Category: Viral

Valentine’s Day Ad Campaigns That Will Make Your Heart Melt

A holiday traditionally dreaded by men and beloved by women is upon us: Valentine’s Day. And no matter what side you of the fence you are on, chances are you’ve purchased something special for your significant other, family members, friends or pet!

According to Search Engine Watch,  Marketers are well aware of the moneymaking opportunities that Valentine’s Day brings. And to cash in on this holiday dedicated to love, they are pulling out all the stops.

Here are a few of my favorite campaigns from this year:

Lush Cosmetics:


The campaign, titled #BetterTogether, depicts two same-sex couples simply relaxing in warm, bubbly baths. Huffington Post’s article about the campaign explained, “At Lush we believe that love transcends gender,” they said. “We set out to do one thing when creating our Valentine’s Day visuals, we wanted to capture love between two people and we believe that’s what we have done here.”

Bronx Zoo:


Talk about a unique gift. The Bronx Zoo is offering animal-lovers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to give their loved one a gift that’s really eternal. For just $10, consumers can name a Bronx Zoo Madagascar hissing cockroach in their Valentine’s honor and receive a digital certificate with the roach’s name to cherish for years to come.

Ted Baker:

To get consumers engaged, Ted Baker created a desktop and mobile responsive game hosted on their website that featured three Chatter teeth characters – silver tongued bachelor Chatterup Charles, love sick Broken-hearted Bill and flirty Footloose Fran. To score points, users had to grab accessories from the character’s mouths as they moved up and down the screen.

Contestants had 30 seconds to grab as many items as possible. Once the time is up, scores were calculated and the player could see how they did on the global leader board. After playing the game, they were entered for a chance to win daily prizes or the grand prize of a $1,000 shopping spree at Ted Baker.

Dunkin’ Donuts:

Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t want to leave anything to chance. They created a multi-channel campaign with a photo contest on Instagram, an iMessage card builder, mobile wallpapers, an emoji keyboard on its app, two Snapchat geofilters and a Facebook Live music performance.

My favorite part of the campaign: The “Dunkin’ Love” Instagram photo contest which asks fans to share how Dunkin’ is part of their love story using hashtap #DunkinLoveContest. The grand prize winner will get a year’s worth of coffee and donuts as well as $2,500. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

What Makes Something Go Viral?

Viral content is fascinating to think about. One story, picture, video… whatever it may be, that manages to capture the attention of millions, if not billions of people. So what makes some content pieces go viral and not others? Can you create content with the intention of it going viral or is it a completely organic process? Well, the answer is a little bit of both!


YouTube’s Trend Manager, Kevin Allocca, was able to isolate three components to viral content:


These are the people that start the popularity for content – think Jimmy Kimmel sharing a funny video or meme. In what started as a simple share of something funny, Mr. Kimmel has kick-started the path to going viral. After viewers see the content on his popular talk show, they share it on social media, they text it to friends and some probably even email it to their list of contacts.

Participation communities:

Once content has been shared from the original tastemaker, the ability to make something go viral is in the hands of a “participation community.” Whether or not users interact with the content plays a huge part in its viral fame. Take the angry Arthur meme that was popular over the summer – there isn’t just one version. Viewers felt a connection to the meme on such a personal level that they decided to create their own version. The individuals are part of a participation community, they are actively interacting with content and are helping it reach viral status.


Finally, and this may be more common in videos, but viral content almost always contains something unexpected. Think of all the America’s Funniest Home Videos you have seen, sure some of them are predictable, but the ones that shock you are some of the best to watch. The surprise ending excites people and this feeling is what helps the video get circulated.

If you set out to make something go viral, chances are you won’t have much luck since you alone cannot make something viral. As author Seth Godin put it, “You must start by focusing on one person and something they care about and from there it will take care of itself.” The idea is that if you narrow in on one person’s interest so perfectly, they will feel bad if they don’t share it with others. This is your tastemaker, from there they will send it to your “participation community” and the unexpectedness of how deeply viewers relate to the content will propel your content to viral fame.



Make It Worth Watching

It always amazes me when I hear people talk about leveraging the power of YouTube to “go viral.” But a lot of brands don’t want to step up and create content that will actually work on YouTube. Instead of the short, funny video with a subtle underlying ad message, so many companies end up creating an 8.5 minute history of their brand. (And they wonder why it only gets 12 views).

If you’re a brand and you want to make YouTube work for you, you have to be prepared to create content that works on the platform. The shorter the better. The more shareable the better. And that ad message of yours, you’re going to have to find a way to work it in without smearing it across the screen in the most boring way ever.

A local law firm was bold enough to do it the right way. Their recent series of YouTube videos are, short, to the point and most importantly, they’re shareable.

A Software Developer Shows Us How To Do Viral Marketing

iPhone development team taptaptap posted a run down of 10 more useful iPhone tip & tricks on their blog last Friday. They were really good tips. Even as a self-professed iPhone nerd, I didn’t know some of these tips.

I know what you’re asking, “Ok fanboy, what does any of this have to do with social media?”

Well honestly, what’s better than a list of awesome tricks? Even jaded iPhone “experts” are commenting on the post saying it’s the best list of tips they’ve seen. It has almost 650 tweets. That’s pretty decent traffic to the blog of this modest indie developer. taptaptap even took it one step further and integrated little pitches of their own apps into the list.

For each tip, taptaptap included iPhone screen shots showing how the trick works. This is one for the built in Apple camera app:

And then twice they followed the Apple app screenshot with a screen shot of one of their apps and how it it improves on the features of the build in app. This one shows taptaptap’s app, Camera+, and how it differentiates from Apple’s built in camera app:

The integrated pitches were very tasteful, never overbearing and didn’t dominate the post. taptaptap did a great job compiling information they knew was unique and would get people to pass the post around, driving traffic to their site and getting eyes onto their products.

I Hope This Gets To You (And Everyone Else on the Internet…)

I ran across this video on Gizmodo and, well, just watch it first:

I was immediately struck by this video for two reasons: Number one, it pulled at my heartstrings. I must admit that at first, the “aww” factor got me. My husband and I were once in a long-distance relationship and so I get just how meaningful this will be for the video creator’s girlfriend when she does see it (she hasn’t yet).

But then I noted one small fact that Gizmodo was sure to point out: The guy that made it is in a band called The Daylights. It’s a band I could like judging by this song, but I had never heard of them. Until now. Hmm… I think there is a name for this… oh, yeah. Viral marketing. What better way to get people to pass your band’s music along than fueling it with a romantic story, complete with a call-to-action anyone with a soul couldn’t refuse?

Maybe I’m a cynic. When you work in advertising, you start to think about the motives behind everything. Maybe both romance and exposure for his band was this guy’s aim. While the video hasn’t gotten to her yet, the second part seems to be working out well – Katy Perry has tweeted it and he got an interview with The Village Voice. We’ll have to wait and see if his long-distance love is impressed, though I have a feeling she will be.

What do you think? Savvy social media marketing maneuver, or simply a romantic boyfriend sending a sweet message in a big way?