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10 Marketing Copy Examples That Went Viral

Julia McCoy
Wednesday, 1st Mar 2023

A whopping 91% of consumers want to see more video content from brands. Experts believe that the demand for video marketing is only going to grow as people pay more attention to it while skipping the written parts of the content. Brands that want more attention can learn a thing or two from our top 10 marketing copy examples that went viral.

In this article, we’ll explore what viral marketing is, the strategies behind creating successful campaigns, and some inspiring marketing copy examples that went viral in recent years.

Table of Contents


What is Viral Marketing?

Digital marketing that utilizes existing social networks to spread content rapidly, like an epidemic, is known as viral marketing.

Viral marketing is designed to create buzz around your brand by getting consumers to talk about it on social media. Videos that go viral often benefit from word-of-mouth advertising and can be extremely effective in reaching millions of people.

The biggest upside of viral content is that it can help you reach more people with less ad spending. Since much of the process takes place organically (through user sharing), there’s no need for expensive ad campaigns or costly promotions. Viral success just happens naturally through word-of-mouth referrals.

Furthermore, as consumers are exposed to your message multiple times throughout their day, they are more likely to recall your message compared to traditional advertising platforms like TV commercials which only air periodically.

Viral content can be a potent instrument for companies looking to amplify their exposure and online presence, but it requires meticulous preparation and implementation. In the next section, we’ll talk about how to craft engaging content that is likely to be shared by people on social media platforms.

Key Takeaway: Viral promotion creates a snowball effect where the message quickly spreads like wildfire due to word-of-mouth advertising — resulting in greater while spending less.

How to Make Your Copy Go Viral

Viral success is contingent on the quality of content you are producing. For good content to become a viral hit, you must create engaging ad copy and take advantage of the popularity of social media.

Crafting Engaging Content

The key to producing a viral hit is crafting entertaining content. Write copy that not only informs people about a great product, but is also fun, creative, and unique.

For example, instead of simply listing facts about a product or service, try writing an interesting story about it that captures people’s attention.

Always add visual elements like images or videos to make your copy appealing to readers.

Leveraging Social Media Platforms

Social media is the ultimate platform for making content go viral. Share your video on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for maximum reach. Consider using hashtags when appropriate so people searching for topics related to yours can find your content more easily.

Tap Advocates for Influencer Marketing

Influencers are individuals with large social media followings who have the power to influence their audience’s opinions through product reviews or endorsements.

If you can find influencers who may be willing to showcase your product on their social media accounts, this could give your content a massive boost.

Another group of people that can help with your word-of-mouth campaign are your existing customers. Your brand advocates can help spread the word about how great your product is.

Now let’s explore 10 viral marketing examples that achieved fame and success in marketing.

Top 10 Viral Marketing Examples

The term “viral” comes from the way top viral marketing campaigns spread like a virus from person to person. These 10 examples of top viral marketing campaigns did just that — viral videos that spread like a pandemic.

1. Old Spice

Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” advertisement

“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign from Old Spice is one of the most successful viral campaigns ever created.

The commercial featured actor Isaiah Mustafa as “the man your man could smell like” and included catchy phrases such as “Look at your man – now back at me – I’m on a horse.” Those humorous commercials went viral on YouTube and gained over 50 million views in just five days.

“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” has since become an iconic example of effective viral advertising.

2. Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club’s viral ad video

The “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” campaign from Dollar Shave Club grew from a viral video into a billion-dollar brand. In this video launched in 2012, founder Michael Dubin delivered his sales pitch directly into the camera while standing in front of a whiteboard full of curse words (which he then erased).

The home delivery company humorously demonstrated how its razors are better than Gillette’s and the result was an instant hit. The video went viral almost immediately with millions of views within days — propelling Dollar Shave Club into becoming one of the most popular subscription services today.

3. Blendtec

Viral “Will it Blend” campaign of Blendtec

One of the best marketing copy examples that went viral is the “Will It Blend?” series from Blendtec.

In 2006, the blender company started posting videos of founder Tom Dickson blending everyday items such as iPhones and golf balls just to prove how powerful their blenders were. These videos became immensely popular due to their sheer absurdity — with viewers eagerly anticipating what Tom would blend next.

This hilarious content quickly spread across multiple platforms, leading to increased sales for Blendtec blenders as well as global brand recognition.

4. Red Bull

Red Bull has always pushed boundaries when it comes to extreme sports stunts, so it’s no surprise that they pulled off the stunt with skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s Stratos Space Jump from 24 miles above Earth — breaking several world records.

This impressive feat attracted 8 million viewers on live stream, making it one massive success story for Red Bull’s brand awareness efforts.

This stunt not only showed off Red Bull’s daring spirit but also proved how powerful visual content can be.

5. Airbnb

Airbnb’s “Live There” campaign

Airbnb ran its “Live There” campaign back in 2013 to encourage travelers to live in Airbnb homes instead of hotels to experience different cultures. This imaginative approach which combined beautiful visuals with stories about real people resonated with travelers across all age groups and genders, leading to Airbnb doubling its bookings growth rate year after year since its inception.

6. Dove

The heartwarming Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign, launched in 2013, was an emotionally stirring video. It featured FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora, who sketched two portraits based on descriptions provided by the women themselves and another portrait from descriptions given by strangers.

Through this experiment, Dove attempted to illustrate that beauty is far more than skin deep and that everyone is beautiful regardless of how they are portrayed through media or societal standards. This concept resonated with viewers worldwide, garnering 2 billion impressions across 150 countries within its first month alone — making it one of the best marketing copy examples that went viral.

7. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Bill Gates taking the viral Ice Bucket Challenge

Viral campaigns are a great tool to raise awareness for a cause. One such success story was the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which demonstrated the formidable potential of social media.

During the campaign, celebrities challenged each other publicly to dump buckets full of ice water over their heads to raise awareness — and money — towards fighting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The challenge ended up raising a staggering $115 million for ALS research.

8. Kmart

Kmart’s viral “Ship My Pants” commercial

In 2013, Kmart shook the advertising industry with its controversial ‘Ship My Pants’ commercial which poked fun at customers who sent packages home instead of going to physical stores. Although some found this ad offensive, many praised Kmart for taking risks even though it may have resulted in negative publicity — with viewers talking about how Kmart cleverly executed its witty ad.

Ship My Pants reached 25 million Youtube views, quickly turning Kmart into a household name again.

9. Nike

Nike’s “Write the Future” Ad campaign

Nike launched its “Write The Future” campaign in 2010 ahead of the FIFA World Cup. The ad featured soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, and Andres Iniesta alongside Hollywood actors who played fictional characters based on these athletes’ struggles before becoming professional footballers.

With stunning cinematography coupled with an evocative soundtrack, Nike was able to effectively portray a narrative highlighting that hard work can pay off no matter what obstacles one may face — thus reaching out to potential consumers through relatable themes.

The film ad received 5 million Youtube views in just four days.

10. Burger King

Some of the best marketing copy examples that went viral aren’t even advertisements.

Burger King launched an interactive website called Subservient Chicken in 2004 which allowed users to control a virtual chicken wearing a BK uniform. It responded to any command — dancing, singing karaoke, or anything else requested — entertaining visitors before they finally order burgers from the menu.

Surprisingly, the viral BK chicken gathered 1 billion visits, becoming one of the biggest success stories of the 2000s digital era.

Viral marketing is a strategy that can bring you huge returns if done right. But it takes a lot of planning, creativity, and a little luck to come up with an ad that will go viral. These 10 marketing copy examples that went viral have shown that it is possible to create content that can quickly spread across social media platforms and garner people’s attention.

FAQs – Marketing Copy Examples That Went Viral

What is a recent example of viral marketing?

A recent example of viral marketing is the “Old Town Road” challenge by Lil Nas X. The tune, which was unleashed in April 2023, rapidly became a worldwide phenomenon with its infectious rhythm and comical words.

To capitalize on the success of the track, Lil Nas X launched an online dance challenge encouraging people to create their own videos dancing to his song. This led to hundreds of thousands of social media posts featuring people performing their own versions of “Old Town Road” choreography.

As a result, it generated millions of views for the video and helped propel it even further up music charts around the world.

What’s an example of a viral marketing attempt that failed?

The Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad is an example of a viral marketing attempt that failed. Instead of highlighting people from different ethnicities and cultures coming together, the ad sparked outrage with its insensitive, tone-deaf, and racist themes.

What was the first viral marketing campaign?

The first viral marketing campaign was the Hotmail email service which came out in 1996. The company Hotline added a tagline to every sent and received message that read “Get your free Hotmail” and this simple but effective tactic quickly spread their brand awareness across the internet.

The free and effortless sharing of product information among users resulted in the rapid expansion of Hotmail’s brand recognition on the web. This ultimately led to millions of new sign-ups for their services within months after launch.


The ultimate goal of viral marketing campaigns is to reach a very large audience. By studying the success of these marketing copy examples that went viral, marketers can gain valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating viral content.

No single formula exists for crafting viral marketing messages yet these 10 cases of successful viral campaigns have shown us how companies have been able to ignite their message on social media sites globally. With this knowledge in hand, you too can craft compelling messages that will captivate your customers and help propel your brand.

Written by Julia McCoy

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