Viral Marketing Examples From Around The World

There have been a number of studies done on successful viral marketing campaigns in the United States. Some viral videos are more outrageous than others, whether they involve teenage girls with mediocre voices becoming overnight sensations or grown men making fools of themselves in character costumes. We’ve all seen them, but there is a whole world of videos out there we may not have been exposed to yet because of where we live. Let’s take a look at what the rest of the world has brought to the game with these international viral marketing examples.

UK Viral Marketing Examples

IKEA – Herding Cats

Furniture giant IKEA has long been known for thinking outside the box, and their 2010 experiment released 100 house cats in their flagship UK store in Wembley. Five film crews followed the cats around the store as they explored desk drawers, climbed on top of furniture, and hissed at any other cats who tried to encroach on their “territory” once they’d found a comfy place to stay. The video has drawn over 3 million views since the launch of their “feline friendly Cat-alogue.”

Transport for London – Test Your Awareness: Do the Test

In an effort to spread awareness about watching for cyclists, Transport for London released a video in 2008 asking viewers to watch a team dressed in white and a team dressed in black passing basketballs. “How many passes does the team in white make?” Admittedly, I counted the right number. But I missed something, as did over 15 million other viewers whose friends hadn’t already spoiled the game for them. Point well made, and hopefully they got more drivers on the lookout for cyclists in the process.

Cadbury – Gorilla Drummer

Here in the U.S., at least in my neck of the woods, we think of Cadbury mostly at Easter time with Cadbury’s Creme Eggs. Over on the other side of the pond, they are better known for a wider variety of chocolates, include the Cadbury Dairy Milk bar. In this 2007 ad, we watch a gorilla listening to Phil Collins’ classic “In the Air” for about a minute before it just starts rocking out playing the drums. According to the video’s commenters, sales of the chocolate skyrocketed after this ad was released. As this version of the video has over 6 million views, and another posting of the video has over 5 million views, I can believe it.

Australia Viral Marketing Examples

Carlton Draught – The Big Ad

An ad spot of epic proportions, this intricately choreographed commercial was set to the tune of “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. The beer company attracted over 162,000 views in the ad’s first day, racking up over a million views in just two weeks. That is a big ad!

World’s Largest Crocodile

I can’t tell if this was a bigger marketing win for The Cairns Post, the publication that uploaded the video, or Marineland Melanesia, where the Guinness Record Holding crocodile resides. What I do know is that the man feeding the crocodile just might be the bravest man to ever walk the face of the Earth, the way he teases it to get it to eat the meat. Over 1 million viewers have likely considered the same thing.

Get Up! – It’s Time

A love story plays out in this video from the point of view of half the couple – the first date, hanging out with friends, meeting the parents, moving in together, sharing tough times, a marriage proposal…and only at the end do you see that the “other half” is male, making it a homosexual couple. The Australian organization “Get Up” has had over 5 million views so far to help promote marriage equality before a Labor Party vote on same sex marriage.

Philippines Viral Marketing Examples

Cebu Pacific – Dancing Flight Attendants

If you do a lot of air travel, you probably tend to get glassy-eyed when it comes time to “pay attention” to the air safety demonstration. But one Cebu Pacific passenger caught the flight attendants doing this dance routine on his camera phone, and I’m guessing more than a few of the video’s 10 million viewers opted to fly Cebu Pacific instead of another airline when traveling the Philippines. All other things remaining the same, I’d choose an American airline where the flight attendants put on a show over another airline!

The Dancing Inmates of Cebu

The inmates at Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center successfully choreographed and performed their own staging of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” This is a major credit to the penal system, at least at this facility, that the guards entrusted this many inmates to get together at one time for such an impressive undertaking. I’m not sure we could pull this off in an American prison. 50 million viewers have made this quite a hit!

Coca-Cola – The Overseas Filipino Workers Project

In this touching video, we meet a handful of Filipinos who have worked out of the country for years in order to support their families. Coca-Cola made it possible for them to come home for a long-overdue visit. This marketing campaign was so effective that Coca-Cola decided to make it a series, and they followed people from other countries as the beverage giant helped them find their happiness.

Brazil Viral Marketing Examples

Michel Teló – Ai Se Eu Te Pego

Brazilian singer Michel Teló released a video for his song “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” on YouTube – and only seven months later, it’s had over 220 million views. For the record, that’s starting to close in on 10 times as many views as Rebecca Black’s “Friday” video…which is a good sign, since he’s far more pleasant to listen to. That has to have translated into a heckuva lot of album and digital music download sales!

Dream Job – Worst Job in the World

Say what you will about the objectification of women, but this hilarious video asks viewers to “sympathize” with the man who has the worst job in the world…massaging super models. If Brazilian career site Dream Job can fit this man with a proper desk job, I bet they could find at least one poor soul to take his place.

More International Viral Marketing Examples

Sporting Portugal – Paul Bento Phone Call (Portugal)

In order to sell more tickets, Sporting Portugal decided to get fans more invested in the game. The video played after microsite users input their name and phone number, and Coach Paul Bento called each user “personally” to tell them they were needed at the game. With over 200,000 microsite page views in just 24 hours, it seemed to go over well with the fans.

Vodafone – Can’t Make Calls? (India)

Hopefully not many of Vodafone’s mobile customers have the same problem as the person in this ad spot, but half a million people got a laugh as they learned about the mobile carrier’s busy message service.

Nikon – Helicopter Boyz (Japan)

High end camera manufacturer Nikon outfitted the Helicopter Boyz with the latest digital cameras for an avant garde dance performance that highlighted the projector capabilities of the new models…and could only take place in Japan.

Pepsi – Chinese Monks (China)

A young boy goes to join an order of monks in China…and for nearly a minute, there is no apparent connection to Pepsi. The amusing ending explains why over 33 million people have flocked to the video for a good laugh.

Are viral videos a new common language?

Some of these international viral videos have already found an audience with American viewers, but others seem to have avoided the notice of our fickle attention spans. Is it a cultural difference in tastes, or is it simple misfortune that we haven’t been exposed to some of this marketing brilliance? What do you think?

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