If it is inspiration you seek, then take a look at these memorable viral campaigns. Hopefully, they´ll provide valuable lessons as to what kinds of things attract audiences, as well as insights into the kind of resources you can use to create a truly original viral ad.
1. The Million Dollar Homepage (www.milliondollarhomepage.com)
How many people smacked themselves on the head for not thinking of this? About a million? Alex Tew, its 21-year-old creator, made an initial investment of £50 on the domain name and a basic web-hosting package. Then, he proceeded to sell a pixel on his page for one dollar. The rest is history. He reached his goal of earning one million dollars and then some. Now, hes selling 1000 limited edition poster prints (signed by Alex himself!) and offering an opportunity to own a print of Internet history.
2. Transport for London - Do The Test (www.dothetest.co.uk)
If you surprise the viewer, you will surely be successful in going viral, as shown by this brilliant ad developed by Transport for London. The campaign was created to increase safety for cyclists. It is tremendously effective in getting its point across. They have now launched a new awareness test on their website in a whodunit scenario.
3. Burger King - Subservient Chicken (www.subservientchicken.com)
A classic among viral campaign ads, this one allows you to have it your way with our feathered friend. It was created to promote Burger Kings Tender Crisp chicken sandwich, and the numbers prove it was highly successful in doing so. What makes it so deliciously viral is the interactivity; you send in a command in a message box and the chicken willingly obliges. There are more than 300 different commands that the chicken will act upon, thus entertaining the user for hours.
4. Blendtec - Will It Blend? (www.willitblend.com)
This is highly addictive stuff, folks! Watch Tom blend anything from iPods to a bag of marbles, and youll want more. Reportedly, Blendtec blenders sales increased by a whopping 800%. Sheer genius.
5. Smirnoff Tea Partay (www.teapartay.com)
Watch these stereotypical preppy rich kids rap, and youll understand the ads viral power. By April 2007, it had more than 3 million hits on You Tube, and now has its own website.
6. Dove Evolution Video (www.campaignforrealbeauty.com)
One of the most talked about ads in recent years, it was an integral part of Doves Campaign for Real Beauty. It has won awards, been discussed in mainstream TV programs, and the exposure generated by this spot has an estimated worth of 150 million dollars. It is inspiring in more ways than one.
No list of the most successful viral marketing campaigns would be complete without Hotmails emblematic campaign. All it took was a small ad attached to every outgoing email inviting the recipient to join, and in a very short time, Hotmail grew to mammoth proportions.