5 ads that went viral and why we love them15 April 2020 | Shalini for Red Bangle
Most marketers are baffled by the way in which videos go viral. It is difficult to figure out exactly why one video becomes an overnight internet sensation while another barely creates a whisper online. But brands cannot leave video virality to luck. According to Kevin Allocca, a trend manager at Youtube, videos go viral because of tastemakers (influencers), community participation and the unexpectedness of the video content. In this blog, we’ve reviewed some of the biggest viral ads of our times and analysed how they hit a sweet spot. So, in no particular order, here are some of our favourites.
1. Dollar Shave Club — Michael Dublin
This low-budget ad features founder, Michael Dubin, who explains the service offering — cheap shaving blades to counter the woes of people who don’t change their blade often enough. The refreshingly honest direct sell, the ad’s cultural relevance, tongue-in-cheek humour, continuous camera roll, Dubin’s on-camera charm and relatability combined with a value for the buck promise — explains why this video has over 26 million views (and counting).
OUR INSIGHT: It all boils down to the script.
BUDGET RANGE: low
2. Volvo — Epic Split
This video features Jean-Claude Van Damme performing his famous split between two Volvo trucks going reverse direction against a beautiful Spanish sunset. The video set out to highlight the safety and stability of Volvo’s dynamic steering feature, and it did so without a shadow of a doubt. A great action hero, nail-biting drama, a pair of untearable magic pants, all filmed in one single take — now that’s a viral video. The video has close to 95 million views.
OUR INSIGHT: Let a simple idea do all the talking. Less is More.
BUDGET RANGE: high
3. Playstation — Gravity Rush
This award-winning PSP ad was made to create a buzz before the release of their popular game Gravity Rush. Yet it hardly shows the product! It introduces you to two Japanese sisters and their gravity defying cat, and does not reveal what it’s for until the very end. It grips, it terrifies and it keeps us on the edge of our seats for the entire duration of the four-minute ad — which is saying a lot.
OUR INSIGHT: It’s fun to take real life into the virtual and bring the virtual into real. People love it when you mix up dimensions in a relatable manner.
BUDGET RANGE: high
4. Intel — Meet the Makers
This video series is a testament to how true stories sometimes connect with audiences so much more than fiction. Meet the Makers is a mini-documentary series profiling individuals, who develop new technology and create amazing experiences using Intel products. It was created to project Intel’s mission this decade — to create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth. It hit the nail on the head.
OUR INSIGHT: When you show real people, show them in really good light. Invest in cinematography quality and make the everyday look wow.
Budget Range: mid
5. Poo-Pouri — Girls Don’t Poop
Here’s how comic relief really takes you places. Poo-Pourri is toilet spray aimed at young, eco-conscious females everywhere that are having a hard time bucking the social norms associated with bathroom business. The video features an elite British socialite in a blue dress talking about “birthing a creamy behemoth” and “tenacious skid marks” like she was simply discussing the weather. This video shocks and slays like a pro — or should we say poo?
Riding on the success of this ad, the brand made more original stories with the same lovely British redhead — 12, to be exact. All dazzling.
OUR INSIGHT: When the subject is something no one really wants to talk about, make it theatrical, exaggerated and funny.
BUDGET RANGE: high
While neither bathroom fresheners or razors are revolutionary products, brands like Poo-Pourri and Dollar Shave Club managed to introduce these products to the market in a fun and culturally-relevant manner. While the Volvo, Playstation and Intel videos make a unique connect with consumers. The one thing that all these videos had in common: the surprise element. You least expected the climax!
We believe every brand has the potential for an imaginative video. Get started on yours today: write to us on [email protected].