Entrepreneur magazine features Playworld Systems marketing campaign

How These 10 Marketing Campaigns Became Viral Hits

Entrepreneur Magazine

April 23, 2014

By Jason Ankeny

 

Getting your brand noticed via social media grows more difficult with each passing day. Users upload 100 hours of video to YouTube every 60 seconds and share more than 4.75 billion pieces of content on Facebook every 24 hours. Add to that 500 million new tweets per day, and the chances of breaking through to a wider audience can seem virtually nonexistent.

But smart, savvy companies of all sizes are still exploding into the mainstream consciousness by creating campaigns that compel consumers to share content with their social graphs. Some campaigns are hilarious; others are heartbreaking. But all contain triggers that get people talking, says Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the bestseller Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

"Emotion is one factor that drives sharing. We see lots of funny stuff go viral on YouTube, but we also see angry political rants get shared," Berger says. "Any emotion that fires us up--humor, awe and excitement, but also anger and anxiety--drives us to share."

Social media is also the great equalizer: Any company can cut through the clutter, regardless of brand awareness or marketing budget. All it takes is a clever idea and skillful execution. These 10 campaigns are proof.

Playworld Systems

Context through a contest

Playground and fitness equipment manufacturer Playworld Systems jumped into the social media sandbox with "Write to Play," giving away two commercial playgrounds through its Facebook page. The contest required entrants to complete an online form with a brief essay explaining why they hoped to "bring play" to their communities and a photo depicting where they thought the playground should be installed.

After Playworld selected six finalists, consumers who "liked" the company's Facebook page were able to vote for the community or school they considered most deserving; Parker's Woods park in Mason City, Iowa, and St. Norbert School in Northbrook, Ill., were the winners.

"Write to Play" heralded Playworld's first-ever social media giveaway, and the results are impressive: Not only did its Facebook fan base increase from 600 to more than 9,000 during the two months the contest ran, but as finalists rallied to gain community support for their campaigns, many local news outlets reported on their efforts, earning Playworld significant free publicity in the process.

 

Read the full article here.