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The 10 Best Viral Marketing Campaign Videos Ive Ever Seen

Will It Blend Viral Video Campaign

Viral marketing is very difficult to do well, but by studying the success these videos brought their owners you should be able to understand what it takes to make a good campaign.  Viral marketing may be one of the most lucrative forms of advertising but it offers a ROI unlike any other.

Some of the examples in this compilation show that you can reach millions upon millions of people by spending under $1000.  Using websites such as Youtube as a free means of distributing your video means you’re not shouldering hosting costs and using Will It Blend as an example, blending an iPhone on film is an inexpensive piece of advertising – but when you’re reaching over 6,000,000 people because of it, you need only sell 10 products to reclaim the costs.  Here are my 10 favourite viral video campaigns.

Blendtec – Will It Blend?

One of my personal favourites; what was the best way for Blendtec to demonstrate the might of their blenders?  Gun for product placement in films?  Leverage food channels?  No, all they needed to do was blend an iPod, a broom, golf balls and a multitude of other things.  This campaign attracted visitors like no other – people loved watching sturdy/expensive items turned to dust by this blender.  On Youtube alone the iPhone blending attracted nearly 6million visitors, the iPod attracted nearly 6 million too, 3million for a bag of marbles – you get the idea.  Sales of Blendtec blenders increased by something like 800% because of this cheap yet moreish campaign.  Pure genius.  Visit Will It Blend?


Honda – The Accord “Cogs”

I consider Honda’s marketing team to be amongst the best in the world because they frequently deliver rememberable, instantly recognisable advertising.  This advert that they created for the new Honda Accord became iconic; it didn’t need to be subtle in it’s intentions, the sheer scope of what they accomplished ensured that people were forwarding this advert to each other across the entire Internet.  It was shown on TV’s worldwide and implied that if Honda could go into this much detail with their advertising, the car must be exceptionally well made.  Which they were.

Guitar Hero – Bike Hero

Only yesterday I awarded this marketing stunt of the week because the scope of what was achieved here is just excellent.  It was completely unbranded and uploaded as if someone had gone out and done it – it showed a guy using his pushbike as a guitar-hero controller and cycling his way around a track they’d drawn around his neighbourhood.  He had to hit the right notes at the right time…  It’s really quite inspiring to watch.  All this video does is raise awareness of Guitar Hero in a positive light, but done in such a clever way that it’s indistinguishable from normal user-generated content.  It wasn’t until someone blew the whistle that it was flagged as viral marketing.

Burger King – Subservient Chicken

This is one of the oldest pieces of viral marketing around, and while it was branded up for Burger King it showed little more than the video of a chicken.  What made it viral was the interactivity; you wrote in a message box what you wanted the chicken to do and it would seemingly do it.  There were more than 300 different commands that the chicken would act upon with a couple of easter eggs too (excuse the pun).  Within 24 hours of launching the campaign had received a million hits, which would top 20million within a week.  In a year it received around 14,000,000 unique visitors and helped promote their new sandwich.  The success of this campaign raised eyebrows within the industry and showed the power of viral marketing.  Visit Subservient Chicken.

Nike – Ronaldinho Golden Boots

This campaign was unquestionably created by Nike, so heavy the branding and obvious it’s intentions; yet it had so many admirers just to see the unhuman skills shown by Ronaldinho.  Clearly it was fake yet it was done so well that no one could conclusively prove it was.  Why was it good?  It hinted that by buying Nike boots you too could develop inhuman skill, yet at the same time it was done in a way that made you want to show your friends.  That’s good viral marketing.

Transport for London – Do The Test

Transport for London created this absolutely astonishing piece of viral video; you’re challenged to keep an eye on the video and count how many times the team in white pass the basketball.  At the end of the video a new dimension is introduced that forces you to re-watch it – the message this video promotes is massively important and they conveyed it brilliantly.  This is a video that I personally sent to 10+ of my friends because it had the perfect combination of surprise and competitiveness to make it viral.  Visit Do The Test.

Cadburys – In the Air Tonight Gorilla

This is a campaign that didn’t quite resonate with me, but it did with everyone else.  A very simple advert created for TV showed a gorilla sitting behind a drum kit listening to Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”, upon reaching that famous drumming moment the gorilla starts playing the instrument.  I didn’t understand quite why this advert had such appeal but it really did – certainly amongst children and those 30+.  The advert had a very strong presence online and raised brand awareness, clearly delivering a good ROI because this video can’t have cost much to make.

Jack Links Beef Jerky – Messin with Sasquatch

A fairly simple premise but executed in a tidy way – short videos showing guys messing with Sasquatch.  Nothing overly amazing about these videos but they were mildly amusing and perfectly forwardable and with a few million views on Youtube alone shows that the campaign took off pretty well.  While the videos don’t have the creativity or vision of heavyweights such as Honda, the fact that I knew the product solely because of the viral campaign shows it works (they’re not sold here in the UK – jerky isn’t popular at all).  Visit Messin’ With Sasquatch.

Honda – Difficult is Worth Doing

Honda have the best marketing team in the world (in my eyes) and this campaign showed quite how much effort they put into their advertising.  With a slow lead-up for a week or two on TV (small snippets explaining Honda were going to be doing something) they then went all out and broadcast a live advert with choreographed sky-diving.  This wasn’t quite as viral as their “cogs” campaign but it showed how much time and effort they’re willing to put into their advertising and by proxy, how much time and effort goes into their products.  It didn’t matter that they didn’t advertise the fact that they sell cars, because Honda no longer need to tell people what they do.  They just need to continue to prove how good they are at doing it. Watch the video here.

Written by Ryan Lum

Ryan Lum is the founder and editor of Creative Guerrilla Marketing. He is passionate about creative marketing, social media and design. Connect with him on LinkedIn,Twitter or Google+

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