Examples of Viral Marketing Campaigns

The best viral marketing campaigns (when a marketer intends to make something viral) are one of those things that you have to see to recognize, so here are a few of my favorite viral marketing examples:

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When Hotmail launched, much of its early success was due to the virality of the sigline that it attached to every outgoing email inviting the recipient to join. One of the earliest examples of viral marketing on the internet.

Subservient Chicken

One of my favorite viral marketing examples on this list, the creepy webcam site made for a Burger King campaign allowed people to control a guy in a chicken suit. It went viral almost instantly and for a few weeks was everywhere.

Will it Blend

One of the most recent best viral marketing campaign examples, Blendtec’s will it blend video series shows scientists testing if various household items will blend in their super-powerful blender. This campaign leveraged the popularity of online video sharing sites.

One Red Paperclip

This was a blog where the author started with a single red paperclip and traded his way up to a house, documenting his steps along the way.

Million Dollar Homepage

Perhaps the most famous viral marketing “why didn’t I think of that” example, this site sold pixels on its homepage and eventually made over a million dollars.

Simpsonsize Yourself

Created for the Simpsons movie, this site allowed visitors to create an avatar of themselves as a character from the cartoon.

Mentos/Diet Coke

Another wacky scientist schtick, these guys got famous by making art out of the explosions caused by mixing diet coke and mentos. Mentos handled it beautifully, Coke did not.

Dove Evolution Video

Part of a campaign by Dove, this video showed how models’ beauty is often artificial, and really struck a chord with its intended audience of female viewers.

Tea Partay

A beverage company created this video as a parody of rap videos and used preppy white kids.

Youtube Embedable Videos

Youtube’s meteoric rise is due in large part to the embeddable videos the company introduced, allowing bloggers to put videos directly into posts.


This fake reality show featured an aspiring actress, playing strange storyline. It generated lots of views and eventually the creators were unmasked.

Bob Dylan Facebook App

This application allows users to make their own version of Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues video. This is an viral marketing campaign example consisting entirely of “brand” interaction for the purpose of entertainment. Beautiful.

The USB Absinthe Spoon

Something I did, this was what I based my Spoon model on.