Viral promotion or viral marketing is one of the advertising technologies involving representatives of the target audience as distributors of commercial information about a service or a product. This approach uses the “word of mouth” effect, and the message itself aims at creating resonance, scandal, provocation in society. The main criterion for viral marketing is the following – the news should “catch” the audience.
This technology often encourages people to disseminate information consciously or unconsciously. Both positive emotions and negative reactions contribute to the overall engagement pool in viral marketing. The main goal is that information is quickly shared offline and online.
The drawback is the opportunity to fall under the law’s ban, the public’s negative response and the boycott of products, and the reduction of the company’s image. Everyone should apply the technology carefully because you can lose your reputation in a few days if the user encounters outrageous advertising, including hate speech. And it will take years to restore the trust of the target audience.
You need to be bolder and use viral marketing. Direct sales have been annoying users for a long time. People on social networks often hide ads with advertising content. To get the audience to talk, you need to reach out to them. The same way you address your friends. That’s how viral marketing works.
10 Viral Marketing Examples
Here are some viral marketing examples of successful strategy implementation.
There is the most popular sample video for raising awareness of the product produced by Purple Mattress. The heroine from the fairy tale Goldilocks tests different types of mattresses with eggs, and a piece of high-strength glass dropped on them. The eggs will crack if the tested bed is too hard or too soft. And, of course, the product from the Purple company wins.
The creators immediately manage to capture the audience’s attention through unique and convincing images: well, this is one of the ideal examples of virtual advertising, which intrigues by the fact someone debunks myths and breaks eggs on the mattress?!
Especially for the first run of the film “Dark Night”, several sites supported the fictional election campaign of District Attorney Harvey Dent. There, marketers used posters with the slogans “I believe in Harvey Dent” which slowly turned into frightening images of the Joker, and the inscription “See you in December”. Shortly before the premiere, the Joker’s fascinating site, WhySoSerious.com, was launched and is still active.
One day, the bakery’s address appeared there, where people had to go for some reason. It turned out they were distributing cakes with the phone number indicated on the glaze, by calling which everyone could enroll in the army of the Joker. It was a great multi-pass viral marketing campaign.
Promoting a brand with a century-old history on the Internet is Oreo’s experience. In 2017, marketers of this huge corporation recorded 41 million followers on Facebook, 850 thousand followers on Twitter, 2.3 million followers on Instagram, and 189 million views on YouTube. This is the result of a large-scale digital viral campaign launched in 2012. They worked with the brand name, with the colors of the make, and did that in the form of dialog with the audience. Marketers used various news hooks, including the lunar eclipse and others.
There were no funds for the expensive advertising campaign. The partners made the main bet on previewing the first viral promotional video about the club at large-scale events. The first run in the worldwide network was on March 6, 2012. The video broke the Internet! With a minimalist concept filled with humor, Dollar Shave Club has become a startup supplying razors in a subscription service that delivers much value while keeping costs low.
In 2018, IHOP caused a real stir in the network by proposing to change its name from HOP to iHob. However, no one knew what the letter “b” meant. The whole world wondered what this could mean for the next seven days.
The company shoots bright, funny and memorable viral videos with a “skew” on the topic of male superiority. At the start, the firm actively promoted advertising on:
- viral marketing social networks;
- other possible places.
At what point did the videos go viral? Users started “making fun” of videos, reposting, discussing, and making parodies.
While many viral successes build on what their product can do, real Dove beauty sketches spread an inspiring message about the true beauty of women. People viewed this 3-minute short film more than 114 million times and it won the highest award at the International Festival.
The video clip follows an FBI-trained sketch artist and explores how women see themselves, helping to spread an inspiring idea focused on their customers than what Dove sells directly. Empathy is a strong emotion Real Beauty Sketches causes in its viewers.
Lay’s summer viral advertising campaign was based on BTL solutions in different cities. They involved popular bloggers and digital activations that would help the brand make the warm season more interesting and “tastier” and provide the opportunity for people to try other “species” of this season. They implemented the concept of the new campaign in the territories of the:
- festival summer.
GoldieBlox’s viral commercial advertising campaigns are based on Generation Z’s drive for activity and entrepreneurship. Young people are a synonym for the new stars. Today, this targeted content is only a fraction of the flow, but it will soon grow as Gen Z matures.
This is the name of a board game in which two to four players compete to form words using wooden letter tiles on the board. Due to the exciting idea and changing colors of the board and tiles, it does not cease to win the interest of children and adults.
Viral marketing is not the easiest way to promote yourself. It is unpredictable and depends on the mood of the audience. But if you manage to create viral content that will engage the user (and you can make it without much expense – Instagram and YouTube posts confirm this), the time spent and the lack of guarantees will pay off for your business.