Four great examples of brands using Instagram to break free of the browser

The expectations of brands on social media are getting higher. This is leading to businesses having to turn away from traditional approaches and create more engaging and interactive experiences, with crowd-sourcing of content becoming a favourite method.

With 40% of people responding better to visual information than text alone, it is not a surprise to see brands diving in to experience the hype of the photo-sharing app, Instagram.

And there are brands who not only aim to discover the joys of Instagram through traditional engagement and networking, but by creating immersive and innovative campaigns.

It is easy to get distracted by the wealth of Instagram challenges and competitions, but with it becoming an increasingly crowded place, brands are learning how to make themselves more distinct by mixing their marketing techniques with artistic approaches.

As the secret to creating real brand utility is not in hyping the masses, but by helping them encourage, explore, and become inspired. Using social media for advertising is not enough - brands have to aim to become publishers who generate content and build campaigns which can be accompanied by their fans.

In this post, I am going to share with you four examples of engaging, interactive Instagram campaigns, which move beyond the confines of the browser to deliver something truly unique.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has found a new way to make Instagram photos stand out by making them the centerpiece of a unique social media installation called #Untamed, which premiered in the middle of Paris. The concept was supposed to correlate to Mercedes-Benz’s philosophy which followed the design of a new car, the CLA class.

The company, guided by the unconventional, unusual and untamed elements of the CLA, asked fans to contribute to this experience by submitting their interpretations of the word ‘Untamed’.

Mercedes-Benz wanted to avoid creating yet another average campaign with artificial photos, but generate real shots as a portrait of an individual, digital style. An international audience of art enthusiasts were able to admire these photos in a redesigned urban loft space, where vibrant, colourful and unique Instagram images became backdrops for fully designed living spaces.

#Untamed Photo Installation by Mercedes-Benz

This digital installation turned out to be a showcase of how breaking the norm and mixing marketing, social media and artistic direction could help brands raise the profile of any new product.

Nike

This sportswear maker has recently surprised everyone by offering the chance to its followers to become a designer and customiser by allowing them to create their own shoes using Instagram photos.

This new NikeiD campaign emphasises the social aspect where fans get the chance to become inspiration for one another and share their design ideas with the whole social community.

Nike Instagram Campaign

With one click of a button, users can select their favourite photo as a background for the Nike Air model, which then is customised based on the colours in the photo. The website Nike PHOTOiD lets users not only design but browse others shoe concepts, purchase their own customisations and share them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

This campaign gives a new meaning to the idea of putting your own stamp on social media.

Red Bull

It’s not a surprise to see Red Bull on this list, as this forward thinking company is leading not in just content marketing but in smart selling too.

But on this occasion Red Bull surprised everyone by a new product to life in an interesting way with Red Bull Editions, a collaborative art project called ‘Instagram Your Inspiration’.

Through the lens of Instagram, British fans were encouraged to submit inspirational photos featuring red, blue and silver (the colours of specific flavors of the new Red Bull Editions drink) using 3 hashtags: #rededitionplease, #silvereditionplease and #blueeditionplease.

Red Bull Instagram Your Inspiration campaign

Most interestingly, the best entries were brought to life with billboards, which later were displayed in five different cities around UK.

The concept differentiated from the already existing Instagram campaigns by creating a genuine collaboration with fans and giving them the chance to shine on the doorsteps of their beloved cities. Or if you prefer, by giving them wings to their creative flow.

Kellogg’s

The food manufacturing company Kellogg’s came up with an idea to convert Instagram photos into a type of currency. The Special K store in Stockholm was turned into an Instashop, where a free box of new cereal was ‘swapped’ for Instagram photos.

Kellogg's Instashop

This simple, yet powerful, Kellogg’s sampling program was selected as a route to promote a new product and drive sales. Although the choice of using Instagram as a medium wasn’t just an accident, as Kellogg’s spotted the power of Instagram a long time ago as this network ranks as one of the most popular social channels in Sweden.

According to Kellogg’s, the cereal giveaway was worth every penny, as the shared hashtag “#nyaspecialk” brought a significant amount of new business and social engagement.

Do you think it is becoming more difficult for brands to stand out on networks like Instagram? And are there any other Instagram campaigns you’d add to this list?

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Four great examples of brands using Instagram to break free of the browser

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