Influencer Marketing

5 Creative Influencer Marketing Case Studies (Updated for 2021)

By Jesse Leimgruber

In social media, it’s easy to find trends to copy and algorithms to follow. But when it comes to influencer marketing, weird and one-of-a-kind will always make for the most successful campaigns. These top influencer marketing case studies show how integral creativity is for a truly successful campaign. 

Why “Brand Safe” Can be a Death Sentence

In a rapid fire world of entertainment, sticking too close to an established formula for your brand makes you boring and predictable. While it’s great to build your brand through recognizable imagery and slogans, repeated content could just as easily bore your audience and kill your brand. To stay on top, you’ve got to keep your edge.

You can bring a millennial or a gen z kid to the internet, but you can’t make them buy unless what you have to say is different. Funny, well crafted content is hard to come by, but luckily these brands got it right when they partnered with amazing influencers. 

1. David Dobrik’s Heartwarming TikTok Surprise

  • Influencer: David Dobrik
  • Subscribers: 18.4M
  • Brand: TikTok

In November of 2017 ByteDance acquired Musical.ly and combined it with their video sharing app TikTok. They later rebranded Musical.ly entirely to form the now famous TikTok in order to launch the app in the US. Using social media and wide reaching influencer marketing, TikTok was able to dominate the market.

Why is this Case Study Brilliant?

David Dobrik is no stranger to internet fame, so when TikTok wanted publicity they knew who to turn to. Dobrik capitalized on the react feature by giving his viewers a great example of something heartwarming they might find on the app to react to: a surprise marriage proposal. Instead of a preachy infomercial, Dobrik incorporated the sponsorship into one of his well loved vlogs and encouraged his current followers to download TikTok for even more unique content. Showing the app in practical use proves how entertaining it is without having to promote it traditionally. That break from tradition is one of the reasons TikTok was the fastest growing app of the past three years and still holds a top three spot.

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2. Travel Envy 

  • Influencer: Rachel Nguyen
  • Subscribers: 190K
  • Brand: Airbnb

Airbnb is all about community, diversity and the celebration of the human experience, and our influencer marketing case studies show that it works. They know better than anyone the value of creativity in marketing because their brand centers around distinct and diverse vacation experiences. 

Why is this Case Study Brilliant?

There is no better way to showcase the never ending possibilities of travel with Airbnb than to exercise a little travel envy. Airbnb hosted influencer Rachel Nguyen in a house in New Orleans and let her run wild. Rachel roamed the streets, popped into bars and restaurants, and spent time in the cozy homestead provided by Airbnb. The unpredictable nature of travel showed through in her video and sparked that same wanderlust in her viewers. Seeing all the creative ways someone can experience a new place and still rely on having a comfortable place to come “home” to each night is what makes this marketing technique so effective.

3. Moose Toys for all the Girls and Boys

  • Influencer: Crazy Pieces
  • Subscribers: 347K
  • Brand: Moose Toys

Moose Toys is an Australian-owned toy design, development, and distribution company that “exists to make kids superhappy!” In just two weeks, Moose Toys and NeoReach successfully launched four new products using influencer marketing. But not just any influencers. This belongs in one of the most creative influencer marketing case studies because it used only the most adorable and knowledgeable toy users out there. Kids.

Why is this Case Study Brilliant?

Crazy Pieces is already an incredibly unique family, so they were the perfect choice for this campaign. Instead of your regular, boring unboxing video, the family made a day of it, letting the youngest daughter Aurora make all the decisions for 24 hours. With free reign, Aurora had a blast getting new toys and playing supreme lord of the household. And 24 straight hours of fun packed in the most promotion in a short period of time, perfect for this speedy 2 week campaign. Watch the full video to see Aurora “access the pure pleasure of play” that Moose Toys promises with every product.

4. Thinking Outside of the Box Spring

  • Influencer: the Hacksmith
  • Subscribers: 9.58M
  • Brand: Casper

No other mattress company had really looked to influencer marketing so this was already going to be one of the most creative influencer marketing case studies on premise alone. Casper partnered with seven amazing YouTubers to help the company make its mark with younger audiences on social media.

Why is this Case Study Brilliant?

Mattresses seem like such an expensive adult thing and not something a younger audience is prone to deliberate over. Sleep on the other hand, or – more accurately –  lack thereof, is something we are very familiar with. Adam, known online as The Hacksmith, took this a step further by showing his viewers how to get the most out of their day by only sleeping for two hours. Using the Casper mattress, Adam built a deep sleep chamber to give you the best sleep of your life in only a couple hours. The idea is so weird and intriguing, you can’t help but wonder, Is the mattress really that good?

 NeoReach helped Casper partner with influencers who had an audience most likely to be drawn in by their innovative new approach to sleep. That curiosity and natural creativity from the tech world led to a spike in sales that could not have been achieved with regular Facebook ads and commercials.

5. Reaching Beyond Borders

  • Influencer: Inglés Kike Rodgríguez
  • Subscribers: 447K
  • Brand: Cake

Cake is a fun and free mobile app dedicated to giving non-English speakers, worldwide, an English learning experience. On YouTube, Cake had already expanded their English-teaching expertise by posting short videos that make learning the language simple. Education and fun are combined in the app, and that’s exactly what they carried over to their YouTube campaign by working with great language influencers with those same qualities from other countries.

Why is this Case Study Brilliant?

Although entertainment combined with education is what makes Cake stand out from other language learning apps, a look at the influencer marketing case studies found that the educational route drew the most downloads because people’s top priority was learning a new language. This boost was thanks to Inglés Kike Rodgríguez, a Mexican YouTuber dedicated to teaching Spanish speakers the nuances of the English language. His objectives and approach matched perfectly with Cake, and the numbers from this campaign prove how well it worked out.

Takeaways From These Influencer Marketing Case Studies

It’s obvious that creativity is key to long lasting successful campaigns. Brands have quickly come to realize that working with influencers allows for the most creativity and varied ideas, and therefore the most success. The multitude of partnerships out there allows for so many interpretations or success, but here are some key points to remember for your next influencer marketing campaign.

  • Partnering with smaller, targeted influencers can bring in equal or greater revenue than working with top tier influencers
  • Giving the influencer more creative freedom often leads to a more successful campaign
  • Understanding an influencer’s personal brand and audience can help brands target the best potential customers
  • The most important element of any campaign is creativity – so don’t be afraid to go big and go crazy

If you need any more proof that creative influencer marketing campaigns are the way to go, here are five more successful case studies:

Brand# of InfluencersEngagementSocial Channels
H&R Block3617.5% engagement rateFacebook, Twitter, Blogs
FIFA171.4M viewsYouTube
Walmart1027M impressionsYouTube, Instagram, Twitter
Discover Inc.719M content viewsInstagram and Facebook
World of Tanks437M viewsYouTube

This article was written by Christiana Sinacola

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