August 26, 2014

viral buzzwordsWe have all been told the value of viral marketing campaigns, and creating a viral marketing campaign isn’t always planned. Some content goes viral because of a carefully planned campaign fitting into a format which is pre-determined to be successful, but other content goes viral even to the surprise of the people releasing the material.

As more businesses are becoming accustomed to releasing digital and social media content, the importance of producing original and innovative material is greater, as this is the content which becomes viral. Viral content is self-perpetuating. A small amount of time, effort and money can grow into having a high impact without a business having to do anything.

Here are 3 of 2014’s best viral marketing campaigns:

Should Have Gone To Specsavers

Specsavers already had the genius to come up with the slogan, “Should have gone to Specsavers”, and this has opened the doors for numerous marketing campaigns in all media for them.

Within 16 hours of the World Cup incident when Luis Suarez bit the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini during a match between Uruguay and Italy, Specsavers had released the image of Chiellini/cannelloni along with the phrase “Should have gone to Specsavers”.

This campaign was clever for a number of reasons, the first being that it was reactionary and relevant. There was nothing else that people were talking about at that time so to get this material out in such as short space of time was imperative.  A quick response also sends a great message of professionalism and expertise to potential customers.

A factor which heightens the probability of content going viral is humour. The advert was both topical and funny which also makes it much more likely to turn viral.

Another strong point was that they used the Specsavers slogan, so the content was relevant and conducive to the brand. This meant that both the heritage and brand identity was obvious to all who saw it and it aligned with other Specsavers propaganda.

According to Specsavers Creative Director Graham Daldry the advert reached nearly 3 million people on the first day, just via Facebook.

Pepsi London livefornow



As part of Pepsi’s ‘Live For Now’ campaign, they installed a reactionary screen in the side panel of a bus stop in London, whereby unbelievable images were laid over the real life visual of the street. Images such as aliens, tigers and monsters were put over the real images to create crazy situations. Normal people’s reactions were recorded and then made into a video which was published on YouTube.

The idea is that Pepsi Max being no calories and no sugar is ‘unbelievable’ and this is the concept that they are using for this campaign.

People always like to see things which are clever and show human reactions, and this is why this campaign was so successful. Another bonus was that it was perfect for mobile. People could video reactions, video what was happening and automatically put them online. The result being that over 4.2million people have already viewed the video.

First Kiss

The First Kiss campaign was truly unexpected by everyone. Run by the clothing company, Wren, they filmed a number of strangers kissing each other for the first time.

People love to see humanity and intimacy, which was why this was so successful. The video even felt a little uncomfortable at times, but this all added to its success. The branding was very subtle (only that the women were wearing Wren clothing) and this was also important in its success.

The video now has had over 59 million views.

Releasing viral content is the perfect way to maximise marketing effect. Whilst there are a few factors which contribute to creating great viral content, sometimes it can be as much of a surprise that people like something as if they don’t.

Many thanks,


Jenny Verman

Jenny Verman
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

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