The Top 10 Viral Marketing Campaigns Of All Time
Viral marketing campaigns are an amazing way to generate a huge amount of buzz and brand awareness whether they are carried out online or offline.
In this post we have honored the best viral marketing campaigns of all time, both online and offline.
If you know of a campaign that deserves to be on the list why not write about it in the comments.
Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold (Nike)
Without doubt my favourite video on the list is this masterpiece from Nike. 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.
23.5 million people have watched this ad on YouTube. Pure genius.
My Heart Will Go On (Free Macbook Air)
The genius of this video isn’t in the song (that’s just been copied from the Titanic video) it’s in the fact that the user uploaded the video just to promote an affiliate deal.
How many of the 21.9 million users who viewed this clip clicked on the affiliate link I wonder?
Note that the original video has been removed from Youtube so the one below is a replacement.
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.
Dynamite Surfing (Quicksilver)
With a reputed 10 million page views in the first few months of launch this viral advert for Quicksilver took the web by storm and did more to promote the brand than all their other advertising combined.
Of course we know the footage was staged and the surfers were really actors but this didn’t stop the video spreading virally around the web.
Do The Test (Transport for London)
This video has made the list purely because it has seen so many page views in a very short time. In just 3 months over 3.7 million people have viewed the video making it one of the top campaigns of 2008.
Stolen Nascar (TaxBrain.com
Promoting a website about tax is pretty difficult so the marketers behind this stunt decided to get creative.
They staged the theft of a Nascar with their website address on the site and managed to get over $1 million woth of TV exposure totally free within just a few days.
The stunt shot the site into the limelight and it has never looked back.
Working with Napolitan Productions, we brainstormed for a couple of days and concluded that our NASCAR racecar sponsorship had our branding, so we felt it could be the centerpiece in a viral video. Research indicated that a NASCAR had never been stolen by a racing fan, and since these fans truly are fanatical — just maybe a NASCAR could be stolen on lazy summer day at a small racetrack in California. Helping us along this path was the release of the movie ‘Talledega Nights.’ We hired real stuntmen, models and a seasoned reality TV camera crew. We rented the local racetrack to rehearse, clued in racetrack management of our plan, then the following Sunday at a live racing event, the car was “stolen.”
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.
“It was never intended to get this big,” a company spokesperson said.
The company admits it is slightly concerned about the popularity of the offer.
“We are waiting with bated breath… Early next week, we should get the figures for what level of business we have seen this week and over the weekend,” the spokesperson added.
“This is a better offer than normal and it could end up hitting our profit margins.”
Subservient Chicken (Burger King)
The site, at subservientchicken.com, features a chicken-suit-garbed human embodying the classic BK tagline, “Have it your way.” In a nod to adult “cam” sites, users type in commands and the bird obeys. Visitors are eating it up — and, Burger King hopes, consuming large quantities of its TenderCrisp chicken sandwich as well. The site is part of an integrated campaign for the new product.
“It was important to us to get to the elusive adults in their early twenties and thirties, the 18- to 34-year-old men, the so-called missing men who aren’t watching TV,” said Blake Lewis, a spokesperson for Burger King, which is controlled by Texas Pacific Group. “This audience embraces the Internet.” Lewis said the site got 46 million visits between its launch Wednesday, April 7 and the following Wednesday.
Gorilla Advert (Cadbury’s)
Another recent example of how an amazing advert can get millions more views thanks to the web comes in the form of a gorilla playing the drums for Cadbury’s.
In todays 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.