Creati/Viral Marketing Strategies

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Creative Marketing Strategies - Socks

Creative and visual content tailored for social media viewing has been the driver behind disruptive marketing of socks. Marketing strategies use social media mediums such as Facebook, social media influencers, alternative advertising such as through streaming services like Netflix and email, and creating diverse and creative content to have disruptive campaigns.



  • This Swedish company is known to create quirky socks that are sold in more than 90 countries and on every continent.
  • The founders teamed up with Facebook and Instagram for a global campaign leading up to the holiday season. They targeted people aged 18 to 65 years old in the UK, US, Australia, the Netherlands.
  • They teamed with a renowned video director, a choreographer, and a famous actor from Game of Thrones dancing in a pair of their socks lit with Christmas lights and created a video advertisement combining "festive tap dancing, slapstick comedy and nostalgic music" leading to viral success.
  • The video was optimized for mobile devices to be able to take advantage of both Instagram and Facebook news feeds and they used Facebook's Dynamic Creative Video solution to create it.
  • Standout results for the US included significant point lifts in ad recall, brand awareness, purchase intent, and $100k in incremental sales. In the UK, the campaign reached 1.2 million people, had a 39% three-second view rate, more than 750K people viewed for at least 2 seconds, and a 67% increase in purchases.
  • Facebook partner noted that the Happy Socks campaign proves the impact of inspiring much larger audiences when companies invest in videos that are optimized for news feeds and stories, and by doing so Happy Socks was able to influence more than 4 million people in the US with just one creative video, a clear example of disruptive marketing.
  • Key takeaways are to take a global approach and find strong local partnerships and to hire the right people to build a strong eCommerce presence.
  • The brand's presence has been further solidified through high-profile collaborations with a diverse group of names such as Iris Apfel, The Beatles, and Snoop Dogg and their great social influence with large numbers of followers furthered the disruptive nature of their strategy.


  • Netflix socks became a global phenomenon as a second installment of their MakeIt campaign, a series of DIY projects inspired by Netflix users' viewing habits designed to enhance the viewing experience. The success of this led to the company being awarded the Creative Use of Technology award in 2018.
  • The campaign's purpose is to demonstrate the company's commitment to innovation and relays the company's customer-centric focus and as a celebration of Netflix fan culture that has already proven disruptive to traditional media markets such as cable t.v.
  • These smart socks were created after input from social listening and user-submitted ideas, and are designed to pause the show you are viewing if you fall asleep.
  • They launched the socks during the holiday season with a short video and a partnership with Make Magazine, in addition to inviting fans to create their own socks using patterns from Netflix originals and instructions from the website. The socks went viral within days of the launch without traditional means.
  • The socks had over 1 million media impressions and appeared in 1,000 media placements. In addition to mainstream media coverage in lifestyle, entertainment, fashion, business, domestic and global news and media outlets around the world.
  • Within three weeks of launch the socks were mentioned 49 times per hour on Twitter and also had some influential media voices tweeting about the socks demonstrating the viral nature of their strategy
  • The campaign was a success as it quickly became a viral phenomenon, however marketing analysts cite that smart socks were more likely a way to earn points with the tech community while emphasizing binge watching Netflix especially as it was unlikely the socks would ever be made.


  • Bombas success was spurred by their socially-conscious purpose (they give a pair of socks to homeless shelters for every pair sold) and an appearance on an episode of Shark Tank where they were backed by Daymond John. Two months after the airing of their episode they ran out of inventory and boasted $1.2 million in sales.
  • Bombas was originally crowdfunded and raised over $140,000.
  • Daymond cites the value that consumers feel when a company is addressing a social concern, and this may explain why consumers are willing to spend the extra money for these socks and the disruptive way they have overtaken the market despite not being cheap.
  • The care and precision taking into the design are slated to have improved the quality of the socks likening the price to Starbucks' after they essentially increased the quality of coffee and thus the amount of money consumers were willing to spend on it.
  • Bombas also uses email marketing and is partnered with an Email Apptitude Team that provides them a strong foundation for selling products online and delivers relevant messages to consumers, and their efforts have seen a drop in the unsubscribe rate of 88% (2015) and monthly volume has increased by 137% year over year.


  • Stance ran a creative and memorable campaign by way of a series of Instagram carousel and link ads revealing their commitment to art and self-expression and a focus on technical innovation.
  • The campaign used "playful movie imagery and creative captions to make its Star Wars character footwear come to life" and was also endorsed by athletes performers, and cultural icons all of which had huge social media followings and contributed to the viral outcome of this campaign.
  • The campaign resulted in a 36% increase in return on ad spend and an 80% engagement on Instagram (compared to other channels) demonstrating how powerful social media influencers can lead to a campaign going viral or being considered disruptive.
  • Instagram has always been a strong medium for the company but they state it was great to see it be so successful from a direct response standpoint using just their followers and their influence on others.
  • Their campaigns target their million plus Instagram follows and social media influencers that are trusted and influence other consumers to make their marketing content go viral.


There was not much information available about sock companies and awards for marketing campaigns. In light of that, we searched for campaigns that made use of creative strategies and mediums outside of traditional television advertising and instead made use of digital and social media platforms either in the entirety of the campaign or in addition to traditional means such as television and magazines. We also looked at the types of marketing campaigns that had won awards for viral marketing campaigns and that research confirms that the most disruptive strategies are those that use social platforms such as LinkedIn campaigns and are generating record-breaking leads so we included these strategies as being creative and disruptive.
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Creative Marketing Strategies - Retail

Some creative/award-winning marketing strategies or ideas that retail companies used for viral/disruptive marketing include Coke's 'Share a Coke 1,000 Name Celebration' campaign, Old Spice's 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like' campaign, and Adidas' 'Original is Never Finished' campaign. More information on the topic has been presented below.


  • In 2017, Coca-Cola launched an improved version of its 'Share a Coke' campaign that went viral in 2011. Coca-Cola has made songs for "people with more than 1,000 of America's most popular names".
  • The goal of the campaign is to celebrate diversity in the US. There are personalized jingles or songs for more than a thousand names.
  • The campaign went viral when Coke fans started tweeting and posting about the campaign and the songs after hearing them on the radio. Then, more than one thousand jingles were recorded, produced, and shared on Share Coke.
  • This campaign is considered to be one of the most creative campaigns due to the number of awards it won and its creativity with the jingles.
  • The campaign won the Grand Prix of the Year 2018 award at Ad Stars, the Best in Discipline and Gold award at One Show, and more.


  • This was a TV advertisement that created excitement among a younger target demographic than Old Spice's usual older demographic. It was released during the 2010 Super Bowl, and it became a huge success.
  • They created a brand character called the Old Spice Man and used Isaiah Mustafa to create a stir. It was a move that was intended to appeal to the female audience and give a subtle message to men to buy Old Spice.
  • The YouTube video of the ad initially received 10 million views, and by 2018, it had received over 55 million views.
  • Mustafa, together with Wieden and Kennedy, capitalized on the 'Old Spice Man' character with an interactive video campaign where Mustafa responded to fans’ comments on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites with personalized videos.
  • Within two days, they produced 186 comedic and scripted video responses featuring Mustafa responding to fans online. These videos received almost 11 million views, with the company gaining 53,000 new Twitter followers and 29,000 Facebook fans.
  • The use of an impactful brand character called Old Spice Man, and the creative way of responding to customers using online videos within two days made this campaign very creative.
  • It is also listed as one of the most viral and wildly successful marketing campaigns of its time.


  • Adidas Originals released the third chapter of its 'Original Is Never Finished' campaign and used it to reinvent itself. The two previous videos of the campaign were recreated with a new set of creators to reinterpret the spirit.
  • The new group of creators includes Kendall Jenner, Playboi Carti, 21 Savage, Young Thug, and James Harden. While James Harden is an athlete, Playboi Carti, 21 Savage, and Young Thug are renowned rappers.
  • This campaign entails the reinventing and remixing of the iconic soundtrack of Adidas Originals called My Way by Frank Sinatra, with an aim to empower young creatives to do and make things themselves, but still be inspired by the past.
  • The campaign won the Grand Prix award in the Music category of the Entertainment Lions at Cannes, 2017.



We started the research by searching across online magazines, market research databases, marketing industry experts' websites, online influencers' websites, advertising websites, and business news websites to identify and analyze creative/award-winning marketing campaigns or ideas that retail companies used for viral/disruptive marketing. From these databases, we were able to find three creative marketing campaigns that fit the research criteria. While Coca-Cola's and Adidas' campaigns won major awards to validate their creativity and success, Old Spice's campaign showed its creativity by using an impactful brand character and responding to its customers very creatively.

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Creative Marketing Strategies - Nonretail

In the United States, some creative/award-winning marketing campaigns that non-retail companies have used for their viral marketing/disruptive marketing are National Geographic's new app campaign, Adobe's Lightroom CC campaign, and Girl Scouts of the USA campaign.



  • National Geographic partnered with Vamp to promote their new app through 13 different travel/lifestyle content creators and influencers who made inspiring and engaging content for Instagram.
  • The objective of the campaign was to create awareness about the app and "encourage users to sign up to a 30-day free trial".
  • Influencers shared their personal experiences with National Geographic with the use of high-quality images.

How it went viral




  • Adobe partnered with Vamp to raise product awareness of their new photo editing software, Lightroom CC.
  • The campaign's objective was to connect Lightroom CC with photography enthusiasts and professional photographers.
  • Through influencers who created one post for their Instagram feed, features of Adobe CC were promoted.
  • Influencers illustrated how the content and editing possibilities of their posts varied using Lightroom CC.
  • They also posted photos edited with Lightroom CC on their Instagram stories, through which they encouraged to use the “swipe up” feature in Instagram Stories.

How it went viral

  • Vamp's influencers created more than 545 posts on Instagram, which reached more than 12 million users.
  • Stories had more than 1 million views.
  • The posts had an average of 6.5% of engagement.




  • The object of this campaign was to demonstrate that Girl Scouts are change makers, risk takers, and leaders.
  • Girl Scouts collaborated with Socialfly for the PSA ideation, production, and media campaign development.
  • They shared the stories of real Girl Scouts with different personalities and backgrounds through diverse platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Hulu, Snapchat, and Spotify.

How it went viral