Six successful UGC campaigns and what made them so good

Six successful UGC campaigns and what made them so good

Written by Olga Egorsheva, CEO and co-founder of Lobster.

A good marketing campaign can be the making or breaking of brands.

Get it right, and the plaudits, attention (for the right reasons) and rewards are forthcoming. Get it wrong, however, and its time and resources spent of something that has no impact.

Connection is key

It has never been so hard to strike up a connection with audiences. The days of competing for attention on radio and TV alone are long gone.

While the many mediums in today’s world might seem ideal to capture the mind of consumers, the reality is shorter attention spans.

It is no surprise, then, to see brands go down the route of user-generated content (UGC). Including the customer in the brand is one way of creating positive relationships and inclusivity.

Not everyone can just do UGC. It takes a well-thought strategy and a desire to make your audience feel like they are part of the product. Here are a selection of UGC campaigns that popped.

Getting ahead with UGC

The benefits of UGC are clear: brands incorporate inclusivity, authenticity and have the freedom to adopt a cheerful and cheeky tone of voice. It is in the inclusivity, though, where the power of UGC is best utilised.

Customers no longer what a direct a-to-b experience where they make a purchase to a faceless organisation. They want to feel part of a brand, and UGC lets their influence be felt. A two-way conversation is struck between brand and consumer.

Companies are realising that UGC isn’t solely a marketing tactic to try once a year. The marketing method is becoming an increasingly popular long-term strategy with companies all over the world.

92 percent of customers trust word of mouth over traditional advertising. As consumers become more influential, so will user generated content.

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  • 1 Share a Coke

    Share a Coke logo

    Coca-Cola harnessed the power of UGC for their “Share a Coke” campaign.

    The company saw an opportunity to grow their Twitter presence by creating Coke cans with their audiences name in place of the famous logo.

    Customers then shared pictures of themselves with the Coke can in hand across all of Coca-Cola’s social media platforms.

    The campaign ran worldwide and increased adult consumption by seven percent. Quite the feat considering revenue had been declining for the previous 10 years.


  • 2 Spotify user playlist campaign

    Spotify user playlist campaign logo

    UGC is heavily influenced by imagery, especially as pictures capture the essence of the takers’ point of view.

    However, there are other ways to convey UGC, and one those is through music - playlists to be exact.

    Music giants Spotify created a campaign to celebrate the wacky and weird playlists created by their users.

    They then used the, let’s say, unconventional titles on their billboard adverts. The idea of the campaign was to show Spotify wasn’t just a music service; it was a customisable one.

  • 3 Starwood Hotels & Resorts

    Starwood Hotels & Resorts logo

    Social media isn’t the only way to grasp the power of UGC.

    Content created by real people is just as easily displayed in traditional media and websites. Starwood hotels understood how to capitalise on UGC trends, creating a microsite in the process.

    The brand’s created “social hubs”, or in other words, microsites in which they displayed photos taken by hotel guests at their Hawaii resort.

    By getting the guests to tell the brand’s story through visuals, they sold the spirit of staying at one of the hotels in an authentic way.

  • 4 National Geographic wanderlust

    National Geographic wanderlust logo

    National Geographic’s Wanderlust campaign encouraged their audience to post photos with the #WanderlustContest hashtag.

    They also dangled the carrot of a free trip to the National Geographic photo expedition to Yosemite National Park. The photos were uploaded to their website with the caption “what makes this photo great?”

    Website visitors then had the ability to comment, like, share the photos, as well as tick a box saying they liked about it, composition, lighting, creativity, story.

    So far, the campaigns has generated over 57,000 posts, even though the competition has long finished.

  • 5 Old Spice

    Old Spice logo

    Old Spice found a unique way to utilise UGC with their “The man your man could smell like” campaign.

    Isaiah Mustafa has become well known for as the face of Old Spice, so the company used him again for their campaign.

    Mustafa responded to tweets and Facebook comments in a series of videos from fans in real time.

    The brands’ ability to respond so quickly to comments increased their social mentions online and created interest around the Old Spice product and increases sales by 11 percent.


  • 6 Tourism Queensland

    Tourism Queensland logo

    The travel and tourism industry is perhaps one of the most relatable fields for UGC.

    After all, everyone loves sharing their holiday snaps. Tourism Queensland wanted to create international awareness of the islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

    Their budget wasn’t huge, so they needed to think outside of the box.

    The campaign: they created a job for a caretaker to look after the islands for one year and asked people to submit through video applications.

    The result: $368m earned in media coverage and 55 million page views. regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.