Beyond the Giveaway: Top Surprise & Delight Moments of 2015

When we think of surprise and delight moments, we often think of giveaways. But catching the audience off-guard (surprise) and leaving a positive impact (delight) is about more than giving away free swag. Smart social brands know that offering their audience behind-the-scenes looks or giving them VIP access to a new release can leave a more lasting impression than swag alone. When you make your audience feel like a priority, it strengthens their affinity for your brand.

In social marketing, we’re challenged to constantly be thinking of the next big trend. There were many brands who took the surprise and delight moment to the next level this year, but the real trendsetters took it a step beyond the giveaway. Here are three brands that aren’t only thinking of the trends; they’re setting them—one campaign at a time.


McDonald’s: All Day Breakfast Announcement

Rather than publishing a glossy campaign to announce the arrival of all-day breakfast, McDonald’s took to Twitter. They had important data, which told them that more than 120,000 people tweeted about all-day breakfast in the past year alone. With that much conversation already started for and about them, it just made sense to make the announcement in the form of GIF replies. By engaging with users ranging from everyday breakfast lovers to celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen, McDonald’s was able to make a splash with their thoughtful and unexpected announcement.


Katy Perry & Coty: Twitter Pop-Up Shop

Katy Perry has 72 million followers on Twitter. When perfume company Coty planned to promote her new fragrance, Mad Potion, tapping into her massive audience was an obvious strategy. By leveraging Twitter’s buy button, the campaign went one step further and delivered an interactive surprise to Perry’s audience: a virtual pop-up shop. Social fans could purchase the perfume through the Twitter shop until supplies ran out. The experience, a first of its kind for Coty, resulted in over 14,000 followers in its first week and allowed consumers to feel like they received a one-of-a-kind buying experience from the singer herself.


DKNY: Behind-the-Scenes with Instagram Direct

DKNY is a well-known leader in the social space. Behind all of their social dialogue is the belief that a consumer can still find moments of intimacy with a brand, even in an industry as fast-paced as fashion. In order to get personal during New York Fashion Week, DKNY tapped into Instagram’s new messaging feature – Instagram Direct – to give fans customized, behind-the-scenes content. By following the official hashtag #DKNYSS16, fans could choose a look they liked. They could then use the Instagram “Direct” arrow to send the look to DKNY, who responded to the messages with a unique story behind the design. The personalized content served as VIP-access for social fans and also gave consumers information on looks they were interested in rather than bombarding them with content they may not find relevant.


If you’re thinking you can’t run a great surprise and delight campaign because you don’t have the big brand name, think again. If there’s something these three brands have in common beyond their size, it’s that data and insights were behind their creative executions. McDonald’s had been carefully monitoring the social conversation around its breakfast offerings and knew Twitter was the right place to make the all-day announcement. Katy Perry’s unmatched number of Twitter followers (78.3 million) made perfect sense to leverage for a pop-up shop. DKNY took their “Social Why” to create moments of intimacy in fast-paced environments, and applied it to a newly-updated feature of Instagram.

Want to better measure your audience’s data to inform future campaigns? Practice smarter social with Spredfast Intelligence.

Allie Eby's picture

Allie Eby

Allie is the Social Marketing Specialist, managing posting and response for Spredfast's social channels. A Kansas native, Allie loves the Jayhawks and Boulevard Tank 7. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, being overly competitive in a local kickball league and tweeting at @allie_eby.