5 Brands That Went Viral on YouTube and How Yours Can Too

YouTube ReelYouTube can seem like a fickle, confusing place where only the lucky can achieve audience attention, but this does not have to be the case. If you keep certain goals and tips in mind, your videos could become so popular they spread like wildfire. So, without further ado, here are five brands that went viral and what they did to make that happen:

1. Real Beauty

Dove’s real beauty project brought attention to the unrealistic standards women’s beauty is held to. Their big video was the Real Beauty Sketches, where women compared sketches of themselves drawn by a forensic sketch artist based off their descriptions and the descriptions of a stranger. When confronted with the harshness of their self-image they often vowed to be more accepting of themselves. In keeping with their brand’s image, Doves’ campaign videos were simple and serious. They used ordinary women to whom viewers could relate and who represented the universality of Dove’s soap. But it was the compelling emotions shown by the women that conveyed the power of the message and drew in audiences. This is what made the videos worth sharing. Dove made their content emotional and engaging to captivate viewers while keeping to their serious, respected brand identity. Reaching the heart of viewers with you brand’s recognizable tone is the greatest take-away from the success of the Real Beauty Campaign.


2. Look at Your Man

Old Spice produced a series of videos where a spokesman explains that the viewer’s man cannot be as fantastic and extravagant as the spokesman, but he can at least smell like a fantastic, extravagant man. The style of the videos, one long take with silly special effects thrown in, was fast paced and didn’t take itself too seriously. The ads took the traditional over-promise of product-use producing a glamorous lifestyle to the extreme, resulting in an amusing, memorable video.  Old Spice’s success with its goofy videos was rooted in its memorability and humor. Its quote-ability and unexpected behavior made it unique, something worth sharing. Old Spice recognized that they had generated a hit video and kept the trend going by producing related content. They acknowledged that the rapid, unexpected cuts were one of the key features of the videos and kept them from growing stale by creating alternate, evolving versions of these videos. By keeping the content fresh, they extended the success of their campaign. Producing entertaining videos and being aware enough to know when something you’ve produced is taking off are important things to keep in mind when working on your brand’s video marketing.

3. Video of the Day

GoPro, an all-weather personal camera often used to film extreme sports, drew people to their brand’s YouTube Channel with their “Video of the Day”. GoPro found uploaded videos made on their cameras and featured the user-generated content. This caused a boom of users producing amazing videos hoping to be featured on the site. The user videos show how the company’s products are functional in the real world and how the brand seems to create an extreme lifestyle for all users. Not only did the campaign generate exciting content, but it created a sense of community between users of the products. A good campaign tactic would be implementing videos from real consumers, thus creating a similar sense of community among users of your brand’s products.

4. Back to the Start

Chipotle’s “Back to the Start” and “Scarecrow” videos showed how mass manufacturing had negative effects on the environment and its inhabitants. They presented the free-range farm grown options that Chipotle emphasizes as a positive alternative. The videos allowed the company to educate its viewers, focusing on the value it offers as a source of ethical food. The video connected with viewers’ emotions, as Dove’s video campaign did, but the real value of the campaign was the ability to emphasize the brand’s environmental efforts, effectively persuading viewers that the higher priced goods of Chipotle are worth the extra money. Emphasizing your company’s commitment to principles and educating your audience about an aspect of your brand’s added value are great ways to use video marketing.


5. Home Depot Tutorials

The Home Depot produces tutorials on home improvement projects that demonstrate the use of tools and supplies from their stores. They were made to be simple and practical, like the Home Depot’s brand. These videos generate demand for the company’s products while helping the consumers accomplish their own home improvement projects. Home Depot’s video campaign reduced consumer fear of purchasing these tools by creating an educational resource with easy-to-follow instruction. In doing so, The Home Depot not only positioned itself as an authority on home improvement, but also a trustworthy brand to supply consumers with the right tools for the job. Having completed a project with these videos successfully, customers are more likely to view additional projects, continuing their home improvement with tools from the Home Depot. Giving your viewers the skills they need to use your products while minimizing potential negative experiences is a good step for video branding on YouTube.

Ultimately, these successful brands used emotional pulls, varied content, user input, and educational factors to make their videos stand out. Apply these strategies to your video marketing efforts to boost your brand’s presence on YouTube, and it could be your video spreading across the internet at lightning speed.

Allison FierceContent Creator

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