Here are Some of the Best Viral Campaigns of 2015

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Best Viral Campaigns

Each year there are new viral campaigns on social media and on the web and each year there are new things to learn. By analyzing some of the top marketing plans (or accidents) you can start to understand what works with audiences and how audiences change year after year. Going viral can be tough but some of the elements that helped these viral campaigns can still potentially help give yours that extra boost you’ve been looking as we gear up for a New Year.

Keep in mind as well that viral campaigns don’t always have to be on Facebook, where they seem to pop up most often. Companies are getting creative with different mediums, so it’s important to explore those as well. Therefore, below shows some of the best viral campaigns we saw in 2015 on several different social media platforms that aren’t Facebook.

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Best Viral Campaigns 2015

Dove: Choose Beautiful YouTube Campaign

As you can see, this campaign was centered on giving women the choice to walk through a door that says “average” or a door that says “beautiful.” It’s an interesting campaign because it concludes with all women wishing they had said beautiful like some of their peers. This hammers in Dove’s idea of real beauty and what that means.

What makes this campaign so great is the fact that is appeals to the emotions of their target audience. It is relatable and it makes you think, “what door would I have chosen?” What’s cool is that then after asking these questions you start to think about the importance of real beauty (and what do you know, that’s Dove’s tagline). It got away from advertising the product and advertised something that relates to everyone. Whether you think you’re beautiful or not, you fit into one category which makes this ad relevant.

The Last Selfie: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Snapchat

The idea behind this campaign is to bring awareness to the animal populations at risk of going extinct around the world. WWF knew that they have a global audience and they needed to reach that audience, and snapchat was the perfect place to do that. According to Ittisa, “the whole idea behind WWF using Snapchat was to emphasize the fact that endangered species are disappearing around the world just as selfies disappear from Snapchat in 10 seconds.”

Even if you didn’t think of that when you saw the campaign, the press let us know this reasoning which helped bring another layer to the campaign entirely. In fact, it was one of the 2015 Webby Award winners.

best viral campaigns 2015

This is one campaign that really stuck out to me personally because of the imagery. It catches your attention because of the vibrant images, the relatable (and sad) taglines, and the way that they manage to mesh something as meanlingless as selfies next to animals that need our help. They also use a hashtag to help get the campaign going, which helped bring the campaign from Snapchat to other social networks.

Always: #LikeAGirl on Twitter

This is probably the most popular of the best viral campaigns on our list. The video shows the limiting way that so many people think of girls and women without even realizing it. For example, at one point a boy is asked to “run like a girl,” and he acts weak. The actresses and actors think they’re trying to audition for something, and get a rude awakening.

When young girls were asked the same question, the young girls ran with power and excitement. So where do things change? According to women, they tend to lose confidence around puberty, which coincides perfectly with the feminine product and really makes us all think: Why?

Although it originally aired at the Superbowl, the campaign continued to trend on various social accounts, large part through the #LikeAGirl hashtag. The content of the campaign is perfect here because it makes you think about an issue in a completely different way by showing different age groups of women so we can see where things start to go wrong.

The content makes us agree with the message while scratching our heads wondering why we never thought about it that way before. To no one’s surprise, #LikeAGirl started trending on Twitter, was retweeted by several celebrities, and before you knew it – the video was viewed more than 85 million times, 30 million of those the first week it was released.

As a side note, Always continued to keep the campaign going by creating more, similar videos, which I highly recommend checking out on their page here.

Mercedes-Benz USA: Build a GLA on Instagram

So this one was slightly before 2015, but 2015 is when it really started to take off. This campaign allowed people to customize a car right on Instagram from everything down to color, rims, windows, and more.

Interaction was the main focus of this campaign. They gave the audience an outlet to be creative without having to actually leave the outlet they were already using (Instagram). This got them over 100,000 likes and nearly 20,000 new followers. It’s likely that their younger audience told others about the car they created, which got others to want to get involved. It obviously worked brilliantly.

Ex Machina on Tinder

This was a campaign that I heard about from someone who attended the SXSW festival back in March, and it quickly became viral and was shared on multiple social platforms. At the festival, there was a woman named Avo on the Tinder dating app that was speaking very similarly to the woman in the movie Ex Machina. You could actually interact with her, even though she was supposed to be a robot!

best viral campaigns 2015 2

What is particularly interesting about this campaign is the fact that it is for a movie. Movies already have their way of getting a lot of publicity so you may not feel this can relate to your business, but what they did was create a viral campaign that simply used the movie, not to advertise it per se. As a small business, you can do something similar if you’re able to use your products to get people to relate and spark interest. Tinder may be a tough one, but do something cool at an event and create a hashtag for the same outcome.

Which of the best viral campaigns are we missing?

Image: Dove/YouTube

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11 Reactions
  1. I love the choose beautiful campaign. It’s a bit sad to see that women cannot even get themselves to enter the beautiful door. I don’t know why they think that way about themselves. That really has to change.

  2. When I first saw the Dove campaign I was surprised how many beautiful women were going for the “Average” door. Later when I showed the video to my daughter she shared with me that she would never dare to go through the “Beautiful” door. This made me sad, I realised that women (and men as well) often underestimate themselves. We have to be braver, that’s what I said my girl too!

  3. “The Last Selfie” campaign is the best to me – very powerful (such as Always: #LikeAGirl on Twitter), environmentally responsible and super emotional to me.
    However, the big question is, would these posters motivate the target audience?

  4. Dove’s beautiful campaign was really thought provoking. I probably would have just ignored the sign and gone through the closest/easiest door without thinking. I am not really self concious about these types of things. But it is really sad to see people, especially kids, THINK ABOUT IT and then go through the average door. I mean what do they think is happening there?

  5. Thank you for your ideas about viral marketing. I have observed that what the average marketer thinks would go viral in social media, especially Youtube is not what do! Most of the time it is a silly video about a pet, street fight, shooting, beating, usually something funny or negative. And what is bad about this is that those who view these video clips are not usually buyers of products or services! But you have very good ideas which I would try and if they work, I shall be back to give you a feed back and recommend it. Thanks for a good job!

  6. In my opinion and according to my experience, there are some marketers and people who are very talented in producing videos that have the potential to go viral and it is better if you’re promoting any services and products to pay and use their services! The question now is, where can I find these experts? Does anyone know any company to recommend? Youtube and video promotion of products and services are very effective but those videos must go viral to attract millions of viewers in order to generate sales. There is no point in making a video that nobody watches! The potential to use video promotion to make any business succeed is very huuuuuge and limitless! WENDY WAFCO OF NEW YORK CITY #wendywafco

  7. As I have seen today time and resources are easily available in making Viral Marketing wich has got high credibility, low costs, great reach, and high-efficiency in promoting a business transaction

  8. Thank you for sharing these incredible marketing campaigns. Each of these campaigns had a message concerning the target audience and was beautifully presented in a thought-provoking manner. I think one of the key takeaways was to keep it simple and bold. Everyone relates to it and this creates meaningful conversations.
    Dove’s Choose Beautiful campaign conveys the core message that everyone is beautiful. It makes you rethink the definition of beauty. The ‘Like a girl’ campaign on twitter empowers women and young girls in a society where doing things ‘Like a girl’ is used as an insult. The Last Selfie campaign- The idea that species are disappearing around the world just as fast as selfies disappear from Snapchat reveals the harsh reality, shifting our attention to the issues at hand. I feel the success of a campaign lies in the core message, idea, or story that is relevant to the audience.

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