Chances are, the first place you go to search for a video you’ve heard about, is the internet’s number 1 video search engine, YouTube. So what better place to go in terms of gauging what kind of ad content is hitting the mark with consumers.
Most videos that go viral are for products or services that just about anyone could be a potential customer for. Their potential client base is extremely wide, thus reaching the most amount of viewers. But don’t let that dissuade you – just because your marketing video probably won’t reach YouTube’s top 10 list, doesn’t mean there’s nothing to learn from those that have.
5. Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”
Why it worked and what’s to learn: The one-shot nature of this video is where it’s all at. It’s uniqueness and absurdity keeps us all watching again and again. Don’t be afraid to be a little absurd in telling your customers exactly what you or your product can do for them or help them be. After all, who wouldn’t want their man to smell like the dashing adventurous spokesman of Old Spice?
4. Pepsi “Pepsi Generation
Why it worked and what’s to learn: Even though this commercial originally aired over 20 years ago, it plugged popular culture in a big way. So much so, that we’re still watching it today. Of course not everyone can afford to have a cultural icon put their face, name, and voice on their brand, but don’t be afraid to be relevant to the time you’re in. Or rather, of what connecting your brand to popular culture can do for your customers in terms of seeing your brand as relevant.
3. Volkswagen “The Force”
Why it worked and what’s to learn: Star Wars – the force is still with many of us, these many years later. Star Wars is still far more than a blip on the pop culture scales. And you don’t even have to be a Star Wars fan to find this commercial endearing or adorable. Volkswagen did little to promote any of the specifics of their brand in this video (i.e. safety, features, gas mileage). But what they did do, is leave the viewer with a memorable viewing experience, connecting that memory with their name. Sometimes it’s just getting your name out there enough to be remembered or associated with good feelings. You don’t always have to tout the specifics of your brand or company to be remembered by many. The first step is just being known.
2. Evian “Roller Babies”
Why it worked and what’s to learn: There’s one reason this video went viral: sheer ridiculousness. Sure, water is good for you and makes you feel better, but no amount of water ever made anyone feel like a rollerskating baby. This ad is so odd that it borders on unsettling rather than cute. And similar to the Volkswagen ad, this is more about brand recognition than brand superiority. Evian does nothing to claim that their water is any better than what you get from your faucet, but the name Evian will have a special place in the ‘that was weird’ part of our brains for years to come.
1. Angry Birds “Trailer”
Why it worked and what’s to learn: Angry Birds has had unbelievable success for being just a game we play on our smartphones. Why such success? Fun backstory. Who doesn’t despise those greedy little glutinous green piggies and their taste for eggs? The fun marketing that the people at Rovio have unleashed through multiple outlets, has turned Angry Birds from a game you play on your phone to another rave in pop culture. Those mad little birds now appear on t-shirts, phone cases, and many other products. Sometimes a little fun fiction is ideal in building your brand’s loyalty and gaining attention.