An Instagram Is Worth a Thousand Words
It seems it was only yesterday that Erica was telling us all about the latest Instagram competition being held by Social Media Week. Well, that was back in May… where has the summer gone?
Designed to create buzz for the upcoming conferences in 14 different host cities, the ‘Instagram Your City’ campaign ran from 1 May to 30 June. Entrants were asked to upload smartphone photos of participating cities with different filters applied, which were actually not limited to Instragram but included apps like Lightbox, StreamZoo, and Hipstamatic as well. People were entered into the contest automatically when they uploaded their photo onto Twitter with the hashtag #InstagramYourCity and the city name. During the competition, the blog presented spotlights on each city, highlighting entries and encouraging further participation.
Social Media Week seems pleased with the results, recently posting on its blog that London alone received more than a thousand entries. The organisation has also curated the photos in a new series of Pinterest boards by city, which gives an indication of the contest’s global popularity, although it’s not clear whether these are all of the entries or not.
Soon, the top photos for each location will be highlighted on the website and one overall winner will be chosen. This lucky guy or gal will then get to select a Social Media Week city to visit for the festival in September, receiving a round trip ticket and free hotel stay. The difficult choice will include Barcelona, Berlin, Bogota, Chicago, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Jeddah, London, Los Angeles, Torino, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, and Vancouver.
It looks like the places with the most photos on Pinterest are London with more than a thousand, Bogota with 872, Glasgow with 248, Chicago with 221, and Hong Kong with 182. Again, it is unclear if these are all the entries for each city, or just the ones that the Social Media Week folks thought were the best and shared on Pinterest. The collections are impressive, successfully celebrating the individuality and personality of the different places and telling a visual story that overcomes linguistic and geographic divides.
This reminds me of two other recent Instagram campaigns: ‘The Fiestagram’ run by Ford and the ‘City vs City Challenge’ from Adidas. The Fiestagram contest asked people around Europe to upload Instagram images for different themes paired with features of the new Ford Fiesta. For example, a theme called “starting” included information on the new power start button. Over the course of seven weeks, more than 16,000 photos were uploaded.
In the City vs City challenge, Adidas asked fans to upload Instagram shots reflecting their personal style incorporating the Adidas Original brand. The website effectively pitted cities against each other in a virtual fashion contest that paired two looks and asked fans to vote on their favourite. After voting, the percentage of people who “love this look” was shown, along with the numbers of votes. For example, a shot of multi-coloured trainers from Birmingham was up against black and white ankle boots from Seoul. Unfortunately for the Brits, the Seoul shot was deemed more stylish with 59 per cent of the votes.
Overall, these campaigns are great examples of clever and fun ways to engage with consumers on a more personal and emotional level. Additionally, having fans create thousands of compelling images is an innovative manner of sourcing campaign imagery that is perfect for promoting a brand on a global scale.