Over the past few months, we’ve been collecting examples of visual web promotions that can inspire your own team to get more from Instagram and Pinterest:

Whole Foods: Cookie Swap Promotion


Imagine a cross between a potluck cookie party and the ultimate pastry recipe book, and you’ve got a pretty good idea about the Pinterest board that Whole Foods’ customers cooked up during the holiday season. While the promotion started as a pretty standard Pinterest contest, users quickly evolved the cookie swap into discussions about recipes for vegan, diabetic, and gluten free diets. Discussions and repins enhanced community engagement, while driving traffic back to the recipe pages on Whole Foods’ website.

Oscar de la Renta: Live Pinning Fashion Events

Style bloggers debated whether the fashion house’s decision to “live pin” a bridal-themed runway show was a sly gimmick or a clever way to present new looks to potential buyers. There’s no reason a stunt like this can’t be both. While most brands rely on Twitter or on their own blogs for live event coverage, Oscar de la Renta’s use of Pinterest in real time made their nearly-live content immediately available for sharing and commentary, dominating discussion on social media for the duration of the event.

Ben and Jerry’s: User Generated Photos for Ads


Ben and Jerry’s asked their fans to “capture euphoria” by snapping Instagram pictures of the faces we humans make when we’re savoring a cone full of Chunky Monkey or Cherry Garcia. At first, brand managers used the #captureeuphoria tag to select images for publication in traditional print ads. However, the initial promotion has grown in scope, showcasing all kinds of joyous ice cream dreams. The company’s official Instagram feed published a new customer submission daily, along with sneak previews of new flavors like the “30 Rock” themed pint timed for release with the series’ final episode.

Rent the Runway: Turning the Visual Web into a Mirror

Fashion startup Rent the Runway offers a Netflix-style service for high-end dresses, enabling customers to sport iconic fashion brands without sinking into debt. It’s not surprising that the company’s fans post pictures of themselves in their high class garb, but Rent the Runway’s next move could help innovate e-commerce. The company asks customers to comment about their dress sizes and overall fit on a service called Our Runway. Prospective renters get a more precise idea about whether a particular dress will work, while existing customers enjoy a forum in which to celebrate their looks.

Peugeot: Playing with the Format


Down in Panama, marketers for French auto manufacturer Peugeot developed a contest that leveraged Pinterest’s layout and rewarded eagle-eyed viewers. Contest designers split images of featured vehicles across three horizontally-aligned boards, then replaced the middle piece of the image with something else. Fans who scoured the rest of the company’s Pinterest boards or its Facebook page found clues to locate the missing pieces and earn contest entries. Despite the popularity of traditional contests on the visual web, getting creative with a Pinterest and/or Instagram promotion requires a lot of flexibility and a little bit of faith. As you start to nail down your concept, here are three ways to ensure a successful pinterest promotion.