What makes a successful viral ad? How can you go about making one to promote your brand? Well, all we can do is break down the most successful viral ads out there and try and establish what it is that makes them work.
10. Nike Tiempo Legend with Ronaldinho
A video by Nike featuring Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho to promote their new football boots.
As Nike is already a very recognised brand, I think the hand-held, not-very-high-quality camera had a lot to do with this clip becoming popular. It gives the impression that it was filmed candidly, i.e. not a planned and contrived advertisement.
And of course the impressive skill displayed is something people would naturally want to witness.
9. Will It Blend? iPhone
This clip has a very different feel to it. It a clear advert for a product, but it has been successful nevertheless.
I believe there are several reasons for this. Not only does it combine Tom Dickson's zany humour with the out-and-out destruction of valuable items; it uses instantly recognisable gadgets (the iphone in this case) that people know and can easily connect with their own lives.
The "Will It Blend?" series is also interactive in that people can get in touch and suggest things to blend. So overall I'd say that makes a pretty delectable cocktail of prime viral ingredients!
8. Samsung Extreme Sheep LED Art
The principle behind this next video is a simple one; however the execution of the events depicted is far from simple.
If you have the skill to pull off an impressive stunt like this, people will flock to see the footage.
This is an advert for Samsung, a brand that people are already well aware of. However videos like this will do a great job of reinforcing people's loyalty and showing them just how creative it's possible to get with their products.
7. Volkswagen – The Force
An advert that is clearly just that; an advert.
All they've done is take something that everyone recognises (Star Wars) and made a fun little piece to highlight one of the features of their new car. It's funny, sweet and we all get the film reference. Simple right?
6. Nike: Kobe Jumps Pool Of Snakes
Another one for Nike's shoes.
It is one of a small series of clips of Coby Bryant jumping over things that no normal human would be able to jump. These impressive displays of athleticism, combined with the familiar faces (of the Jackass crew in this example) that people love, make for a sure-fire hit on the viral market.
5. That Band With The Treadmill Video
Different to the previous ones because it's a music video. The band is Ok Go, the song is "Here It Goes Again".
Yes it's the famous video with the treadmills that we've all seen, even if we wouldn't be able to tell you the name of the band or the song. However, being known as "that band with the treadmill video" is surely better than not being known at all?
This is simply a very clever routine put to a catchy song; a proven formula for success.
4. Cadbury's Gorilla In The Air Tonight
Back to the well-known brands with Cadbury's.
We've all seen the famous video of the gorilla playing the drums to Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight." In all fairness, it was on TV for a while which gave it a significant boost, but still, the ad has had a prolific online career as well.
Cadbury's thought process was that they wanted to create the kind of lovely, satisfied feeling that people get when they eat their chocolate. This is what they came up with. It's funny, light-hearted and well thought out.
3. T-Mobile Flash Mob
The famous T-Mobile flash-mob ad was simply a feel-good, dance-along smile-fest. Obviously had quite a budget behind it, but when a flash-mob video is done well it can become hugely popular.
The look of genuine surprise on people's faces when the whole train station starts dancing in sync with each other is positively heart-warming.
A very effective promotional video.
2. Honda – The Cog
One of my personal favourite adverts of all time. The Honda advert.
This is another example of a very cleverly set up sequence of events that anyone would marvel at while witnessing. I don't think the popularity of this video needs much explaining, it really can speak for itself.
Since its release there has been debate as to whether or not it was real or just clever CGI animation, but to be honest, I don't think I care.
1. The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
Quite possibly the most famous viral advert ever made, and in my opinion, deservedly so.
It's funny, smooth and smells amazing! It is of course Old Spice's brilliant "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" advert.
Do you have a product? If so, can it be used or presented in any unconventionally creative ways? Because essentially, the only common theme that runs throughout all of these videos is just that; creativity.
It's all about being original and doing something that people haven't seen before. Try to come up with a unique way of using your product or demonstrating your service and most importantly, ask yourself, "would I be impressed / entertained / happy watching this myself?"
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