clinical care, treatment, and crisis response.
    • Taking the Right Action – The campaign aims to sensitize stakeholders on the right kind of action to take in response to a suicide risk. This involves educating other members of the potential victim’s circle on suicide warning signs, risk factors, and appropriate intervention measures.


The campaign has had a remarkable impact on its target audience. Among its more noticeable effect is that caregivers have access to a set of consistent tools for intervention whenever they encounter suicidal cases.

A system of connecting people to support from peers is created and survivors of attempted suicide can now join programs that foster hope and make it comfortable for them to open up and speak about their problem.

This community contributed to keeping patients safeguarded against discrimination, shame, and stigma. And the stakeholders are aware of how to provide timely support and care.


Example 3 – Like a Girl Campaign 

The Campaign Objective

The issue of periods has been a thorny one for girls the world over. They are associated with pain, discomfort and a myriad of other complications.

They are part of a woman’s femininity, yet nobody wants to be associated with them. With communication on the use of sanitary pads remaining relatively muted, some leading brands started losing their market to new entrants.

Always was not spared in this. They realized that they had lost a chunk of their 15-25 year-olds market to competitors. This was serious, considering that this market tends to stick with brands once they make an emotional connection. Always required a strong, lasting solution to this problem.


The solution came in the form of ’Like a Girl Campaign’’. The campaign aimed to attach an emotional appeal to the use of the product.

Before this, Always relied on a more logical and physical proposition to sell. They communicated the use of the product with ’confidence’’. However, the young buyers were rejecting this and Always needed a new strategy.

To create the right perception in the buyer’s mind, the company first had to understand the self-perception of the young girls. Through a series of experiments, the company was convinced that they valued their girlhood’.

The experiment showed that the girls were confident, proud and self-assured of their status. This was contrary to popular stereotypical thinking, in which girls were seen to be childish and useless.

With this in mind, Always undertook a massive #LikeAGirl campaign. Their experiments had shown that this kind of campaign would resonate well with their target market (15-25-year-old girls).

The company chose YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter as the main vehicles for the campaign. Again, this was a plus as the young ladies would interact well with these platforms. To cap it all, they made a 1-minute #LikeAGirl video that was played during the Super Bowl of 2015.


This social marketing example had a massive societal influence. The #LikeAGirl campaign has found its way into thousands of school programs.

The video has received over 90 million views on YouTube alone where the Always YouTube subscription grew by over 4,000% following the launch of this campaign.

Influencers such as UN and celebrities used the #LikeAGirl in March of 2015. This reaffirmed the term like a girl’ as a symbol of women emancipation globally.

Example 4 – Toms ’ One for One’’ Campaign

The Campaign Objective

Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, has been hailed as a big entrepreneur with a big heart. A trip that he took in 2006 to Argentina changed his life –and that of thousands of deprived children – for good.

He noticed that a number of the children he encountered here were very poor. They could not afford shoes. As a result, their lives were miserable. Greatly touched by what he had witnessed, Mycoskie decided to look for a solution.


Mycoskie brought a twist to the marketing concept of ’Buy One, Get One’’. Unlike the conventional ’BOGO’’ where the buyer would be given the second item, he decided to donate every second pair of shoes to a poor child somewhere in the world.

This idea quickly caught on. People were impressed by the idea that if they bought a pair of shoes from TOMS Shoes, a poor child somewhere would benefit.

The company was fast to harness the power of social media to drive its campaign. In addition, he worked with AT&T in 2009 to make a commercial that was massively successful.

This helped to further catapult his business concept to loftier heights. More customers flocked to his shops for a chance to contribute to charity. In fact, the business did so well that he was able to extend the same concept to his other businesses.


Close to 40 million pairs of shoes have been donated to children from all corners of the globe and poor children can now avoid diseases like bilharzia.

The success of the shoe business has expanded to other products manufactured by Mycoskie’s firms, including TOMS Eyewear. Many people got an avenue to contribute to charity. By buying TOMS Shoes, a similar item would be donated to a needy child.


Example 5 – The Fearless Girl Campaign

The Campaign Objective

The statue of The Fearless Girl was installed in the Wall Street by McCann New York on behalf of State Street Global Advisors (SSGA). The statue was erected facing the famous statue of the Charging Bull.

Within a short period, the statue of the Fearless Girl had become a global household name. SSGA intended to use this marketing campaign to create awareness on the need to include women in their board of management. They felt that women were grossly under-represented in the decision-making, top-tier levels of many companies.


SSGA chose the first anniversary of their SHE FUND to pull out this marketing stunt. The SHE FUND is used only in organizations where women are well represented in the top-tier management.

As such, this was a statement for women empowerment. This social marketing campaign was so creative that SSGA was able to make major milestones that would otherwise have not been possible.


Within 12 hours, the statue had received over 1 billion impressions on Twitter. Within 3 months, it had garnered over 4.5 billion Twitter impressions.

And most importantly within the same period, over 40,000 citizens had signed a petition in support of the course it represented. Of the 500 companies that SSGA had in mind, about 80 of them immediately put in place policy measures to elevate women to leadership positions.


Example 6 – Perceptions of Perfection Campaign

The Campaign Objective

Superdrug.com was concerned with the rising cases of women who were concerned with negative body image perceptions. Following a study, the company noted that many women were not aware of the resources they needed to use to resolve the perceptions. Superdrug.com was very much alive to the fact that the issue of body image is a sensitive one. As such, they needed to handle the matter with a lot of care.


The company undertook an intensive social marketing campaign that involved designers from about 20 countries around the globe. The designers were each given photos of the same model. They were to Photoshop these models, and make an alteration of their body specifications so that they could produce the most attractive photos based on the beauty standards of the designer’s country.


The campaign achieved over 1.2 million shares within the first 5 days after the results were published. The results from these activities proved one thing –beauty standards differ across geographical regions. Numerous celebrities from all continents endorsed the campaign and it achieved over 600 placements on sites like The Huffington and Buzzfeed.


Social marketing campaigns can alter the way your audience perceives your products and services if it is done well. Studies have shown that campaigns that appeal to human emotions invariably perform better than those that do not.

The contribution of social marketing campaigns for the greater good and the bulletproof image that they create position companies in the summits of their success.

We hope to have given enough proof to encourage you to start planning your future social marketing success. We sure hope for more moving campaigns that will be worth studying and sharing.

Rilind Elezaj

Rilind Elezaj

A digital marketing specialist with tons of knowledge in SEO.