Online video advertising is one of the most effective and engaging tools for putting your brand’s content into the hands of your target demographic. Through websites, video microsites and social media video sharing platforms, businesses are sharing more video content and promoting themselves better than ever before. To state the obvious, however, your video marketing campaign can only be effective if your videos are viewed by potential customers. But while many have tried, there is still no foolproof recipe for getting your video to go viral, and there never will be. The web video marketing community may have managed to come to a tentative consensus about some do’s, don’t’s, and deal-breakers, but after a certain point, putting out video content that truly goes viral comes down to luck. The internet is a fickle beast with constantly changing collective tastes, and your best chance for improving your luck is by simply studying the successes and failures of those viral video ad campaigns that have come before you. In that vein, here we will discuss some of our personal favorite viral video marketing campaigns and the lessons we can extract from them.
The “Like a Girl” video produced by Always presented their information through a heart warming and inspiring feminist campaign. The faux auditions asked a series of adults and younger boys to do various activities “like a girl”. The adults and adolescent boys performed the tasks more weakly than their baseline efforts. However when adolescent girls were asked to to do the same, they fought, ran and threw with all their strength and determination. This Always ad is an inspiring example of strong, mission-driven branding with online audiovisual content. Always initiated a movement to boost the confidence of our next generation of strong female leaders and managed to capitalize on the resonance of that message by strengthening their connection with fans and hopefully establishing a trend of loyalty between among consumers who were already invested in the cause.
Budweiser’s SuperBowl commercial entitled “Puppy Love” presented a story highlighting the resilience of friendships, starring a persistent puppy and their already iconic Budweiser Clydesdale horses. Rather than limiting their audience of social media sharers to men by producing a beer commercial that celebrated manliness and the glamour of fraternity life, the went in an unexpected direction and targeted the much wider demographic of people who love puppies, horses, and friendship.
An alternate way to motivate people to a call to action is through shock. Save the Children’s “Most Shocking Second a Day Video” did just that by presenting images of a young girl’s life as it was torn apart by war over the course of a year. Successful viral videos call people to action by invoking a strong emotion, and few video advertising campaigns have done this better than this one. The video is a heart-wrenching at times, but while the shock of the suffering they highlight may be how they draw people in, the video ultimately leaves viewers feeling hopeful and empowered to participate in their efforts to make the world a better place for children around the world. It is inspiring a call to action from which much can be learned.
These three examples as well as many others are a good sample of videos that have strong viral potential. It is crucial to appeal to the humanity in people and these videos all are interesting, engaging and humanize the product. They are able to build loyalty with a company while promoting a brand flawlessly.