3 Viral Marketing Campaigns: Why They Worked

What do Dove, Cadbury and Coca-Cola have in common?

They have both tried their hand at online marketing.

These three brand giants are no stranger to the world of advertising. They are highly visible on TV and on print ads. You’d think they ‘d deem their advertising campaigns sufficient, but they didn’t discount the potential of the Internet to add to their lists of buying patrons. And this is why you have to hand it to them.

We’re about to present and discuss to you these three companies’ most effective online campaigns, and what we believe are the factors that make these campaigns VIRAL:

Dove Real Beauty Sketches:

Dove, a trusted brand since 1995, started its “Campaign For Real Beauty” in 2004. Since then, they have created programs that seek to boost women’s self-esteem, whether on print or TV media. One of its latest campaigns, the 2013 Real Beauty Sketches, was a touching social experiment centering on how women perceive themselves. What made it effective was that the social experiment slash marketing campaign touched a sensitive chord that was absolutely common among women: that tendency to underestimate ourselves, that tendency to think that we’re less than what we should be.

Playing on a very raw, very common, very controversial issue that’s buried deep in a woman’s heart, this campaign proved to be effective because it tapped into something so visceral, so primeval, it’s hard not to react.


The Cadbury Gorilla:

While Cadbury was also able to formulate another viral campaign that aimed to get the audience to interact with them on social media, an earlier campaign was simpler and caught on like wildfire when it was first released:

This campaign simply works because, like the premise of the campaign, “All communications should be as effortlessly enjoyable as eating the bar itself.” And the video was simply effortlessly enjoyable, if not hilarious. It was so effective, that it actually got the Phil Collins song back on the charts again, the third most-downloaded track on iTunes, on the day the video was released.


The Coca-Cola Happiness Machine Campaign:

This campaign centered on having a Coke vending machine give out free bottles of Coke, flowers, and other things that were likely to elicit reactions of pleasant surprise. Its international versions had the machine hug-activated, dance-activated, and basically given twists that would draw out the giggles or the happies.

What made it work was the basic fact that people WANT to be happy. This social experiment that became a viral video that captured their experiment subjects’ reactions worked because it made people go “aww” at how the Coke machine was so kind to give out more bottles of Coke, flowers, or just overall be a happiness machine.


Creating a viral campaign is hard work. Sometimes, you just find a great formula that creates a compulsion to share and re-share. Other times, it’s just a magic combination that just works. But if you need help with creating or executing good, solid social media campaigns, Saved Layers will be here to help you brainstorm and put your ideas to work. Call or Skype us today!