3 Craziest and Inspirational Viral Marketing Campaigns

Marketing is the lifeblood of any type of business, isn’t it? But all the marketing campaigns don’t pay off. In this competitive age, if you wanna nail your business no matter whether it’s an e-commerce business or retail business, you have to come up with marketing ideas that are unique, innovative, and spellbinding. When it comes to digital and broadcast marketing, it’s all about creating a buzz with your content. If your marketing content has the “wow” factor, it won’t just spread among your target audience rather it will spread at a lightning pace. That’s how your promotional campaign can earn the tag of viral marketing. Sounds pretty simple? Well, it’s not that simple.

It’s not a sure science that you apply the science and your content gets viral. Rather, you have to make an all-out effort to get content viral. You have to conduct online research, keep an eye on the trends, do brainstorming, explore your mind, and then you can run your campaign. Yet, it’s not certain that your marketing campaign would get viral. But if you can showcase something phenomenal and mesmerizing after taking the plunge, you never know your content can get viral. Consequently, it can create Facebook engagement, drive website traffic and convert your prospects.

As a matter of fact, you also need some inspiring examples to initiate your viral marketing campaigns. That’s why we have cherry-picked some blinding viral marketing campaigns carried out by some geniuses. We will walk you through these stellar campaigns and try to figure out what actually made these campaigns viral.

So, here you go…..

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

PC: ALS

One of the campaigns that generated a massive sensation in the world of social media is the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ice bucket challenge. It commenced in 2014 and since then continued picking up steam among Internet users worldwide. The motive of the campaign was to spread awareness and fundraise for people affected with ALS disease. The challenge was that a person would pour ice-cold water from a bucket over his head and then throw the challenge to at least 3 people and give a charity to the ALS association. The campaign worked so much so that it garnered $115 million in a space of just 8 weeks!

Take a look at the video below that shows Bill Gates taking the ice bucket challenge-

YouTube video

The ALS association threw the challenges to both celebrities and ordinary patrons in order to raise funds as well as awareness among the masses regarding ALS. Among the celebrities who took part in the ice bucket challenge, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Rafael Nadal, Christiano Ronaldo, Tom Cruise, etc. are worth mentioning. Perhaps, their participation in this amazing challenge was instrumental for the campaign to take off.

Takeaway Points from the Campaign:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis disease was hardly known to people before the ice bucket challenge. Once the campaign kicked off, people automatically started knowing about this disease. Participants began sharing their videos on social media channels which made the campaign viral. This shows if you promote your products and brand on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. you can get a huge response as well.
  • The challenge was simple, wasn’t that? And that’s why celebrities and commoners alike volunteered to take up the challenge. Duration-wise, it was just a matter of few seconds for the participants to put the chilled water on themselves and contribute to the cause. What you can learn from it’s that the message that you present to your clients should be simple and crispy. Because they don’t have the time to get into the depth of your message and extract it.
  • Another notable aspect of the campaign was that it was time-limited and the timeline was only for 24 hours. This created a rush among people which also triggered quick circulation of the challenge on different platforms. You can also offer discounts or concessions to your clients and set a timeline for it. What it will do is, multiply as well as quicken your sales.

Old Spice: “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”:

Old Spice: Smell your Man could Smell Like

PC: Effie

When we talk about viral marketing campaigns, we can’t override the ad campaigns of Old Spice. They always come up with some killer and spectacular ideas to create a buzz among their target audience. In this campaign launched in 2010, they targeted women as they figured out that they are the ones who pick up their men’s essential items. In the ad, they created a brand character “Old Spice Man” who talks with humor as well as confidence and plays with words to mesmerize the ladies. Isaiah Mustafa was the one who played the role of Old Spice man and just nailed it!!!

The old spice man draws the attention of the ladies telling them that “anything is possible if your man uses Old Spice”. He initially shows up shirtless wearing only a towel and then lands on a ship with a makeover in his get-up. He then holds an artificial oyster with sports tickets turning into a diamond followed by riding a horse on the beach. The video received massive traction among the masses and notched up nearly 60 million views so far.

Here is a video of old spice man that received mammoth traction-

YouTube video

That’s not the end!!! Spotting this huge response from the audience, the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy did something phenomenal. They produced 200 short ads in a series featuring Isaiah Mustafa answering the comments and queries of people put forth in social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. No wonder, this skyrocketed followers and likes of these channels as Twitter saw a boost of followers by over 1000 percent and Facebook gained more than half a million likes on these ads.

Takeaway Points from the Campaign:

  • The catchy facet of this ad campaign is the presentation of the Old Spice Man. The spirit and style that Isaiah Mustafa showcased are just blinding. This is one of the strongest reasons why the video garnered such humongous views. If you can create such a brand character showing up in a video with a mix of courage, humor, and swag, you can easily nail your marketing campaign.
  • Widen + Kennedy amped up their social media likes and followers capitalizing on the success of the video. The key point here is the circumstantial understanding. They dug it pretty well that they could boost their social media engagement easily if they avail of their brand character and they did that. This displays that if you come up with such an innovative and interactive idea, your business can skyrocket as well.
  • The Old Spice man replied to the tweets and queries posted on Twitter and Facebook in 24 hours via YouTube videos. It was a real-time response and that’s why people were more eager to stay connected. The same technique you can also apply for your business and be rest assured of the imminent rapid success.

Dove: “Real Beauty Sketches”:

Dove: Real Beauty Sketches

PC: Dove

This ad campaign by Unilever through its ad agency Ogilvy and Mather is unlike the previous two ad campaigns. This is devoid of any fun and excitement but yet received a smashing response from the viewers. The video was uploaded in 25 to 33 languages on Dove’s YouTube channels making it understandable by consumers from over 110 countries. Currently, the video has approximately 70 million views only in the English version.

The video was mainly produced with a view to empowering women in the sense that every woman is more gorgeous than she thinks. The campaign featured an FBI-trained sketch artist in a short video where he was shown drawing 2 portraits of a number of women based on their own narrations and the perception by strangers. The jaw-dropping aspect of the sketching was that neither the artist was looking at the women nor the women were looking at the artist.

Take a glimpse at the short film of Dove that totally changed the perception of women around the world-

YouTube video

Once the sketching was done, the artist placed both the portraits of the same woman side-by-side. No wonder, there was a striking difference between the two portraits. So, what was the conclusion? The one described by the stranger turned out to be way more pretty and comely as compared to the self-described portraits. The core message of the brand from this campaign was “You are more beautiful than you think.” So, women shouldn’t be overcritical of their looks rather they should always stay positive about their appearance.

Takeaway Points from the Campaign:

  • The main message of Dove’s this campaign is, “You are more beautiful than you think.” The noteworthy point here is, they used the second person “you” in their message. Apparently, it’s normal but when you think profoundly, it creates a close connection between the brand and women. Every woman thinks the message is meant for her thus creating care, affection, and strong bonding. You can do the same in your marketing or branding campaign to create a personal touch.
  • In this campaign, Dove didn’t promote their products but yet the video pulled in masses and amassed millions of views. This shows the weight of social messages that if the message is presented thinking outside the box, it can do wonders. Consumers are likely to connect with your brand if you develop a killer and thought-provoking social message.
  • Can you ponder over why the video got such enormous traction among people all over the world? It’s simple and pretty straightforward!!! Because it has touched people emotionally and empowered them. When people watched the short video, many of them shed tears of joy and happiness. At the same time, they had feelings of comfort and confidence. The ad was showing conversations between people about the beauty of women and ultimately upgraded them. It showcases if you spread positivity through your marketing campaigns, people are likely to respond and appreciate you.

Up for your Next Campaign?

When your aim is to go viral, you must focus on the value you are delivering to your audience. Why should they share your idea or message on social media channels? No doubt, it has to stir them or touch them or entice them. You can come up with visual marketing or text marketing but it has to be unique and thought-provoking. Only then it will prompt them to communicate with others. So, what’s the delay? What are you awaiting? Hurry up and go for your viral marketing campaign!!! Roll up your sleeves, apply necessary tricks and techniques, and also hope for luck to favor you. After all, you can’t predict the outcome of your viral marketing campaign.

That’s it. Wish you all the best for your upcoming viral marketing campaign. Don’t forget to take inspiration from the above campaigns and make a world of difference with your innovative and mesmerizing ideas. Until next time, keep the ball rolling and just enjoy your time.