Digital Marketing Viral Marketing

Marketing Campaigns That Went Viral And Why They Were Awesome

Marketing Campaigns That Went Viral And Why They Were Awesome

There are so many boring and uninteresting marketing campaigns out there, that people enjoy the funny and creative ones so much more. That’s when we find campaigns that went viral – the ones that people liked so much they had to share it.

It is not often that marketers manage to find humour in the world of advertising. Sure, they try but finding success so big it leads to campaigns that actually went viral…well, that doesn’t happen so much.

We’ll be looking at some of the most clever marketing and advertising campaigns of the past few years, and how they managed to stand out.

Our Favourite Marketing Campaigns That Went Viral

The following list is in no particular order, we simply share the marketing campaigns that we think did really awesome.


In our discussion of marketing plan strategies that will reap rewards, we mentioned this popular baked goods company. The marketers behind MoonPie really know how to go about creating clever advertising.

This time, the iconic treat didn’t stick to the warm and fuzziness people expected. In fact, they got real about the struggles of their consumers. MoonPie had a months-long campaign on Twitter and it was a success.

Why did this marketing campaign work?

It was surreal, humorous and realistic – it spoke to people about their realities without going too dark. By showing consumers that MoonPie cares about them, they personalised their brand to people. The wit and creativity of the campaign is something that we all can aspire to have in our own strategies.

Kentucky for Kentucky

Although a small brand, Kentucky for Kentucky grabbed attention by intentionally making a mistake. The company, which sells Kentucky-themed products related to the US state, placed an advertisement in the Oxford American’s Kentucky issue. However, they misspelt the word ‘your’.

Of course, this was part of their plan and made it clear with the comment that they added underneath it. As a brand that would not have been able to catch a lot of attention outside the state of Kentucky, they reached a much wider audience with this cheeky ‘error’.

Kentucky For Kentucky had a campaign that went viral because it was different
Kentucky for Kentucky really nailed being different and standing out with their advertisement.

Why did this marketing campaign work?

Well, because it was funny and different. Making mistakes on purpose doesn’t always work, but Kentucky for Kentucky pulled it off nicely. Perhaps it was their reference to American writer and Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner is what made people giggle.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

No list about marketing campaigns that went viral would be complete without the inclusion of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Few campaigns have seen the kind of success that this one has.

In the summer of 2014 was all about this challenge – pour ice-cold water over yourself and nominate a friend to do the same. The point of the challenge was to create awareness about Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and it worked. 

Why did this marketing campaign work?

The Ice Bucket Challenge had a fantastic and interesting call to action and targeted a massive demographic – just about anyone who wanted to take part. Teachers, children, celebrities and athletes all joined in on the ice bucket challenge. Also, many people failed the challenge, making it so much funnier. As a result, the campaign saw LAS receiving over $30 million in donations. This is a huge improvement from the $1.9 million that it received in the previous year.

White Claw Capitalizes on User Generated Content

This alcoholic brand was launched in 2016 and in 2019 it entered the mainstream industry and became really popular. That is because the marketing team was able to make use of user-generated content and quickly became one of our favourite marketing campaigns that went viral.

Although White Claw had many television advertisements, they could cut on their budget by using content given to them by their loyal users. User-generated content is a great tool in marketing. We suggest that you take a look at our guide on how to use this kind of content in your own marketing campaigns.

Why did this marketing campaign work?

White Claw rethought their approach to marketing and tapped into a more organic way of sharing their consumers’ experiences. This made people feel more involved and close to the brand. It was entertaining and creative and tripled the drink’s sales to about $320 million. Actually, the campaign was so successful that White Claw had to declare a nationwide shortage.


Although Miller doesn’t need any introduction – who doesn’t know the phrase ‘It’s Miller time!’? – their marketing team knows the value of a good marketing campaign. They tapped into a trend by social media users and called on consumers to ‘go dark’. This means being silent on social media and spending time with your friends in real life.

Miller Lite encouraged their supporters to put down their cellphones and spend time drinking their beer with their friends and loved ones. On top of that, Miller gave away free beer to all their followers on social media that unfollowed them.

Why did this marketing campaign work?

Their move was a risky one but it paid off. Miller was able to get attention from a whole new generation. Although people were a little confused on whether or not they should start following Miller on social media, they loved the theme of the campaign, which is why it makes our list of marketing campaigns that went viral.


SodaStream has been around for many years and is a household name but was able to give new life to their brand with an interesting marketing campaign. The marketing team tapped into the trend of watching ASMR videos

The brand also made use of a celeb to work with them – Jonathan Van Ness of Netflix’s “Queer Eye. By working with Jonathan, SodaStream was able to create a campaign that is funny and reached a very wide audience. 

Why did this marketing campaign work?

By targeting a new audience, SodaStream introduced itself to new consumers. The younger generation loves ASMR and now they love SodaStream as well. Combining social media, television and digital marketing, the brand was able to earn themselves a spot on our marketing campaigns that went viral list.

Tips On Creating Your Own Marketing Campaigns That Will Go Viral

Now that you’ve seen campaigns that went viral in action, let’s discuss how to create your own. While there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula, you can still use clever tactics to give your marketing campaigns the best chance at doing well.

Master Your Target Audience

This is one of the most basic things you need to get right – targeting the right audience and targeting them well. If you want to create marketing campaigns that go viral, you need to understand your audience. Your content will only be effective if it speaks to the right people. 

You need to have a clear idea and understanding of your audience and have created accurate personas. The best idea is to speak to real customers and get an idea of how they feel about your industry and products. Get to know their problems, dreams and aspirations. Feel free to check out our content marketing guide for more on this.

Time Your Content For The Best Reach

Timing is very important when it comes to sharing viral content. If you want the best possible reach for your content, you have to release it at the right time. Focus on getting your content out when it has the maximum ability to be seen by your audience.

Getting engagement that will see your marketing campaigns go viral depends on having your audience see it and share it. You will have to do lots of research to determine when is the best time to share content, depending on your target audience.

Have Content That Begs For Engagement

As mentioned above, you want lots of engagement and for that to happen, you need to create the kind of content that people want to engage with. Content that gets engagement will always be more popular than even the most expensive paid ads that lack engagement elements.

Again, this will call for research to be done on your side. You need to give people content that they want to like and share with their friends.

Choose The Right Social Media Platforms

Your marketing campaign needs to be seen by the right people, at the right time and on the right platforms. There’s no point in sharing your content on Facebook if your audience is on Twitter or Instagram.

Your platforms are influential on the kind of content that you create, so knowing where you’ll share is vitally important. We have an in-depth guide on social media marketing that you may find very useful.

Share Fresh Content

People don’t want to see the same old and boring content, they want new and fresh content. Creating original and unusual content is what you want to create so your marketing campaign will go viral. 

As you’ve probably seen from our list of campaigns that went viral, content that is interesting and entertaining does the best. If you want to be successful, you need to start thinking outside the box.

Get The Attention Of The Media

Once your marketing campaign takes off, you want to get as many eyes on it as possible. Getting the attention of the media is a great idea. When a brand is doing something interesting and new, media organisations are sure to want to get involved. You want this kind of attention.

If you want to prove you’re worthy of the media’s attention, you need to show them that you’re getting engagement from people. This will reflect positively on your brand and your marketing campaigns. You can even contact news organisations and give them press releases with relevant figures and data.

Work With A Social Media Influencer

Working with social media influencers us a great way to boost your brand’s awareness. Almost 95% of brands that make use of these celebrities see their strategy’s effectiveness rise. 

Established influencers have built a relationship with their followers – there is already a big sense of trust there. And this is what you can tap into by working with them. Their recommendations and views are respected. That means if an influencer is promoting your brand, people will see it as trustworthy. For a more comprehensive discussion on social media influencers, take a look at our guide.

Have A Clear Call To Action

No marketing campaign is complete without a proper and engaging call to action. It is what calls on people to take action, as the name suggests. A good call to action (CTA) will help your target audience know that they should click to visit your website or have another important action take place. It’s the ‘Buy Now’ button that we all know. They are on advertisements and landing pages everywhere.

Having a call to action that provides ample information is advantageous to everyone involved – possible customers as well as the marketer. With a good call to action, you will get the right people to click on your button. In addition, you will also dissuade the wrong people from reacting. Your audience will know what to expect when they click on your ad or button. We’ve got a great guide on how to use this marketing tool as well, so go ahead and check that out too.

Use Advertising

You can use advertising to boost the visibility of your campaign. Although using organic content to get attention is the preferred way, you can always pay for some extra exposure. Create advertisements that are aimed at influential users, this will increase your success. Although this may take a while to get right, you will find that paid advertising is a great way to reach more people.


So there you have it – the marketing campaigns that went viral and how they managed to do that. We’ve shared some really great advice on how you can get the same kind of success. By reading the guides that we share to help you create killer content and marketing campaigns, you will be able to create your own viral marketing campaigns as well. Good luck!

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