by: Danielle Janota
With the recent Pinterest frenzy that has emerged (mostly among a female crowd), it was only a matter of time before brands started using this unique and artistic site to advertise their products. While Pinterest joins the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Stumbleupon, the campaigns launched on Pinterest take a more interesting approach than page likes and hashtags.
The Israel-based creative boutique Smoyz launched the first Pinterest campaign called “Woman’s Inspiration Day” for Kotex. The agency targeted 50 influential women on Pinterest and searched their boards for things that inspire them. Then, they created customized gift baskets for each woman based on the items and designs she liked. Kotex only asked that in return for their customized baskets, the women pinned images of their gifts. This campaign appeared to be a huge social media success since nearly all 50 women posted pictures of their customized gifts resulting in 700,000 page impressions. The women undoubtedly buzzed about it on Facebook, Twitter, and various other platforms.
Kotex is not the only brand to use Pinterest as a medium in a campaign. This past March, fashion brand Guess also launched a Pinterest campaign that promoted their four new Spring colors, Noir Teal, Hot House Orange, Red Hot Overdue, and New Plum Light. This campaign asked Pinterest users to create a board called “Guess My Color Inspiration” and pin at least 5 images. Four winners were chosen and awarded prizes from Guess.
The French car company Peugeot also held a contest that awarded prizes to fans that completed a Pinterest Puzzle. The puzzle required users to go to Peugeot’s page to obtain images of a car that would eventually show it “traveling” across multiple boards.
Perhaps the most interesting campaign comes from British Midland International that recently ran a “Pinterest Lottery” that awarded fans with trips. The company posted images of five destinations: Beirut, Dublin, Marrakech, Moscow and Nice. Pinterest users were asked to repin up to 6 images of those destinations. At the end of each week, the British company picked an image’s number. The user that had repinned the image with that number was awarded two free round trip flights to any British Midland International destination.
But despite the creativity of these campaigns and the agencies behind them, new questions arise. Are advertisers going too far by looking at the personal social media profiles of consumers or is it just good strategy?
Many admit that the social media-stalking approach is a bit too invasive, but because advertising induces skepticism in general, this approach probably does not shock anyone. While consumers may not mind companies finding insight about them on a rather innocent platform such as Pinterest, I have a pretty strong feeling that people won’t feel the same way if brands start scrutinizing their tweets and status updates.
Sources:  http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/kotex-makes-gifts-women-based-their-pinterest-boards-139161  http://mashable.com/2012/03/23/pinterest-marketing-campaigns/  http://creativity-online.com/work/kotex-inspiration-day/26873