Failed Viral Video Ads

Some Ads and commercial are so good that the videos go viral, example: most of the Superbowl ads , but other Video Ads are failed attempts to create buzz and never really become viral videos, so here we’ll try to compile a list of some of the video ads by big corporations that simply failed to go viral.

By failed, i do not mean it in the sense that there was a blooper or accident, like what you would watch on a live commercial / QVC style:

Nor do i mean the infomercial was bad or for a weird product:

No, i mean there is a concept failure for a legitimate brand. The video concept were wrong or not well thought through, which led to failed viral video ads. Meaning the ads might have reached a lot of people but they had no effect or even worse they were of very bad taste.

Failed Viral Video Ads

Facebook commercial from 2012, the social network’s first, which declared that “chairs are like Facebook.”
Watch the ad below and decide whether it makes any sense to you, and now imagine if it will to the global public!!

Burger King’s “Wake up with a King” aired in 2004, the ad created a lot of word of mouth due to it’s creepy “King”, furthermore questions were raised, who eats a hamburger for breakfast! This ad was followed by a series of ads portraying the King, but the campaign did not improve sales and was eventually ended in 2011.

Skittles “Touch the rainbow” aired in 2008 or before. The Ad is sad, dark and depressing when you think about it,
the guy basically kills anyone he touches, his family, kids, etc … and he’s probably on a Skittles only diet! So yeah what were they thinking!

Microsoft’s attempt to get people to have launch parties for Windows 7. First we have no idea what do we have here, a family with the brother and the mother? work colleagues? neighbors? nobody knows …
What exactly are they expecting ? The message is unclear, too long and confusing, furthermore there’s no way you get people to become your brand ambassadors with a simple video.
Furthermore a black male / white female interracial couple does not make a good fit for commercials, as it create strong negative feelings from both the white males and black females (see link).


PopChips had a weird idea, yep i’m warning you it’s pretty weird, makes no sense and most definitely has nothing to do with “chips”!

And in this one we see Groupon trying to take advantage of a political issue/struggle and failing miserably at doing so. The Ad was aired during the 2011 Superbowl.


This list is open for further addition as we stumble on more bad or failed viral Ads or commercials.


How Music videos go viral !

Gangnam style music videos go viral

How do music videos go viral?

The question that have been asked over and over and over ….
Since the creation of Youtube, the music industry have been put in front of the “fait accompli” reality: Anyone can put online a music video, and get people to like and share it …. and so did many music videos go viral.
This new reality led to a huge and fast deterioration of the music taste, and led to more crap music, but crap music that go viral … and by going viral, they go mainstream!

People enjoy and share a stupid music video if it has a nice beat and looks fun ….
Don’t overestimate humans, true we have/had people like Einstein , Bill Gates, Beethoven, Edison, Tesla, Curie, etc … but they are a very tiny minority, the majority of humans and especially the younger generation are dumb, i mean how else could you explain the success of the below music videos …

Crap videos that go viral:

There’s nothing better to analyze the viral factors, than analyzing crappy music videos that went viral, the reason is that good and meaningful music videos, will become famous simply because they are good, but crappy ones have an entirely other dynamic.
The below hip hop, rap, Kpop videos are good examples of music videos that have zero value, you can barely understand what they are singing about, and even if you do, you’d wish you didn’t:

Soulja boy, one of the oldest music videos that went viral:

Silento, the latest sensation – went viral last year:

And PSY, the most popular viral music video:
I bet you, the majority of people have no idea what this guy is saying, but one language is clear, the language of trolling!

the 2 common viral factors for the above videos:
– Catchy song/ music/ beat.
– A dance move integrated with the song.

A nice, emotion based music video:

Pharrell Williams Happy video is a nice example of videos that touches an emotion, it reminds you to just be happy,
unlike the previous 3, this one does not have a specific dance move,
but it does take advantage of showing variety of people dancing – which Silento later copied.

viral factors for the above video:
– Catchy song/ music/ beat.
– Connect with an emotion.

A music video that is connected to an event or date:

Some call it the most hated music video on Youtube, but there’s no doubt Rebecca Black’s video went viral!
A song that you hear it once, and that you will remember on Fridays!!

viral factors for the above video:
– Kindof catchy song/ music/ beat.
– Connect with a repetitive day of the week.

A music video that is controversial:

Love it or hate it, you’re going to talk about it, Sexy and i Know it, is funnier and more viral than any of the videos above,
the only problem is that it’s target demographic “teen boys” are not usually very active on Facebook to share it!
And it’s so scandalous, that your average viewer will think twice before sharing it!

viral factors for the above video:
– catchy song/ music/ beat.
– Controversial, you’ll need to say something about it, like WTF did i just watch or this is FUN.

Factors that make music videos go viral:

The situation is not that simple, there’s also another dynamics involved in the above videos,
these dynamics are: community, influencers, social media marketing, …
for example
the singer origin have a big influence on the reach, because the song is always embraced by your community,
in the case of PSY, the video was first embraced by South Korean, etc… From this perspective, it’s sometimes better to be a member of a minority, because your community would embrace the video first and that would lead to making it go viral.

Youtube have it’s own channel to showcase the latest hits of the previous year: Youtube Rewind.
The guardian have also what it calls a viral video chart.

For Viral marketing consulting, please contact us.