Increasing sales through sponsored Instagram posts

The creative brief for the 2015 DSB Christmas campaign was “How do we find time to visit those that we care about in the hectic month that is December?”; the objective was to increase DSB Orange Ticket sales. The result broke all records, increasing sales by 72 % (26,117 tickets) year on year.

It was our intention to prove that we could both sell tickets, and at the same time focus on the many heartfelt feelings that December is known for” says Line Nielsen, Head of Marketing at DSB.

To break through a saturated December and deliver the message, the campaign was strategically launched in mid-November. Zupa implemented a cross-platform campaign mixing traditional media (print, outdoor, stv films) with a broad range of digital elements, including a sponsored Instagram campaign using the new platform, Sponsta.

Instagram was chosen as a platform because of its rapid adoption with the young demographic, and Instagram advertising is still in its infancy with little competition. Zupa picked 12 popular Danish Instagrammers each with a high percentage of Danish followers, and gave them the brief “make a portrait of someone you care about and tag it #dsb❤.

An emoji hastag was chosen to create a branded hashtag that the younger Instagram community could relate to, and also to gain prominence and drive interest. Christmas-themed hashtags were deliberately avoided, not only to stand out amongst the Christmas noise, but also to create a hashtag that could be used in future campaigns, creating longevity and continuity.

To encourage organic likes and the audience to use the hashtag to tell their own stories, care was taken to not make the posts feel like direct sales or advertising. Making a portrait of someone you care about is something that resonates with everyone.

The brief was also designed to tap into the broader campaign “Visit the people you care about”, while at the same time appealing to a younger audience and striking a personal note. A younger audience was targeted, as these are a core consumer of Orange Tickets and gaining traction in this segment will give energy to the DSB brand.

The campaign was a success, and the sponsored posts were well received. The campaign received a good deal of media attention, including a 4-minute slot on TV2. According to YouGovs BrandIndex Buzz score DSB is the Danish brand that improved their image the most during 2015.

The sponsored posts earned a similar amount of likes as the non-sponsored posts in the feed, suggesting that the audience responded positively to the placement. The campaign generated a over 10,000 likes and while the campaign has ended, the #dsb❤, adopted by the Instagram community, lives on.