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We see ads every day on social media for just about anything. Most are easy to skip or scroll past, but then there are the ones that have millions watching. Social media campaigns have been growing in popularity, many going viral. They don’t just advertise, they move people and inspire them to take action. Using creative strategies, these campaigns listed below have earned thousands to millions of views, reposts, and likes. Keep reading to find out which of these viral social media campaigns have been the most talked about in the past year!
1. Gillette #TheBestMenCanBe
First on our list of viral social media campaigns is Gillette. Gillette’s campaign is one of the most popular in the past year, gaining now over 33 million views on their YouTube ad. Promoted on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, this ad doubled as a viral social media campaign and a social statement. This caused controversy, which shows in the 1.5 million dislikes as seen on Gillette’s original video ad. The sales went down too, as the company Gillette is under, Proctor & Gamble, wrote down the brand’s value by 8 billion dollars.
2. Popeyes vs Chick-Fil-A
Popeyes took the world by storm with its chicken sandwich campaign, to the point where the sandwich it was promoting sold out insanely fast. Having spent about 858 million dollars on advertising in 2019, Popeyes’ campaign went strong. The biggest part of their campaign, however, is most likely their feud with Chick Fil A on Twitter. It blew up fast, with Popeyes’ response to Chick Fil A being retweeted over 86,000 times! Their sales skyrocketed, gaining about 65 million dollars in sales. Who knew that a chicken sandwich war would take over the Internet the way it did?
… y’all good? https://t.co/lPaTFXfnyP
— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 19, 2019
3. Spotify Wrapped
One of the most highly anticipated parts of the end of the year was most definitely Spotify Wrapped. Spotify released personal playlists for premium users to look back on not just the past year, but also the past decade in music. This entry on our list of viral social media campaigns was everywhere near the end of 2019. Its engagement rate was high, as there were nearly 3 billion streams from wrapped playlists and was posted about over 1.2 million times on Twitter. Many celebrities endorsed this campaign as well, such as Barack Obama, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, and BTS. Overall, the campaign was a social success.
It's the most wonderful time of the year. #SpotifyWrapped is here! Get yours. https://t.co/MUJHwP1iK3 pic.twitter.com/4X92B9rvPM
— Spotify (@Spotify) December 5, 2019
4. Dove #ShowUs
Featuring 179 women from 39 countries, Dove’s #ShowUs viral social media campaigns promoted female beauty, confidence, and acceptance. Promoted on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, the reactions to this campaign were overwhelmingly positive. Their tag, #SpeakBeautiful, was used more than 168,000 times. The campaign launch drove up sales for the Dove brand, up to four million dollars, with the sentiment for the brand rising as well. Image submissions were even downloaded by 900+ companies! It’s safe to say that this campaign was an inspiration to women all over the globe.
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“Show us more women who look like me” 🧕🏾👩🏽⚖️👩🏿✈️👷🏼♀️👩🏽⚕️👩🏻🏭 You’re speaking out against outdated beauty ideals and stereotypes – and we’re listening 📣📣📣 Join us @girlgaze, @gettyimages and women, female-identifying and non-binary people everywhere for project #ShowUs. Together we can make the change we want to see 👀 Let’s show the world a more inclusive vision of beauty 🎊 📸: @jabunewman 🇿🇦@lalune.xviii 🇲🇽 @lujanag 🇦🇷 @amaalsaid 🇬🇧 #Dove #ShowUs #RealBeauty #Diverse #Inclusive #Beauty #Beautiful #GettyImages #girlgaze #BeautyStandards #SpreadTheMessage
5. Chipotle TikTok Challenges
TikTok is big and everyone knows it, including Chipotle. With its #GuacDance challenge on TikTok, Chipotle had an amazingly huge guacamole day. About 800,000 sides of guacamole were served! The challenge brought in over 250,000 video submissions and had TikTok influencers Brent Rivera and Loren Gray in on the trend. Chipotle’s other challenge, #LidFlip, had influencers such as David Dobrik contributing too. Talk about viral! Read more on Chipotle’s TikTok Challenges.
6. The Egg
As one of our top picks for viral social media campaigns, The Egg campaign was interesting, to say the least, and record-breaking as well. The goal for this social media campaign was to beat Kylie Jenner’s record for the most likes on Instagram – and it did just that. With 54.2 million likes, this picture of an egg went viral and set a world record! Kylie Jenner even responded to the egg on Instagram. It seemed simple, but later on, the egg was revealed to be a promotion for mental health in this video. At the end of it all, this campaign was successful and even had a hidden, positive message.
7. Oreo #GameOfCookies
Out of all the campaigns listed, the Oreo #GameOfCookies campaign was quite creative. Oreo teamed up with HBO to recreate the Game of Thrones opening with Oreo cookies. This was to promote a limited edition Game of Thrones-inspired Oreo cookie. It easily went viral, with over one million views on YouTube. The ad was covered by many news outlets and was mentioned over 14 thousand times on social media! Although Oreo declined to share the sales it made, it’s said that this campaign upped its sales greatly regardless.
8. Nike #DreamCrazier
Nike’s #DreamCrazier viral social media campaigns were meaningful, promoting the empowerment of women in sports. The video ad, while now deleted on Nike’s social media, was so popular at the time that it won an Oscar. Including top athlete Serena Williams in the original video, it was also talked about by Ellen DeGeneres and NowThis. The engagement went well, as Nike’s Twitter version of the clip had 31.6 million views and 21.5 million views on Facebook.
9. She Breaks Barriers – Adidas
Adidas’ campaign, “She Breaks Barriers”, was another of the viral social media campaigns about empowering women in sports. Their viral video has one million views on YouTube, and was popular, despite the mixed reactions in the like and comment section. Including female athletes such as Rahaf Khatib and Layshia Clarendon, Adidas had many partners in their campaign. The brand even partnered with Twitter to live stream female athletes all over the country on their Twitter account @3stripelive. Even Pharell Williams promoted the campaign with the tag #CreatorsUnite!
10. Greggs’ Vegan Sausage Roll
One way for restaurants to promote a featured food item is by using social media –and Greggs did this very well. In their video ad on YouTube, Greggs parodied the iPhone commercial style for their new vegan sausage roll. They also promoted the video ad on Twitter, gaining over 47 thousand likes on it. This campaign drastically impacted Greggs’ sales, as they increased by 9.6% due to the social media campaign. The roll sold out quickly, as expected, which may not have happened if Greggs’ social media campaign had not gone viral.