10 Awesome Viral Online Marketing Campaigns
Truth be told, although we all like to complain that there’s just too much advertising present on our Internet, we actually like some of it. We’re referring, of course, to the marketing campaigns and videos that proved so successful they went viral in no time. We put together a list of some of the most successful, or simply the funniest such campaigns, with the aid of our friends over at Hullabaloo, a creative online marketing agency.
10. 2006: Dove – Evolution
In 2006, Dove did something no other corporate brand had done before them, i.e. they used the web to gain the trust of consumers. They showed the users how the beauty and fashion industries operate and what it takes to turn an ordinary looking woman into a supermodel-like goddess: and that’s Photoshop, of course!
9. 2000: John West – Bear
This video is a prime example at viral marketing with a corporate source. It was awfully funny and effective in promoting the John West brand. It featured a CGI-animated bear doing some mean kickboxing. It was created by Leo Burnett and was, in its day, one of the most forwarded videos around. Today, it stands as possibly the first ever viral video.
8. 2006: Threshers 40% Off Voucher
In 2006, shortly before Christmas, Threshers leaked a voucher worth 40% off wine and champagne via the internet. Apparently the voucher was only intended for suppliers and the belief that Threshers had mistakenly released the voucher made it spread faster and faster around the world via email, social networks and blogs. Threshers pretended to be worried about losing money on the promotion but no doubt ended up making a huge profit and getting publicity in a month than they got for the whole year.
7. Guitar (GuitarMasterPro.net)
This video shows viral marketing in its simplest form. Upload an amazing video clip of a guy playing the guitar, write a quick note saying that he learnt to play the guitar at GuitarMasterPro.net and hope some of the 45 million viewers want to learn to play too.
6. 2004: Burger King – Subservient Chicken
A man in a chicken suit willing to do whatever you tell him: what’s not to like? This is undoubtedly one of the most memorable campaigns of all time.
5. 1996: Hotmail
In today’s era of social networking it’s easy to think how quickly the likes of Facebook and Myspace grew but the real viral marketing pioneer was Hotmail. In December 1996 Hotmail had 500,000 registered users – less than a year later they had over 12,000,000 users. This astonishing growth rate was down to the fact that every single email sent from Hotmail included a small advert promoting the service in the footer.
4. Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold
A recent and amazing video from Nike quickly became a popular favorite with millions of viewers the world over. They turned to YouTube to watch as Ronaldinho takes delivery of a new pair of boots and spends over two minutes demonstrating the most amazing football skills the internet has ever seen. To date, some 23.5 million people have watched this ad on YouTube.
3. 2009: Tourism Queensland – Best Job in the World
This campaign extended far beyond the web to effectively become the world’s greatest PR stunt – generating more than £50m of equivalent paid-for ad space. And all this was achieved purely via social media, then making its way to traditional media, in news reports the world over. That’s some clever saving strategy, isn’t it?
2. 2008: Obama’s online campaign
Barack Obama’s digital campaign was truly game changing. A great use of online advertising, social media and mobile allowed Obama to connect with millions of young, influential voters in a way that will act as a blueprint for all future political campaigns.
1. Gorilla Advert (Cadbury’s)
We put Cadbury’s recent viral commercial at the top of the list simply because it’s crack-up, laugh-out-loud funny. It generated several dozens of millions of views, all based on the simple (albeit hilarious) concept of a gorilla playing the drums for Cadbury’s. Does it get any funnier than this? We think not!