A couple of social media marketing campaigns from Glasgow have stood out to me in the last few months. One was Scottish marketing magazine The Drum's Fauxlympics and the other was Digital Agency Equator's Social Media Geeks.
The Fauxlympics campaign was the brainchild of Drum reporter Ishbel Macleod. The idea was for agencies to come up with fabulous adverts which were Olympics themed but that they'd never be able to use in real life.
Inspired by the likes of Paddy Power and Oddbins who have pushed the boundaries of LOCOG rules, frivolity was a key element to the campaigns success. There were so many rules in place over what people could advertise during the Olympics, with 'gold', 'summer' and 'sports' amongst the words which couldn't be used it was a chance for agencies to let their imaginations run wild.
On the week of voting, which took place on Facebook; there was a 1024.18% increase in their weekly total reach, and a 260% increase in people talking about the page. One month after the voting had closed - mid-September -their weekly total reach was still 193.76% higher than it was before the competition began.
A spike in views was not the only effect of the campaign. It also led to the perhaps the best known condom maker in the world, Durex, calling Ishbel for a chat. They too liked the campaign but their legal team had worries about its implications after an ad went viral. The Army complained over an ad which defined it as the 'official supplier to the Paralympics' and several posters pulled for various reasons.
Still, the idea went global and received coverage from French, American and Canadian news websites, as well as a mention on Australian show 'Gruen Sweat'.
The second social media marketing campaign I want to talk about was created to run with Social Media Week in Glasgow.
Social media enthusiasts, particularly those who work in the field, are often referred to as 'social media geeks'. In fact various members of my family are pretty sure that is my actual job title. If you love something and get excited about it publically you tend to be called a geek (in a hopefully affectionate manner).
Geek is a term that comes with a whole set of comical stereotypes and props. Equator took the traditional geek image of tapped up glasses and used it as part of their campaign and the logo for their sponsorship of Social Media Week in Glasgow.
They took it a step further by incorporating balloon modelling and creating gigantic balloon glasses which were displayed around the city. Balloon artist Guido Verhoef explained that balloons are the ultimate celebration of the moment - which is what social media is all about, tapping into the moment and being present.
Equator also delivered all their Social Media Week presentations wearing lab coats and gave out free badges with phrases like 'RUN CMD' and 'Sex, drugs and Helvetica bold'. A competition was run for people to Tweet in photos of themselves wearing the glasses to win a pair of Ray-Bans, which are of course cool rather than geeky.
The real selling point was not just the play on words and nice hash tags - it was the inclusivity of being part of the geekhood. When we use social media in a positive way the joy is in being included and taking part.
Both campaigns were successful because both took a simple idea that could be engaged with and encouraged active participation in a fun way.
Follow Rachael Simpson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/simpsonrc