Big Brand Advertising Initiatives that Create Viral Content

Big Brand Ad Initiatives Create Viral Content

When it comes to advertising, the typical thinking is to create an ad unit for a particular medium. A print ad for a magazine or newspaper. A TV commercial for television. An audio ad for radio. A graphical unit for Facebook. But some big brands have proven quite creative in recent years with advertising initiatives that demonstrate their ability to think outside the box and achieve an innovative effect.

Here are examples from three different household brands that each take entirely different approaches with their ad campaigns, each with different objectives, but all sharing one common element – they each engage unsuspecting people as their subjects, making them part of the ad. The outcome as you will see, is enjoyable video content that people on the social web are also pleased to share, thus they are benefitting from a viral effect in social media.

The ads from beverage companies Coca-Cola and Heineken use unsuspecting unassuming people in entirely different ways. The ad by Emirates engages an entire stadium of soccer fans and clearly wins over some fans of their own.

Job Interview with Heineken

Heineken utilized their recruiting process as an opportunity to produce an ad initiative by testing candidates for a job opening. Some folks took issue with this, arguing that Heineken was exploiting people and creating an unfair scenario that was not mutual to the candidates. But their objective was to put to test the true nature and character of the candidates, and offer the job to the one everyone would want on their team.



Coca-Cola Brings Happiness to Public Transit

In this video, Coca-Cola hires an actor to get people laughing uncontrollably on a public train. Here you will see him genuinely laughing with earbuds in while watching a video, with unsuspecting passengers contagiously finding themselves beginning to laugh with him. Then they all receive a can of Coke.



Emirates Demonstrates Airplane Safety at Soccer Stadium

When uniformed flight crew appear on the field at this soccer stadium, fans quickly pick up on what’s going on, but you can see they are delighted. Here are nearly a dozen flight attendants showing off their foot skills in front of more than 65,000 Benifica fans in Lisbon.




What are your thoughts on these ad initiatives? Did Heineken cross the line with its candidates? Of the three, that’s the only one with any controversy, maybe causing some candidates to feel exploited. The other ads clearly brought a smile and laughter and entertainment to their subjects, likely gaining new fans along the way.

About the Author

Ryan Gerardi
Creative, resourceful, and resilient B2B sales and marketing technologist who works with people and businesses on a variety of levels to help elevate their game, their brand, and their businesses.
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