Have you ever wondered how to create a viral marketing campaign? There’s no perfect formula, but making people laugh is a good start. Humor is universal and has led to some of the most memorable commercials in all the time. Not only does injecting humor make a brand more accessible, but people are also more likely to share your content.
Read on to learn more about how Lockthe leading one-click payment technology company, created a humorous viral campaign from ideation to launch in just 5 days.
Should you use humor in your campaign?
While humor can entertain and attract new consumers, creating the wrong type of campaign can damage a brand. In fact, a bad joke can offend the public, dilute your brand, or make your business look unprofessional. So when should do you use humor? Start by asking yourself: what are you promoting and who is your target audience?
When Bolt started strategizing for their viral abandoned cart campaign with Sarah McLachlan, they knew they had a universally relatable subject. Almost everyone has abandoned a cart and all merchants lose revenue due to abandoned carts.
So how did they bring the subject to life?
Define the strategy
less is more
Every brand dreams of going viral, but growing a viral campaign isn’t easy. A good starting point is to keep the project schedule short. By doing so, fewer people will know about the projects and intervene unnecessarily, which will slow down the overall process.
If you’re encouraging creativity, give your team space to pitch an idea and stop squashing fun ideas with too many notes.
Bolt’s creative team had only five days to execute, and this constraint removed unnecessary barriers that could prevent creativity from flowing. Importantly, Bolt’s creative team had management’s trust from the start, so no additional hurdles to jump through.
Appeal to emotions and memories
focus on youThe uniqueness of your brand will also help your brand resonate with your target audience. Bolt revived a nostalgic announcement with singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan to create a viral hit to raise awareness of the 70% of online shopping carts abandoned on the checkout page every day.
The original ASPCA ad was a call to rescue abandoned animals and raise awareness of animal cruelty. If you’ve ever watched TV in the 2000s, you’ll probably recognize the commercial immediately and maybe even shed a tear or two. By leveraging nostalgia, Bolt was able to capitalize on the trend of reviving popular moments in pop culture.
“Nostalgia is always in style,” said Meg Ciarallo, vice president of brand marketing at Lock. “As a marketer, this is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience and show them that you really understand them.”
Companies don’t need to hire a celebrity for their ad to go viral – sure, that helps. For example, the mixer manufacturer Blendtec launched this viral ad campaign experimenting with different items – from iPhones to imitation diamonds – to see if they will mix. Another example is The announcement of the Dollar Shave Clubwhere the founder speaks directly to his target audience using deadpan humor against a backdrop of absurd yet hilarious antics.
Launch a viral campaign
After 5 days, Bolt successfully launched a video campaign which garnered over 14 million organic and paid views in the first week alone.
As a throwback to the original ad, Bolt even donated money to the ASPCA and hosted a special section of the Bolt Collective store where animal lovers can purchase “Rescue Cart” products. The success of the campaign showed that you can make fun of things while honoring their causes.
Even if you can’t afford to donate a lot of money to a cause, consumers are still more responsive to companies that give back and do good. Many small businesses have found creative ways to give back, such as providing services to a local community. For example, bed and bath retailer Cariloha the products are carbon neutral and they provide local recycling services for generally non-recyclable post-consumer textiles. When you buy from Voguewigs.comthe company donates 10% of the value of your order to the National Breast Cancer Foundation or the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, which closely aligns with their brand values.
Spinning the gold of marketing involves taking risks and giving permission to move forward with creative ideas. Whether it’s abandoned carts or selling more bologna, humor is a great way to create a viral moment around your brand. If you want to help save abandoned carts from the cruel and exhausting checkout process, visit bolt.com/carts to see what a difference one-click checkout can make to millions of shopping carts.