A successful viral campaign can catapault a brand’s awareness to a whole new level and really get people talking about it. The viral part is when people like it so much that they want to show their friends what they’ve found. The campaign then becomes viral as it is viewed, linked to and shared amongst drastic amounts of people.
Today I will take a look at some of the most amazing and successful viral marketing campaigns ever executed.
- Burger King: Subservient Chicken
This chicken was exactly that: subservient. The interactive website allows you to tell the guy in the chicken suit what to do and he would act it out, on command. The site was so catchy to visitors, that it has earned a spot as one of the most successful viral campaigns ever as it was shared millions of times.
- Nike: A Touch of Gold
A Nike rep was dispatched to give Ronaldinho his new Nike soccer cleats, with a camera man covering the whole thing. Ronaldinho proceeds to put the cleats on, and perform some amazing tricks with the soccer ball and his new Nikes. Ronaldinho’s performance is the touch of gold, and the people who were smart enough to decide to use this as a campaign made a really smart move. This has become one of the most viewed sports related viral videos online.
- Gmail: Invite only pre-launch
One of the best viral campaigns was Hotmail’s in 1996, but that was in a time with much less competition. When Google’s Gmail was first announced, people could only sign-up for the service if they were invited by an existing user. The fact that people felt like they were hooking their friends up with a “coveted” Gmail invite really helped to create cheerleaders for the new email service. That and the fact that it is an excellent email service made this a huge success for Google.
- Transport for London Agency: DoTheTest.co.uk Awareness Test Video
This video presented you with an awareness test where you have to closely watch the white team to see how many times they pass the ball. They then show you how easy it is to be unaware of something if you are focused on something else. Watch the video and see this amazing viral “awareness test” for yourself.
- BlairWitch.com: “Real Events” Leading up to the “Documentary”
The website portrayed what clearly appeared to be real events that occurred. Their were even reports of missing people, and some really convincing videos to back it up. They used all of this to make it appear like it was a real documentary. Well as we all later found out it was all acting, but it was also pure genius. The Blair Witch Project grossed over $240 million dollars, with a budget of less than $25 million.
- Quicksilver: Dyanamite Surfing
The video has a very amateur, and thus very realistic feel to it. It shows some kids who take their surfboards to a calm body of water and throw dynamite in the way to cause waves so they can surf. A lot of effort was put into making the video look like it was real, including a real explosion rather than the use of CGI. The Quicksilver video got millions of hits in the first few weeks of its release.
- Threshers: “Leaked” 40% off coupon
There appeared to be a frenzy over this “leaked” coupon that was supposedly intended to be for special buyers only. The fact that the coupon was accidentally leaked had people in a frenzy, trying to take advantage of the coupon and also passing it on to their friends. In reality, the coupon was intentionally “leaked” and it generated a large amount of business for Threshers. A very clever campaign indeed.
- Blendtec: Will it blend?
This series of online videos were made to demonstrate how powerful these Blendtec blenders really are. They would take common objects we can all relate to, such as an iPhone, and throw them in the blender to show you how powerful they are. Many of their videos have gotten millions of views, taking them from a brand most people didn’t know about to an established leader in their industry.
- Million Dollar Homepage: Pixels for sale on an “online billboard.”
This campaign offered advertisers the chance to buy a spot on the MillionDollarHomepage at $1 per pixel. You could buy as many pixels as you want, and once all 1,000,000 pixels were sold the site would stay like that forever. Well this 21 year old college student quickly sold every pixel, earning a million dollars to comfortably live life as a student.
- GuitarMasterPro.net: A teen with amazing guitar skills, who learned to play on a website
This video shows what appears to be teenager, doing an amazing performance of a track on his guitar. By the end of the video we are informed that the kid learned to play on a website, GuitarMasterPro.net, which is quite shocking considering his skill level.
If you want to share some other viral marketing campaigns, simply post them in the comments below. You can get more articles like these, along with really useful and interesting tweets by following me on Twitter.