3 Examples of Fantastic Pinterest Campaigns

Pinterest is a powerful platform for marketing campaigns, but it’s one that’s been criminally underused- until now. The ubiquity of Facebook and their focus on making money through advertisements has seen them become something of a haven for marketers, and in response, any number of guides on ‘Killer Facebook Marketing’ and ‘How to Hack Facebook Marketing… Like a Ninja’ have cropped up.

So what about Pinterest? Has anyone actually gone out there and proved that it can be used by marketers to actually reach an audience, to tell a story, and to sell products? It turns out they have, and that you really should know about them already.

So here we go: here are five examples of Pinterest marketing done right.

Honda’s #Pintermission Campaign

It’s not just little players and little brands making good in the world of Pinterest. It’s the big guys, like Honda here.

Rather than put together a generic campaign, Honda actually paid attention to how Pinterest works, what makes the site draw in users and keep users’ attention. Like Instagram, there are big names on Pinterest- and it’s these influencers who draw users into the site and, for all intents and purposes, practically dictate what gets seen and what doesn’t.

Honda recognised that winning over these influencers was vital to winning over the ranked masses of Pinterest. So what they did was this: they contacted five of their favourite key influencers, and offered them what they called a ‘Pintermission’.

Basically, the Honda marketing team asked these five people to take a 24 hour break from Pinterest to actually do all the activities they pinned so much about. Skydiving, scuba diving, you name it. It was all in aid of promoting Honda’s new CR-V, a car that, they say, helps you ‘get out and live’.

In return, Honda gave each of them just $500: a great reward for somebody getting to live their dream day, and almost nothing in marketing terms. Over four and a half million people saw Honda’s #Pintermission boards over the course of the campaign, for an outlay of a couple thousand dollars. Not bad.

Kotex’s ‘Women’s Inspiration Day’ Campaign

One of the very first marketing campaigns on Pinterest was run by Kotex, a U.S. feminine hygiene products manufacturer. This one was very much back in the day– it was launched in 2012, back when we were all still trying to figure out social media marketing, and before Facebook became the Valhalla for marketers that it is now.

Kotex actually did the exact same thing that Honda did all those years later. They targeted fifty influencers, studied their post history, and sent them a gift box full of the kind of stuff they posted about. The campaign was run by Israeli agency Smoyz, and earned Kotex almost 700,000 impressions. Bear in mind that Pinterest was nowhere near as big then as it is now, so that’s a decent achievement, even compared to what Honda did years later.

The great thing about this campaign was that it recognised the core market of Pinterest. Kotex, as a feminine hygiene products manufacturer, really picked their target well: Pinterest is dominated by women, at over 80% of the website’s total users. This synchronisation of message, platform and brand is absolutely spot-on.

JC Penney’s Live In-store Pins

Okay, so moving away from the technique of targeting key social media influencers, we come to JC Penney’s effort to market through Pinterest. Like Kotex, JC Penney had and still has a very good reason for marketing online.

As online shopping has grown, so equally has footfall in stores across Europe and the Western world. So some of the clever heads over at JC Penney’s have tried to merge together the online and the physical- they’ve installed live Pinterest boards in malls throughout the U.S.

By the way, if you’re not a Pinterest user, a ‘board’ is sort of like a Facebook wall. Anyway, the boards they chose were all full of the kind of products you can get at JC Penney’s. So it was like browsing for shopping inspiration online, in a familiar online environment, but in real life.

Did we say that we were moving away from the idea of targeting key influencers? That was a lie! JC Penney did just that, collaborating with influencers who wrote, full of praise, about the products on their boards.

What have we learned today, class?

The more ‘eagle eyed’ readers among you will have spotted a theme running throughout these examples of marketing on Pinterest. The real clever ones will have noticed two.

  1. Pinterest is a primarily visual platform: so be visual.

Whatever you’re trying to market, and wherever you’re trying to market, you should already know that stimulating the senses is key to engaging with potential customers. The sizzle of bacon and the glug-glug sound of pouring a beer cut through to your animal brain, right past your natural scepticism, and make you want.

So when you’re marketing anything on Pinterest, you have to remember that it’s primarily a visual platform. People interact with each other, and show the world what they think, believe and love, through their boards- collections of pictures. If you can create something that’s easily shareable and takes advantage of that medium, that’s great.

  1. Like on all social media platforms, key influencers are… Key.

The key to going viral, or even just to a campaign that relies on natural growth, is to relay your message through those key channels. Every single one of the marketing teams in the examples above took advantage of the fact that if they can reach just a few people, then their message can get out in front of millions more.

Honda showed perfectly what just a little incentive can do to leverage that huge potential: through just five people, they got their message out in front of millions. Reaching that many people, that easily, is the stuff of dreams.

Author Bio

Nabeena Mali is the head of marketing at AppInstitute a DIY app builder for small businesses and passionate about sharing her knowledge and insights on design strategy, UI/UX trends and driving digital growth through content marketing.


Marketme is a leading small business to small business news, marketing advice and product review website. Supporting business across the UK with sponsored article submissions and promotions to a community of over 50,000 on Twitter.