Companies spend big hiring influencers, content creators. In addition, or even a digital marketing agency to create ads that stick. But only a precious few ever truly break through and become truly viral.
From the absurd and surprising, to the heartfelt and powerful. In addition, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of the best viral marketing campaigns of all time.
Dollar Shave Club – “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”
In 2012, the previously unknown Dollar Shave Club made waves with their “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” campaign. The video follows the quippy young CEO Michael Dubin as he swans around his warehouse, poking fun at the ridiculousness of the shaving industry. He offers a simple, no-frills solution to a common problem; stop spending $20 a month on razors. Instead, join his club for $1 and he’ll send you a f**ing great razor.
Dollar Shave Club somehow managed to transform the typically boring topic of “shaving” into something that got the internet buzzing. Today, that video has over 27 million views. In 2016, it was reported that Unilever acquired Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion in cash. That’s a lot of dollar bills.
Old Spice – “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”
Addressing the “ladies” at home, Isaiah describes Jamaica Phone Number all the possibilities that can happen if their man smelt just as great as he does. It seems this sentiment struck a chord with the internet. On the first day of the campaign, the video received 5.9 million views, and has since climbed to a sumptuous view count of 59 million, at one time earning itself the #1 All-Time Most Viewed video on YouTube. Pretty impressive if you ask us.
Some say this campaign’s success came from the fact that Old Spice marketers discovered that women buy 60% of men’s body washes. They capitalised on this knowledge and created a campaign for a male-centred product targeting a female audience, a clever insight that made marketing agencies around the world take notice.
Dove – “Real Beauty Sketches”
Typically, the beauty industry bombards women with unattainable standards of perfection. Dove turned all that on its head in 2013 with a marketing campaign that encouraged women to appreciate their natural beauty. Dove had an FBI trained forensic artist, Gil Zamora, draw blind portraits of various women based on their self-descriptions. He then drew portraits of these same women, this time based on a description from a stranger they had met earlier.
The big reveal shows the two portraits side-by-side, with notable differences. The portrait based on the stranger’s description was noticeably more attractive than the portrait based on their own description. This forced women to recognise their distorted self-perception and to reconsider their view of their beauty.
This stunning campaign received a whopping 50 million views within the first 12 days of its release and 180 million to date. Interestingly the campaign didn’t mention Dove’s products at all, yet sales rocketed from $2.5 to $4 billion post-campaign.
Always – “Like a Girl”
There is no denying the Always “Like a Girl” campaign was made to pull on the heartstrings. They launched the campaign to tackle gender stereotypes, specifically the negative perceptions surrounding the phrase “like a girl”.
The video centred around a social experiment, where the Always creative team held a fake casting call with a mixture of young men, women, boys, and girls. They asked them to perform activities like running or fighting “like a girl”. The older kids acted in a self-deprecating way, appearing useless and silly.
When the younger kids were asked to perform these same activities, however, they acted much differently. The children performed with confidence and self-belief, running and fighting as hard as they could, revealing that “like a girl” was not a belief that occurred naturally in girls, but a pejorative hoisted on them as they get older.
Soon after the campaign was launched, the hashtag #LikeAGirl began trending on Twitter, with many celebrities joining the cause. The campaign reached global fame, raking in 90 million views on YouTube from over 150 countries. They achieved actual results with 70% of women and 60% of men claiming that “The video changed my perception of the phrase ‘like a girl’.” Sure, there is a long way to go in terms of challenging gender stereotypes, but Always made some serious headway.