Oh, hi there. Have you heard the news about video? It’s becoming really important for marketers to use. Imperative, even. Perhaps mandatory.
“Sure, ” you must be thinking. “And in other news, the sky is blue.”
Okay, we get it. You know how important video is. That much is clear. In fact, 94% of marketers plan to add either YouTube or Facebook video to their content distribution efforts in the next 12 months. And that’s great — but we have a question. What makes a video viral ?
According to Dictionary.com , to go viral means to become avery popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the internet.a And when executed well, that virality can last for a while — in fact, I donat know about you, but one of my favorite ways to reminisce about my childhood is to ask my peers, aRemember that old jingle that went like a |? a
So not only have we hand-picked our favorite viral marketing videos below — weave also explained what we believe makes them so effective. And given the aforementioned ability of viral videos to preserve evergreen popularity, youall notice that not all of them are terribly recent. So, letas get right to it, shall we?
6 Viral Video Marketing Examples
1) Dallas Zoo& Bob Hagh: Breakdancing Gorilla
We start off with a little bit of an unusual example. It all started when Dallas Zoo Primate Supervisor Ashley Orr captured this video of Zola, a footloose and fancy-free gorilla splashing around and dancing in a kiddie pond. Check it out 😛 TAGEND
But as if that wasn’t already fun enough to watch, Star-Telegram Video Producer Bob Hagh “ve noticed that” the gorilla’s “choreography” a striking similarity to a routine from the movie Flashdance , which was performed to the anthem “Maniac.” Seeing an opportunity for a quick chuckle, Hagh dubbed the dancing gorilla video with the same track.
I added some music to this. pic.twitter.com/ UwjhTKpaeu
a Bob Hagh (@ BobHagh) June 22, 2017
Within less than a week, the video was picked up by the likes of CNN , Maxim , and ABC , to name a few — merely have a look at the search results for “dancing gorilla lunatic.”
Why It Works
How many times have you watched a video and think, “This reminds me of … “? That’s precisely what Hagh did here — took a video that was already cute, and added something simple to make it even more shareable.
After Haghas aenhanceda version of the gorilla video went viral, I resolved to start find those fleeting moments when I think to myself, aWouldnat it be funny if a |? a And while thereas no guarantee that acting on those guess would have viral outcomes — and we wouldnat recommend investing a ton of time in something that isnat likely to pay off — Haghas experience induces us tell, aYou never know.a
So start paying attention to what you commonly think of as silly ideas, and if thereas a low-effort opportunity to act on them, do so — but donat only do it once, and pay attention each time, analyzing any metrics that youare able to pull around performance. Watch who responds to each experiment and how, and it could inform your video marketing strategy.
2) Dollar Shave Club: “Our Blades Are F *** ing Great”
The video below is over five years old, and yet, out of all of Dollar Shave Clubas YouTube videos — of which there are more than 50 — it remains the brandas most popular, with over 24 million views.
Why It Works
Thereas something to be said for putting a face to a brand — in this case, itas Dollar Shave Clubas founder, Michael Dubin. Employees can have up to 10 X as many followers on social media as the companies they work for, and content shared by them receives as much as 8X the participation. In other words, viewers like it when the people behind a brand advocate for it.
Thatas exactly what this video does — and following its success, Dubin hasnat disappeared into the shadows, and to this day, continues to personally appear in the vast majority of Dollar Shave Clubas videos.
We get it. Founders and executives are busy. Where the heck are they supposed to find the time to appear in all of these marketing videos? To us, the answer is: They build the time. By publicly attaining that investment in their respective brandsa content, an executive sends the message that she still believes in her brand, and that she hasnat let its success change her character. Itas a unique form of thought leadership, but if Dollar Shave Clubas growth and popularity is any show — it works.
3) IBM: “A Boy And His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie”
Hereas another video that you are able to file under: aOldie, but goodie.a Sure, this marketing video falls within the B2B sector to advertise IBMas data storage services — but similar to the very B2C brand Dollar Shave Club, the example below remains its most popular video on YouTube, with over six million views.
aEven nanophysicists need to have a little fun, a the videoas description reads, explaining that, to construct the video, aIBM researchers employed a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide gas molecules a | all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you overstate it 100 million times.a Today, it holds the Guinness World RecordsaC/ title for the World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film.
Why It Works
Re-read the first part of the video’s description. aEven nanophysicists need to have a little fun.a Replace that job title with any other, and depending on your industry, it could apply to your work, as well. All marketers deserve to have a little fun. The topic is, aHow? a
It presents another opportunity to start paying closer attention to those aWouldnat it be cool if a |? a thinks, and thinking about how you can actually act upon them to generate remarkable content. Thatas especially important in B2B marketing, where creatively communicating your product or service in an engaging route is a reported challenge.
So, weall say it again: Write down your notions for cool things to do, and present them at your next marketing conversation with a plan for implementing them.
P.S. Want to see how this film was stimulated? Check out that bonus footage here.
4) TrueMoveH: “Giving”
TrueMoveH, a mobile communication provider in Thailand, triggered leaky eyeballs everywhere when it published this video in 2013. To date, it has over 20 million views and continues to be the brandas most popular YouTube video.
Weare not crying. Youare crying.
Why It Works
Letas think about some of the ads that have given us aall the feelings, a as the children would say, like Budweiseras 2014 aPuppy Lovea Super Bowl ad which, in January 2016, Inc . called athe All-Time Most Popular Super Bowl Ad .a Theyare popular, and people continue to talk about them long after theyave aired. Thatas because they invoke empathy — and that can highly influence buying decisions, especially when thereas a narrative involved.
This video tells a story. It follows the narrative of a human who was unequivocally generous throughout his life and, in the end, refunded when it mattered most. The best part: Not once throughout the story is the brand mentioned. In fact, it isnat until the end that TrueMoveHas general business category — communication — arises.
Start with your industry. Then, think of a tale you want to tell — any story at all, as long as it invokes empathy. Then, figure out how that narrative ties back to what your brand does, and use it to create video content.
5) Tripp and Tyler& Zoom: “A Conference Call in Real Life”
Then, thereas the flip side of empathy — the kind that takes some of lifeas biggest aggravations and applies humor to them. Thatas exactly what podcast hosts Tripp and Tyler did in the video below, to exemplify what a conference call would look like if it played out in real life.
Why It Works
This example is an interesting instance of co-marketing. Tripp and Tyler made the video in partnership with Zoom, a video conferencing provider — but Zoom isnat mentioned until the end, when the narrative being told in the video is largely over. Itas as if the video says, aHa ha, donat you detest it when that happens? Hereas a company that can provide a solution, a and then quietly exits.
What are some of the biggest annoyances your customers or personas have to deal with? Do they align with the problems that your product or service is designed to solve? If the answer is ano, a then, well a | you have some work to do.
But if the answer is ayes, a find the humor in those problems. They say that aart imitates life, a so donat be afraid to act it out, and use these common annoyances to create engaging content.
6) Poo~ Pourri: “Imagine Where You Can GO”
Poo~ Pourri, the maker of a unique bathroom spray, is known for its vast array of viral videos. And while weare a bit too bashful to share its most popular one on here, hereas another one — which has earned over 13 million views — thatall give you a general notion of what the brand is all about.
Why It Works
Letas face it: Generally, what goes on in the bathroom stays in the bathroom. Itas a taboo topic — but itas one that everyone experiences, and one that Poo~ Pourri approaches and communicates with bravado.
This brandas products were created to solve a problem that people typically donat like to discuss publicly, but still needs to be resolved. So Poo~ Pourri created video content that tells, aHey, weall address and talk about it, so you donat have to.a
What are some of the discomforts/ uncomfortable topics around the problem that your product seeks to resolve? Start a dialogue about them — the one that your client wants to have, but is too embarrassed to do so.
And guess what? It doesnat “re going to have to” pertain to bodily functions. It can also be about bigger grievances, like wanting to quit your job. Thatas the approach that HubSpot has taken with its Summer Startup Competition, for which we created the video below. The opening line? An unabashed declaration of, aQuit your job.a
So, there you have it. From tear-jerking to hilarious, these viral videos represent the endless possibilities of how your brand can create similar content — the kind that could maintain people talking about it far down the road.
What are your favorite viral video marketing examples? Let us know in specific comments . Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2010 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness .
Read more: blog.hubspot.com