How to use viral marketing correctly, and which cases can be called the most successful?
Viral marketing is a tool that, if used correctly, can provide a brand with a significant expansion of its audience and awareness at minimal cost.
However, viral marketing requires careful planning and understanding of the target audience. Not every campaign can go viral, and trying to “hard” create viral content may not be effective without a deep understanding of what will truly interest and touch your audience. The effectiveness of viral marketing also depends on the brand’s ability to quickly respond to audience feedback and maintain interest in the campaign throughout its life.
One of the key criteria for success is sincerity and originality. Users value an authentic and honest approach, so viral content must not only be engaging, but also honest to the brand and its values. In addition, it is important to remember the balance between entertainment and information content: viral content should not only attract attention, but also inform the audience about the brand, its products or services.
I will highlight a few of the most striking, in my opinion, examples of successful marketing:
1. Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” commercial
The video, launched in 2010, quickly went viral thanks to its original humor, unconventional approach and charismatic actor Isaiah Mustafa. The video was actively distributed by users on social networks, which led to a significant increase in sales of Old Spice products. A key success factor was that the company was able to go beyond traditional advertising, offering the audience not just a commercial, but real entertainment that they wanted to share with friends.
2. Video “Will it Blend?” by Blendtec
The founder of this company is Tom Dixon, who used a simple but ingenious idea to demonstrate the power of his blenders. In a series of videos, he shredded items ranging from fruit to electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets. These videos have become extremely popular online, drawing attention to the brand and showcasing its product in a unique and funny light.
3. Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” advertising campaign
The campaign featured women describing their appearance to a forensic artist who couldn’t see their face, and then having strangers do the same. The results shown in the video demonstrate that women often judge themselves too critically. The video quickly went viral, causing widespread public outcry and raising the important topic of self-perception and inner beauty.
4. Dropbox’s strategy
To stimulate the spread of its service, Dropbox offered users an incentive program: for each new user invited through a referral link, both the inviting user and the new user received an additional 500 MB of cloud storage space. This approach created benefits for both parties and launched a powerful viral chain of recommendations.
What made this method special was that the extra cloud space that Dropbox offered as a bonus provided significant value to users. At the same time, from the company’s point of view, the cost of providing additional space was relatively low and became less and less over time due to the falling cost of data storage. Thus, Dropbox was able to not only significantly expand its user base, but also do it at minimal cost. Today 500 MB may seem like a small amount, but at the time this offer was extremely attractive to most users.