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#IPASocialWorks Case Studies

As part of the #IPASocialWorks initiative, we are publishing peer reviewed case studies that illustrate best practice in social media effectiveness. Only those where social media is used as part of a communications strategy and/or where it is employed to develop and validate insights which are then used to shape strategy are included in the learning resource below.

Featured case studies are grouped under the following headings:




Click on the links above or scroll down for the full list

If you have an interesting project case study to tell, contact who’ll advise on desired structure and **word length.


As well as becoming part of the downloadable case study resource we’ll also ensure it is reviewed by an expert panel of academics and practitioners. Those that meet a particular standard will be displayed publicly on the websites of the three project organisations and discussed at future events.


The cases below feature uses of social media to develop insight.

1) KFC - BBH, Blue 449

When launching its newest burger, KFC opted to satirise the clean eating trend and present its product as a more pleasurable alternative.

Read this case for an example of a brand using social media to develop its audience strategy and deliver humorous content.

2) Organ Donation Scotland - Kantar TNS

A PR and social strategy kept the Organ Donor Register top of mind with Scottish audiences whilst a new marketing campaign was being developed.

Read this case for an example of how social channels can be used to maintain brand awareness and engage consumers to take action.

3) Unilever - Kantar TNS

To uncover new growth opportunities in its baking, cooking and spreads business, Unilever worked with Kantar TNS to apply social listening in conjunction with more traditional

research methods to gain greater insight into consumers' habits and attitudes in a mixture of countries.

Read about this work for an in-depth description of the uses and limitations of applied social listening.

4) Lloyds Banking Group - KANTAR TNS

An example of social listening, this case study describes how Lloyds used social listening to gain greater understanding of the needs of small businesses seeking to expand overseas. The bank used the insights from this exercise to shape its international products for small companies.

5) Halifax - adam&eve DDB

In this case study, Halifax details how it used short video and GIF content tailored to individual social channels to present financial concepts in an accessible fashion when these were in the news. The results show that the brand was more associated with being easy to understand and had higher consideration (both metrics the bank believed to be closely correlated with sales), following the campaign.

The case illustrates how social insight can be used to identify user behaviour and to shape strategy designed to reach individuals via social for commercial objectives.

6) Scoot Airlines - Publicis Singapore

The low-cost Asian airline, Scoot, responded to increased competition and a budget cut by using insight into people's social and travel behaviours to revamp its content approach on social channels. It reported increased sales conversion rates and ROI from its social spend following the changes.

Read this case for an example of how a brand can use insight to segment and improve the impact of its social content

7) Sport England - Crimson Hexegon

Sport England wanted to encourage more women aged between 14 and 40 to take part in sport and exercise. By listening and analysing social conversations about broad exercise-related topics and combining these social insights with those gleaned from focus groups, Sport England was able to identify the key deterrents preventing women from exercising. As a result, it made the tone of its communications campaign more empathetic, down to earth and reassuring, and targeted messages at particular audience segments. 

This case is a good example of how social insight can be used in strategy, planning, segmentation and performance tracking.

8) Janssen Pharmaceutical - Insites Consulting 

Janssen Pharmaceutical wanted to research the needs of patients with schizophrenia and medical professionals in order to make conversation between the two groups easier in both directions. 

This case study explains how the company and its agency partner used netnographic techniques to 'scrape' and analyse thousands of conversations about the condition to unearth insights about the language and tone in which it was discussed. These insights were combined with those of focus groups and employed to redesign the company's key website on the subject and create a new tool, which proved highly popular. It is a good example of how social listening can be used to research hard to reach groups and/or sensitive subjects.

9) GE Life Sciences - Bottom-Line Analytics

This case demonstrates how social listening techniques were used to analyse a large, unstructured and "noisy" body of social chatter among specialist scientists, reduce it to a manageable body of conversations, and analyse it for key themes and characteristics which could be used to inform a sales strategy to this difficult to reach audience.

10) A H Beard Sleep Challenge - Mentally Friendly

A.H. Beard, an Australian mattress manufacturer, needed to grow awareness of its brand, even though the category is typically of low interest to consumers who buy mattresses on average only once a decade. This case describes how the brand used a social media-led campaign to promote a six-week sleep challenge in which the public was encouraged to change their behaviour to improve their sleep patterns. The approach attracted new consumers to the brand and increased intent to purchase the company's products.

11) Vodafone - Geometry Global

By creating a content-driven approach to engage business decision-makers, Vodafone changed perceptions of its offer among small businesses and local government. This case study describes in detail how the company created a communications model and a working process to create and distribute content across channels, and track its influence on helping commercial teams and consultants use the content to help them convert sales leads.

12) Transport for London

The case describes how TfL used various social media feeds to keep travellers aware of transport issues and to humanize the brand's service teams. Social media feeds helped improve TfL's reputation and deliver innovative service.

13) 02 - Face

Read how 02 enabled its teams to respond with empathy and humour during a serious network outage.

14) Creme Egg - Elvis, Fallon, Ipsos, Kantar, Nielsen, PHD

Read how the chocolate egg brand tapped its social media fans to gauge engagement in different versions of creative, and then put wider media support behind the most engaging implementation


These cases highlight different facets of social media measurement.

15) US Navy Recruitment - Campbell Ewald Contributing: Puzzability

This case study describes how the US Navy recruited cryptologists via an alternate-reality puzzle-solving game across diverse social media. Social media was used to promote the game and to support team efforts to solve the puzzle - a process which identified people with a talent for code-breaking as potential recruits for the Navy's cyber protection force. The approach was so effective that it was repeated in a follow up campaign.

16) Philippine Department of Tourism (UPDATED)

Read how the Philippine tourism industry tapped into the patriotism and enthusiasm for social media of Filipinos worldwide to spread a message about the country's fun aspect and also a worldwide thank you for the global support that the country received after it was hit by a typhoon. This case is a good example of how social media has been used to encourage behaviour and messaging on a mass scale.

17) Wall's - adam&eve DDB, TMW Unlimited, PHD, Mindshare UK

This case study demonstrates the impact of social as a platform to distribute mischievous, topical creative executions with the aim of refreshing the ice cream brand's personality and relevance. The authors used econometrics to isolate the sales impact of social channels on sales.

18) IKEA - Vizeum, iProspect

An innovative mobile measurement solution helped IKEA prove Facebook increased its store footfall.

19) Lysol  -  Gain Theory

How the disinfectant brand calculate the real sales impact of its Facebook channel.

20) ASB - Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand, Carat, Catch Media and Gladeye

Using social followers to power ASB's home lending business.

21) Onken yogurt  - Karmarama, Three Monkeys

Learn how the yogurt brand created an "always on" social newsroom to build reach efficiently and grow consideration in a competitive market.

22) Ed's Easy Diner's targeted sales offer - JWT Now

With a tiny budget, Ed's Easy Diner grew sales and increased penetration with a campaign on Facebook. Find out how.

23) BT - Customer Service

Read how BT saved £2m in costs and made itself an easier company to deal with by using social channels to service customers.

24) Kerry Foods - Saatchi and Saatchi

Fridge Raiders engages teen gamers and increases sales of the meat snack by creating a new snacking occasion.

25) Icelandic tourism - Brooklyn Brothers, Additional contribution: The Effectiveness Partnership

A giant ash cloud and social media - Discover how storytelling via social media was used to win back tourists to Iceland


The cases below feature use of social media for personalisation.

26) Coca-Cola US - Starcom Mediavest Group, Wieden + Kennedy, Fast Horse

Half of all US teens had not enjoyed a Coke in the previous 12 months and Coca-Cola needed to re-connect with teenagers and drive consumption. This case sets out how the US operation imported the internationally successful 'Share a Coke' campaign - which enabled popular names to appear on Coke cans - into the US, adding several new elements with the aim of encouraging teenagers to purchase and share bottles with their friends' names on them.

27Headspace - Leo Burnett Melbourne, Studio Pancho

By encouraging the spread of the Reword tool - which highlighted to young social media users when their language was potentially bullying - in Australian schools and home computers, this campaign triggered a reduction in bullying per user.

Project Partners

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Steering Group

Chair: Stephen Maher, MBA
Academic Adviser: Prof. Paddy Barwise, London Business School

Celina Burnett, ASOS Andy Pang, Snap
Jack Burn, The Market Research Society Kathyrn Patten, IPA
Fran Cassidy, Cassidy Media Partnership Michael Piggott, The Marketing Society
James Devon, MBA Jessica Salmon, Telefonica
Simeon Duckworth, Essence Jake Steadman, Twitter
Mark Earls, HERDmesiter Christian Walsh, The Market Research Society
Janet Hull, IPA Sarah Woodley, The Marketing Society
Chris MacLeod, TfL
Last updated 20/11/2017

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