When Social Bleeds Over: A Social Reality


There’s a new social strategy taking shape and being used by some of the biggest and most influential companies: a socially-driven trip into reality.



Take Lexus for example. It launched a campaign that saw the creation of a Lexus RC through the social lense. Community members were able to vote in real-time and weigh in on build decisions, right down to picking the paint color – a bright electric lime green. The 10-hour process was viewed by enthusiasts and virtual passersby alike. Organic traffic alone accounted for over 800,000 views. The successful blending of social and real life could be the future of consumer engagement in a world that wants instant gratification on and offline. While Lexus took a massive risk in streaming a 10-hour Facebook Live event, it certainly paid off in the end. This kind of content would be perfect for brands who handcraft products (custom furniture, terrarium designers, cake decorators) and want to give their potential customers a look behind the curtain with options for weighing in on finishing details, or artisans looking to showcase their talents will real-time demonstrations.


Another amazing example of social blurring the line into reality was carefully constructed by the team behind Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale ad campaign, titled “The Laws of Gilead.” The campaign was a fusion of digital, social, editorial, radio, experiential and TV efforts that focused on the social barometer of current issues and highlighted the cultural trending topic of women’s rights. At an art installation in NYC, over 4,000 copies of Margaret Atwood’s book (on which the Hulu series was based) were given away. In the midst of highly trafficked events such as South by Southwest, women wore the iconic red robes of the handmaids and roamed around the grounds as experiential advertisements, thus piquing the interest of festival goers and driving social commentary. These efforts made the show unavoidable on social media during the week of its launch, earning over 1.8 billion impressions. Large scale experiential campaigns would best be used in campaigns highlighting album releases, new product launches, or for the promotion of live events such as a Broadway show.



Last, but positively not least is NASA. The organization maintains over 500 different social media accounts across almost every platform available. It is known for its timely, quirky and fun presence on Twitter, and its gorgeous content on Instagram. What makes NASA special in its bleed to reality is the NASA Socials program. The program consists of meetups that range from two hours to two days and serve as meet and greets that give behind the scenes and specially-credentialed access to media briefings, tours, launches, as well as opportunities to meet with engineers, astronauts and scientists. During the “Socials,” qualified attendees are encouraged to interact with and post in real-time about their experiences and learnings. This social strategy is by far the most fun for the brand and its social community. There’s no limit to the perspectives shared and information gained when a brand directly and intentionally interacts with, and invites in, the very community it targets. What better way to gain a greater understanding of your audience than bringing them directly into the fold?


The way brands socially interact with their targeted audiences pushes the envelope of traditional social marketing campaigns. In the future, it will be interesting to see the boundaries broken with the addition of VR and the growing opportunity to use real-time community input in brand projects and product decisions.


The new social-as-reality tactic is exciting because the possibilities are endless. If thoughts of Facebook Live, experiential campaigns, and community sourced decisions overwhelm you, we can guide you and partner with you every step of the way to create captivating content like these examples. Social Factor is here for you. We are your agency with social at the core, and we believe execution is everything.


Tenaya Winkelman

Author: Tenaya Winkelman

Social Media, Strategy, Uncategorized