Viral Marketing Initiatives?

Viral Marketing Initiative

What Makes a Successful Viral Marketing Campaign?

Viral marketing campaigns are a crap-shoot in my opinion. Either they work and make the marketers look like a genius, or they fail and lots of questions can be asked. It is a fine line on what does and does not go viral. Campaigns shouldn’t be considered as viral if it takes a lot of marketing to get it to go viral. Viral campaigns should spread by word of mouth, shares of the ad, and other natural ways in my opinion.

There are many examples of viral marketing campaigns from the Ice Bucket Challenge to the newest Ritz Cracker campaign about the crackers ridges and how they became to be on the cracker. If the ads become popular with the public, then it doesn’t take much for them to become popular and then go viral. Once they are viral they can make a difference in fund raising, sales, and other key areas of a company.

Campaigns go viral for many reasons, but below we will go over what I think is the top 5 reasons.

Campaigns go Viral

The most important reason I think a ad, or campaign, goes viral is it is very creative. If it is not creative I don’t think it has a chance to go viral because if it doesn’t have any creativity it doesn’t have a shot to connect with the audience. Connecting with the audience is the second most important reason a campaign goes viral and it is pretty close to the creative link (Baker, K, 2021).

It also has to have emotional appeal as the third most important. If something touches a nerve with the audience, whether it be laughter, sadness, madness, or any other emotion the campaign has a great shot to take off and become viral. If the campaign is dry and bland then no one will watch (2021).

The fourth most important aspect of a campaign to go viral is how easy it is to watch and to share. That is why most of these today are on Tik Tok, YouTube, Facebook and other social media outlets. Or at least where they start. The videos have to be short and to the point and catch the audiences attention very quickly. Once that happens it could be off to the races and be super successful (2021).

The fifth most important thing is the ad is published at the right time. Ideally it would be published when nothing else is much going on and it released to the public on social media and it just starts catching peoples eyes. If this happens then the shares will happen and the campaign will be a success (2021).

Viral Marketing Success

The first viral marketing campaign I remember being successful was GoDaddy and their Super Bowl add years ago. It was set on Capital Hill with the “GoDaddy Girl” set for a hearing and while testifying she falls out of her top. It was so controversial they never got around to showing the second ad that was supposed to run from the outrage from viewers.

The ad did what it was intended to do. It saved the company. GoDaddy poured all the money they had into the campaign and went in all or nothing. Now GoDaddy is one of the largest internet domain and hosting companies in the world.

Here is the video from Daily Motion.

As you can see the video was outrageous for the time, but people getting all torn up about it need to take a step back. It was a commercial and nothing more. There was worse being shown in prime-time television at the time. People complaining probably helped it gain more steam and get GoDaddy more press and recognition. Kind of like Tipper Gore and vulgar lyrics in music.


Baker, K. (2021, May 13). The Ultimate Guide to Viral Campaigns. HubSpot Blog. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/viral-campaigns.


Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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