It’s a wonderful time of year: the holiday spirit, great food, friends, family… and of course, “best/worst of 2014” lists. I love these things. So in the spirit of the season, I thought I’d do my part by crowning the best and worst of social media in 2014.
The Best – The Ice Bucket Challenge
This one is easy. Somewhere in a boardroom, someone said to his or her colleagues, “hey, why don’t we ask people to dump buckets of ice water on their heads for charity.” With that, The Ice Bucket Challenge was born. In just a few months, the campaign raised an astonishing $100-million for ALS research. You’d had to of been living in a cave this summer to have missed it. Everyone from George W. Bush to your neighbour was dumping ice water buckets on their head. It was the perfect mix of crazy, great visuals and built-in viral capacity (challenging three friends to follow suit). From June 1 to September 1, Facebook users shared 17 million Ice Bucket Challenge videos—videos that were viewed an incredible 10 billion times. It raised a ton of money, a ton of awareness for ALS, and inspired social media campaigners everywhere.
Honourable mention – “Purple Your Profile” campaign
By asking people to make their Facebook profiles purple, Chevy managed to raise $1-million for the American Cancer Society—and even got other big brands like Lowes on board too. Their campaign started with a moving Super Bowl ad, and took off from there. As social media expert James Whatley notes, 2014 was the year of combining social media and traditional media. In fact, more than half of this year’s Super Bowl commercials prominently featured Twitter hashtags. Clearly, big advertisers are now seeing that you fail to harness the power of social media at your own peril.
The Worst – Tweeting from beyond the grave
It’s surprising to see Apple make the “worst” list. You’d think that their tech savvy would make them social media trendsetters. Clearly that’s what they were attempting to be when they solicited various celebrities to tweet about purchasing a new iPhone 6. One such celebrity was Joan Rivers—never shy with her opinions. The problem? Her pre-scheduled tweet was sent out AFTER she died. There are few better ways to scream inauthenticity than to have dead celebrities tweet “I just bought an iPhone!” I’m guessing someone was fired for that.
Dishonourable Mention – #cosbymeme
Simply put, if you’re going to ask millions of people to meme you, be sure you don’t have terrible skeletons in your closet.
What do you think? What were some of the best—and worst—social media campaigns of 2014?