Facebook and Instagram creative highlights of 2016

Creative Review has teamed up with Facebook and Instagram to launch a new partnership showcasing outstanding creative work across both platforms. Throughout this year, we’ll be uncovering exciting new talent, highlighting great campaigns and offering practical tips and advice for using Facebook and Instagram’s various marketing tools.

To kick things off, we’re taking a look at six of the most creative campaigns to appear on both platforms in 2016. Campaigns were selected by CR, Facebook and Instagram and were chosen for their innovative use of a range of tools – from Facebook Canvas to Instagram Stories and Messenger – to create engaging content that proved popular with mobile audiences.

Mr Robot

Stills from a Facebook Live video promoting season two of Mr Robot
Stills from a Facebook Live video promoting season two of Mr Robot
Stills from a Facebook Live video promoting season two of Mr Robot

Working with Facebook’s Creative Shop, NBC Universal and Amazon Video made clever use of Facebook Live to promote season two of hacker drama Mr Robot. A Facebook Live video broadcast to users around the world featured a masked man posing as a member of fsociety, the hacking group that carried out a cyber attack on global corporation Evil Corp in the show’s first season. (Watch it in full here).

The video – reminiscent of the kind posted online by fsociety in the series – combined live footage with scenes from the show. The masked figure recapped the events that took place in season one before issuing a warning that the worst was yet to come. His message was followed by a compelling teaser clip hinting at events to come in season two.

The campaign was launched in 12 countries and broadcast in each country’s native language. The English version has had over 2.2 million views, 52,000 reactions and 25,000 comments on Facebook since it was posted, adding considerably to the hype surrounding the show’s return.

Tommy Hilfiger for New York Fashion Week 

Tommy Hilfiger's Tmy.Grl Messenger bot
Tommy Hilfiger’s Tmy.Grl Messenger bot

Fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger ran several campaigns across Facebook and Instagram during New York Fashion Week last year.

The company teamed up with Vogue to set up a photo booth at the event, encouraging fashion fans to share selfies on Instagram, and ran a takeover with Instagram influencers. On Facebook, it released a shoppable video allowing people to purchase items seen on the runway and set up a chatbot, Tmy.Girl, using Facebook Messenger.

Tommy Hilfiger's Tmy.Girl chatbot
The Messenger bot asks users questions to determine the type of content they’d like to see

The chatbot was launched to promote the brand’s collaboration with model Gigi Hadid. Created in partnership with AI platform msg.ai, it asks users a series of questions to determine their location and the type of content they’d like to see. It then selects content based on their answers, offering a look at items in the collection or behind-the-scenes content and fun facts about Hadid.

The bot can also answer questions about items and help people order products from the Tommy Hilfiger website. Customers can click an ‘add to cart’ button within the Messenger app to have a product added to their basket on the Tommy Hilfiger website and can then click on a link to complete their purchase. If an item is out of stock, the bot offers alternative suggestions.

The campaign shows how Messenger can be used both to drive sales and create a fun and personalised shopping experience for social media users. Try it out using the ‘Message’ button on Tommy Hilfiger’s official Facebook page or via the Messenger app.


Facebook Messenger conversation with a synth from Persona Synthetics
Facebook Messenger conversation with a synth from Persona Synthetics

Creative Shop and 4Creative also made great use of Messenger to promote series two of Channel 4 and AMC drama Humans.

The series is set in a not-so-distant future populated with synthetic humans or ‘synths’. The campaign for series one featured spoof ads for synth manufacturer Persona Synthetics, with 4Creative setting up a fake storefront on London’s Regent Street.

To promote series two, 4Creative and Creative Shop made a synth chatbot that fans could interact with on Messenger and via the website http://ift.tt/2ia4Ywd.

The synth asks users about their faulty synthetic (a reference to the ending of season one) before experiencing a malfunction of its own – resulting in jokes, existential angst and a flurry of emoji. The experience is funny, compelling and caused much excitement among fans of the show.

Baileys Soap Opera

When Coffee Met Baileys, by Mother London
When Coffee Met Baileys, by Mother London

In summer 2016, liqueur brand Baileys teamed up with ad agency Mother to create what was described as “Instagram’s first soap opera”.

The campaign – launched to promote mixing Baileys with coffee – used Instagram’s video carousel feature to tell the eight-part story of a coffee pot who falls for a bottle of Baileys, much to the dismay of his long term partner Milk.

The videos received hundreds of likes and positive comments from fans and shows how carousels can be used to tell a longer story over a series of short, mobile-friendly videos. Watch it in full at @baileysofficial

Bentley’s extraordinary car photo

Instagram and Facebook content promoting Bentley's 53 billion pixel image of its Mulsanne model
Instagram and Facebook content promoting a 53 billion pixel image of the Bentley Mulsanne

Bentley launched a 53 billion pixel image to promote the launch of its Mulsanne model last summer – created using NASA’s panoramic stitching technology, the image showed the car on San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate bridge. People could zoom in from several hundred metres away to see the vehicle in detail, right down to the stitching on seats.

Creative Shop worked with Bentley to adapt the image for Facebook and Instagram mobile feeds, creating video carousels, cinemagraphs and a Canvas experience made up of videos zooming into the photograph. Images posted on Instagram focused on details such as bonnet ornaments and interiors.

The campaign proved popular on both platforms, helping raise awareness of the image, and shows the value of repurposing content for Facebook and Instagram – something creative strategist Jill Gray covered in this feature for our May 2016 issue.

Instagram Stories from The Financial Times

Images and infographics from The Financial Times' Instagram feed
Images and infographics from The Financial Times' Instagram feed
Images and infographics from The Financial Times' Instagram feed

Launched in August last year, Instagram’s Stories feature lets users post ephemeral videos and photos in a full screen, immersive format. Content sits outside of the main feed and disappears after 24 hours, encouraging users to be more creative and post everyday moments as well as sharing highlights in feed.

The Financial Times has recently been using Stories to cover topics such as ‘What is Bitcoin?’ and the US presidential election. Stories combine subtitled videos, stills and infographics, repackaging complex debates in an accessible and visually engaging format.

The brand has also taken a creative approach to sharing news on its feed, posting infographics, photographs, animated charts and illustrations to explain complex issues. With a tight focus on business and economics reporting and a team that works hard to translate in-depth news coverage into visuals, the brand has grown its following from 40,000 to over 330,000 in just over a year. See its Instagram account here.

Creative Hub was launched this year to help the creative communities understand mobile marketing. The online tool allows creatives to experiment with content formats – from Instagram video to Facebook Canvas – and produce mock-ups to share with clients and stakeholders. It also showcases successful campaigns created for mobile. Try out the mock up tool at http://ift.tt/2jroD6Z and see the inspiration gallery here http://ift.tt/2iIXEnl

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