Viral Marketing: 3 Ads That Broke the Internet

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The internet offers limitless possibilities for all businesses. No matter which industry you identify with, you will gain benefit by taking your marketing online.

However, because plenty of other businesses are also trying to widen their customer base through the internet, it is hard to cut through the noise and be noticed by thousands of potential customers.

A few, however, have figured out how to get the public to notice them. They were able to create an ad that has been passed by person to person online and, as the kids say, became viral.

Going Viral

Viral marketing is a successful marketing campaign wherein a message spreads quickly and across a huge number of people. Viral marketing can any business a household name overnight.

Achieving virality online will not be easy. You will have to hire experts to help you develop an effective strategy. For example, hospitality marketing consultants would help your new restaurant chain become as popular as McDonald’s or Wendy’s.

Here are some of the most popular and memorable internet ads ever.

Just Some Razor Sharp Blades

Dollar Shave Club entered the grooming market with a bang. In 2012, the company released a video ad starring, not with a recognizable actor or attractive model, but with its own co-founder and CEO Michael Dubin.

The concept was simple. Dubin talks about their product, a subscription service that sends its customers a box of shaving equipment right on their doorsteps every month, in a very funny way. He uses coarse language and took a jab at its bigger competitors.

It worked. The idea resonated strongly with the public. On the day the ad was released, 5,000 people subscribed to the service. Today, the video now has nearly 27 million views on YouTube.

A Simple and Stealthy Stunt

If you check the official account of KFC on Twitter, you will notice that it follows 11 people. The group may seem random, but it actually was deliberate. KFC was following all five members of the 90s girl group Spice Girls and 6 guys named “Herb.” KFC, known for its tasty fried chicken, was following 11 herbs and spices.

KFC did not have to advertise the joke. A Twitter user noticed it and tweeted it out. It became viral.

As of this writing, the original tweet that pointed out the joke has been shared by 300,000 people and favorited by 600,000 more.

Straight to the Heart


An ad does not have to be funny to resonate. Some companies choose to tug at the viewer’s heartstrings.

Take, for example, GoPro’s Fireman Saves Kitten video which was uploaded on YouTube in 2013. The camera brand is known to use user-generated footage in its ads. In this case, a fireman goes inside a home that has been ravaged by fire… and found a kitten alive.

The video now has been viewed 43 million times.

A Powerful Message

An inspiring ad is also effective and has the potential to go viral. The sports apparel brand Under Armour knew that.

For one of its campaigns, it launched #IWillWhatIWant starring female athletes and the difficult path they took in order to succeed. The brand wanted to promote its women’s product line.

Shortly after the release of the campaign, Under Armour crossed $3 billion in sales.

There is no one secret to creating a campaign that would go viral online. What your business needs are a good idea, a good product, and knowing what your audience wants.


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