Aimee Millwood
Director of Content at Yotpo
February 26th, 2015

Get Inspired by Absolutely Amazing UGC Marketing Campaigns

Looking for a way to freshen up your marketing strategy with user-generated content? Or are you just getting your feet wet in marketing with UGC and aren’t quite sure where to start?

Table Of Contents

Have no fear – we’ve collected the top 3 user-generated content examples so you can look to the experts for inspiration. These success stories offer valuable strategies that can power up any campaign and drive results.

1) ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’s Viral Charity Campaign

Why it rocked: You can’t talk about viral marketing campaigns without thinking of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The campaign was everywhere, storming our social media newsfeeds for months with videos of friends, co-workers, celebrities, and pretty much anyone with a smartphone video camera pouring ice water on themselves.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge became a staple example of incredible user content marketing when the campaign went viral and became an internet sensation.

The beauty of the campaign was that it asked users to not just create content, but advertise the campaign for them. It became viral because it combined an easy and fun call-to-action (pouring water on yourself) with a charitable cause (raising awareness for ALS) and built-in sharing (invite 5 of your friends).

In this way, the campaign had built-in virality that propelled itself.

Why it worked: People like to do things that do good.

More than that, people like to look like they do things that do good. Users often participate in UCM that supports a charitable cause not because of the cause itself, but because of the social attention they receive from publicly sharing that they helped a charitable cause.

Think about how many people actually volunteer with a charity or donate to one without a viral campaign versus how many people recorded a video and shared it on social media to support the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

How to apply it to your consumer generated media strategy:

Attach a philanthropic message to your request for user participation can help build viral support.

However, remember to make the request easy and ensure there is an opportunity for social recognition to maximize effect.

2) Aeropostale’s Spot-on Influencer Marketing

Why it rocked: Aeropostale knew the teen crowd could be a difficult sell.

They took a “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” approach and partnered with their market’s idol, YouTube starling Bethany Mota. B

ethany Mota was enormously popular with their target demographic, so by going straight to the influencer, Aeropostale brought a rapt audience — the internet celebrity brought the crowd, not vice versa.

Why it worked: Gone are the days when only movie stars or singers were celebrity endorsers for a product. Today, there are plenty of self-made internet celebrities who have earned fame from viral videos, active blogs or vlogs, or for being influencers in their field.

How to apply to your content marketing strategy:

Follow the crowd rather than attempting to build your own. Find people who are considered experts and have the attention of your target audience.

Be sure to be transparent – the backlash from internet audiences who feel like they have been tricked is nothing to play around with. Which is why after bloggers started being targeted for secretly giving product reviews they received perks for, they were quick to put authenticity clauses on their profiles or include when they had been paid or offered free products to feature an item. Black hat PR is sure to bite you later.

Good examples of honest endorsements include stores that have reached out to haulers offering them a free public shopping spree in exchange for showing off their goods on their hauling vlogs or stores that exchange publicity for free discounts or free products.

3) Dorito’s Low-Budget, User-Driven Buzz

Why it rocked: Dorito’s Crash the SuperBowl campaign invited users to submit commercials for a chance to be the official Dorito’s commercial for the Super Bowl.

Plus, the winner would receive $1,000,000 and a job at Universal Studios.

In addition to significantly lowering expensive Super Bowl advertising creation costs, the enormous reward generated extremely high-quality commercials from around the world, which became advertising for Dorito’s in their own right. In the end, Doritos marketing strategy was a hit, inspiring many other UGC-powered advertisements.

Why it worked: Contests are a great opportunity for high user engagement because they offer a big reward and build off people’s competitive natures. Additionally, contests fueled by user contribution help users feel like a part of the brand rather than just a consumer.

How to apply it to your UGC Marketing strategy:

Think about outside-the-box rewards, such as a chance for fame in a commercial or by selling product. Users participate in sweepstakes and contests, but those that really allow them to become brand ambassadors ramp up the quality of submissions.


Don’t forget – you can think beyond a single angle and connect UCM campaigns. Why use one great UCM campaign idea when you can combine them for greater effect? Use contests backed by an influencer endorser, or add a charitable aspect to incentivize users showing how they use your product.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these creative holiday marketing campaigns to get your wheels turning.

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