When hashtags were first introduced, nobody could have dreamed that they would become an integral part of any brand’s digital marketing strategy. And yet, years later, hashtags are not just a part of social media marketing, but sometimes can drive an entire marketing campaign.

With over 100 million photos and videos uploaded daily on Instagram and over 500 million tweets sent in a day, it is difficult for branded content to stand out. Using hashtag campaigns is a great way for brands to get their content noticed on social media.


Hashtags not only make sure that your content reaches a relevant audience, hashtag campaigns, if done right, can also help you maximize your brand’s reach.

To help inspire you for your next hashtag campaign, we have curated a list of 15 of the most successful hashtag campaigns.

#1. Lay’s #DoUsAFlavor Campaign

Lay’s often uses hashtag campaigns as part of their social media marketing strategy. From their #lifeneedsflavor campaign—which started in 2017—to the currently ongoing #wishflavors campaign, the brand has created several successful hashtag campaigns over the years.

One of the most memorable hashtag campaigns for Lay’s is the #DoUsAFlavor campaign during which they asked people to vote for their favorite Lay’s flavors and win $1 million for the winning flavor.

The brand also enlisted popular influencers to promote the contest using the #DoUsAFlavor hashtag. This helped the brand reach millions of people who follow the influencers.

For example, in the post below, an Instagram influencer promoted the #DoUsAFlavor campaign to her massive following of ~1.2 million people.

amymarie instagram Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Instagram

This campaign is a good example of how contests can further drive the popularity of hashtag campaigns. Giving people an incentive to engage with your brand is one of the oldest tricks in the book. And the success of such hashtag campaigns shows that it still works.

#2. Audi #WantAnR8 Campaign

This is probably one of the longest-running hashtag campaigns on Twitter. It started in 2011 and is still going strong. The campaign was started by Twitter user, Joanne McCoy, to let the Audi brand know how much she wanted an R8. It went viral after Audi invited her to ride in an R8 for a day.

The brand then piggybacked on the popularity of the hashtag and used it to promote their, then newly-launched, R8 car on their official Twitter page.

Since then, the hashtag has been tweeted over 75,000 times and the brand has invited several other users to drive an R8 for a day.

Audi twitter Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Twitter

#3. #ShareACoke Campaign by Coca-Cola

The brand used this hashtag campaign, along with personalized Coca-Cola bottles, to encourage sharing and gifting of Coca-Cola bottles. Additionally, the brand launched a website for its customers to order coke bottles with personalized labels.

The labels included either the name of the person you share the Coke with or the location where you shared a coke.

Creating happy experiences for your customers can help you earn positive reviews and improve your brand’s reputation online. Successful brands implement a number of strategies to build a positive presence across channels and grow their business.

The beverage brand, Coke, also used film and sports celebrities, such as Selena Gomez and David Pollack, to promote the hashtag. This helped the campaign to reach millions of viewers. The brand also got tons of free user-generated content, which further expanded the campaign’s reach.

Coca-Cola twitter Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Twitter

#4. Charmin’s #tweetfromtheseat Campaign

When we talk about funny hashtag campaigns, this one would definitely be in the top ten. This funny Twitter hashtag campaign by Charmin was based on the idea of people tweeting real or hypothetical situations “from the seat.”

The fun and open-ended nature of this task made the hashtag viral on Twitter, allowing the brand to reach a massive audience. Needless to say that this campaign generated tons of hilarious posts from users, which expanded the campaign’s reach beyond what it could have done on its own.

Charmin twitter Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Twitter

While a lot of the hashtag campaigns in our list use charity or social causes to drive their marketing, Charmin executed a campaign just based on a brilliant idea. This is a great example of how you can run successful hashtag campaigns using humor as the key catalyst.


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#5. #WorthSaying Campaign by L’Oréal Paris

This is one of those hashtag campaigns that use a social cause to maximize a brand’s reach. The brand started this hashtag and asked women everywhere to share what is important to them and “worth saying.”

This campaign gave more power to women and was supported by thousands of women, including celebrities like Blake Lively and Jennifer Lopez. Because of its social impact and the importance of the topic, the hashtag went viral.

Although the campaign was first launched in 2016, the brand revamped and promoted it further in 2018, in collaboration with TIFF’s #ShareHerJourney campaign. The brand donated $0.25 for every mention of #WorthSaying and/or #ShareHerJourney on social media.

L’Oréal paris canada Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Twitter

Designing a hashtag on a social issue is a tried and tested way of driving the popularity of your hashtag campaigns. The success of this L’Oréal campaign just further reinstates this point.

#6. Disney’s #ShareYourEars Campaign

Disney started this hashtag campaign in collaboration with the Make-A-Wish foundation. Their goal was to raise money for their charity, along with promoting the brand. The brand asked people to share their pictures wearing Mickey Mouse ears with the hashtag #ShareYourEars. For each post, Disney donated $5 to the charity.

Due to the charitable nature of the campaign, it instantly went viral and was also supported by several celebrities and philanthropists. The campaign is still going strong on both Twitter and Instagram, as influencers have also taken an interest in the campaign and are promoting it.

For example, the following post by the Instagram influencer, Chiara Ferragni, got 584K likes and reached her massive follower base of 15.5 million people.

Chiara Ferragni instagram Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Instagram

This is just one of the thousands of posts that this hashtag campaign inspired, proving the power of charity-based hashtag campaigns.

#7. #MyCalvins Campaign by Calvin Klein

The idea behind this popular Twitter hashtag campaign was to post pictures in Calvin Klein undergarments with the hashtag #MyCalvins. The campaign went viral, even though there was no incentive for posting these pictures.

The campaign’s popularity was fuelled by the celebrity pictures as part of this hashtag campaign.

Calvin Klein instagram Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Twitter

#8. #LikeAGirl Campaign by Always

Feminine care products brand, Always’ entire social media marketing revolves around women’s empowerment. The company started the hashtag #LikeAGirl to beat the stigma that girls are weaker and to showcase the strength of women.

Hashtag campaigns like this, with a social message, get popular because of the people who support the cause. This not only helps the brand establish a positive brand image but also helps expand brand reach as a lot of people support a hashtag they believe in.

This hashtag was promoted by women around the world, giving the brand exposure to a global audience.

Always twitter Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Twitter

#9. Tarte Cosmetics’ #trippinwithtarte Campaign

Tarte Cosmetics is known for organizing expensive, all-paid influencer trips. In turn, these popular influencers post about Tarte Cosmetics and their trip experiences using the hashtag #trippinwithtarte.

This hashtag campaign has helped Tarte reach millions of followers of these popular influencers, across various social media platforms. In the following YouTube post, influencer, Niki DeMar, posted about her experience on the Bora Bora trip organized by Tarte. The video got 1.1 million views.

Niki DeMar youtube Hashtag Campaigns

Image via YouTube

#10. #WeAccept Campaign by Airbnb

This is another example of hashtag campaigns based on a social cause. In February 2017, Airbnb posted a series of pictures of people from different ethnicities and used the hashtag #WeAccept to show that they do not differentiate between people and accept everyone.

This campaign not only established Airbnb as a global brand but also expanded their social media reach as the campaign garnered thousands of likes, comments, and shares on social media.

The hashtag campaign also inspired the creation of a lot of user-generated content with people sharing pictures with #WeAccept Airbnb banners.

Airbnb instagram Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Instagram

#11. Heineken’s #OpenYourWorld Campaign

In 2017, Heineken posted a YouTube video conducting a socio-political experiment, with the hashtag #OpenYourWorld. Different sets of people with varied opinions on social and political topics discussed their opinions while sharing a Heineken beer.

The campaign was a success, with each video garnering millions of views. The brand was able to reach several million people, even though they have only 377K subscribers on YouTube.

Heineken beer youtube Hashtag Campaigns

Image via YouTube

The hashtag became so popular that a lot of Heineken fans posted videos and pictures and on social media with the hashtag, long after the original brand video was posted.

#12. #HereToCreate Campaign by Adidas

During the 2018 Boston Marathon, Adidas created customized videos for all 30,000 participating athletes. The athletes could get their customized videos and post it on social media using the hashtag #HereToCreate.

This hashtag campaign not only got Adidas 30,000 brand advocates but also access to their respective followers. The campaign expanded the brand’s reach within the relevant target audience of sports enthusiasts.

Adidas instagram Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Instagram

#13. #StacheForCharity Campaign by Guinness

The beer brand used the #StacheForCharity hashtag campaign in March 2018. They asked people to post pictures with a mustache using the hashtag #StacheForCharity and for every picture, Guinness would donate $1 to charity.

The campaign was a huge hit and got thousands of entries for the campaign. Using this hashtag campaign, the brand got a slew of user-generated content and was able to reach a large audience.

Guinness instagram Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Instagram

#14. Kraft’s #FamilyGreatly Campaign

During the 2018 Super Bowl, Kraft asked people to post pictures of their family on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FamilyGreatly. Selected entries were to be featured in a 30-second ad in the second half of the game.

The brand also used popular social media influencers to post the contest and got thousands of entries. Since the participants and influencers posted these pictures and hashtag on their social media pages, the brand was able to reach a wide audience base.

justinbaldoni instagram Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Instagram

This is a great example of how contests can increase the popularity of your hashtag campaigns.

#15. Uber’s #BeyondFiveStars Campaign

In January 2018, Uber urged their users to give a compliment to their drivers for exemplary service, using the hashtag #BeyondFiveStars.

The hashtag campaign was a massive hit. Millions of Uber users complimented their drivers by using the hashtag #BeyondFiveStars. The brand also featured some of the most-complimented drivers in a series of video ads. The campaign was instrumental in expanding the brand’s social media presence and reach.

uber twitter Hashtag Campaigns

Image via Twitter

Wrapping Up

Hashtag campaigns have emerged as a creative and easy way to get your branded content to go viral. They can also expand your brand’s social media reach. The theme for such campaigns can be to support a social cause or charity. Or you can use them to incentivize people to post to get a reward.

No matter what technique you use to drive the popularity of your hashtag campaigns, their importance cannot be denied.

Take your inspiration from the list of most successful hashtag campaigns above and get started designing your own hashtag campaign. If you have any other examples of viral hashtag campaigns that maximized a brand’s reach, share with us in the comments below.


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