The Liptagram contest–Not so #spontaneous

Unilever’s Lipton is leveraging mobile and social through an Instagram contest that encourages consumers to upload photos to the app.


Why I am curious

Good Intentions Meet a Poorly Thought-out Experience

Good intentions: This contest is truly about amplifying the community’s creativity and interpretations of the brand’s core messaging – the love of sharing positive moments. What better way to showcase that than through photography on a platform with 90 million active users and 40 million photos uploaded per day?” (source).

Execution: The campaign involves four weekly themes that encourage consumers to upload photos to Instagram, all of which tie back into Lipton’s brand values. Each theme has a hashtag associated with it: #LiptonBrightness, #LiptonExcitement, #LiptonUplifting and #LiptonSpontaneous.

And old way of doing advertising: On one hand, they proudly say that they are seeking “to truly interact with today’s consumer”;  they are doing this in order to “get consumers talking about the brand instead of pushing products at them”. On the other, however, they are adding “Lipton” to the hashtags, and are hoping for consumers to interpret their core messaging (e.g., #LiptonSpontaneous) — That’s not the way in which people organically participate on Instagram. It is not about messaging, and brands, and marketing. By approaching the contest this way, they might not be pushing products at users, but they are pushing their brand name! Same thing (or worse!). It reminds me of the days when we were asked to add logos to small size of banners, or brand names to URLs.

Today we count with many sophisticated social listening tools that allow brands to measure brand mentions, conversations, and sentiment without the need to push brands at consumers. That’s #spontaneous.


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