Viral Advertising Creates Millionaires

Viral Advertising

The reason that everyone is trying to find the formula for the viral ad is that value ads create millionaires almost overnight.  For many of the Fortune 500 companies, their intent in creating these viral advertising campaigns is to keep their productin the mind of their clients.

However there have been disrupters  in this industry who created low costs ads that generated a massive amount of engagement and increased revenue at the same time.

The most exciting example of a viral ad campaign that made the owners a fortune is The Dollar Shave 
Club Video.  As a result of the video The Dollar Shave Club,  has two million members and charges as little as $1 a month plus shipping for a delivery of razors.

This company is the brainchild of Michael Dubin. The company has raised $147.8 million in venture capital, including a $75 million investment round that was announced on Monday, June 22.

A $4,500 YouTube video from 2012 and  took one day to shoot gave the brand a significant boost and shot it to super staus in revenue and subscribers.

From the Founder “We had 12,000 new subscribers, and within just a few days, three million people had watched the video”.  This video was strategically launched a specific date and time to receive the highest level of engagment.  The company had already received prefunding of 1 million dollars.

There are some unknown super stars who boosted their career and income from using YouTube and TikTok Videos.

How did Tabitha Brown Get Famous?

Brown was an Uber driver.  in December 2017 during one of her shifts she stopped at Whole Foods and recorded the now-famous video that kicked off her successful career as a vegan influencer.

In her video Tabitha enthusiastically and unabashedly praises the TTLA sandwich TTLA (tempeh bacon, tomato, lettuce, and avocado) sandwich (with a pickle) from Whole Foods—
The video lasts for more than three minutes.  She is seated in the driver’s seat of her car, She exclaims “Y’all, Lord have mercy, I know I can’t sing, but this made me sing, Whole Foods.” “My soul cries out when I think of the goodness.” The TTLA is now an indelible feature on every Whole Foods sandwich board in the country because of this viral film.  She now has a line of clothing in Target and represents many brand names.

The New Science of Viral Ads

Unfortunately, very few novices or even seasoned digital marketers can achieve this level of engagement from the online communities. Implementing an advertising campaign with the intent to go viral has some unique and specific features. So unique that Harvard did a study titled “The New Science of Viral Ads” by Thales S. Teixeira.

The study details a variety of innovative technology-derived strategies implemented to decipher why ads go viral.

  • The use of infrared eye-tracking sensors to pinpoint what viewers of video advertisements view in the ads.
  • The use of a system that reads viewers’ facial expressions to determine how they are feeling.
  • These technologies allow for the separation of components that make viewers stop watching and the discovery of components that maintain their interest

So, when I was asked to create a viral advertising campaign for a new company, I was flattered but defeated from the very start. The science of creating a viral ad campaign was beyond the scope of my capabilities and I was aware of the fact.

The first thing to consider is the why does the video or content go viral. In the first example featuring The Dollar Shave Club Video.  The date and delivery of the video was strategically timed to combine certain factors. 

The day the video debuted; the company revealed their $1 million seed round of fundraising.  To coincide with the release of the video and a recent version of the website, they purposefully postponed the financing announcement. The events were covered by all the major news outlets including TechCrunch. After that, the mainstream media picked them up, and the video quickly gained popularity.

The oldest viral idea was created by a 21 y/o Alex Tew who conceived an idea to sell 1 million pixels on a home page for $1 per pixel in blocks of 10 x 10. Alex needed to collect money for his undergraduate studies in Wiltshire, England.  Alex created The Million Dollar Homepage in 2005.

The image-based connections on the home page, which have a million pixels and are arranged in a 1000 x 1000 grid, were small images to be displayed on the pixel blocks, a URL linked the phot images. A slogan to appeared when a cursor was placed over the link.  The buyers all supplied this data. The website’s goal was to make a million dollars for its founder by selling every single pixel in the image. The Wall Street Journal noted that the website was inspirational. Results within 4 months, the young man achieved his goal

Conclusion:   A million-dollar idea can be born from anywhere by anybody.  These innovators and creators had a certain personality that they infused into their marketing to create these viral results.  Since everyone is a unique individual, our viral results can be created using a lot of ingenuity and the right timing.

Getting viral results just means that your message reached a lot of people in a short amount of time.  Viral can be created with massive advertising from different channels to a large group of targeted individuals who have a stake in the product or service that you are offering.

With the number of people who inhabit the Internet, one wonders why it is so hard for online marketers to reach those individuals who are interested in their products.  History shows that anything can be sold on the Internet.  People love to shop.  The consumer is always looking for that certain something.  It is the intention of viral marketing system to show the specific product to them at the right time, so they become our partner or customer.


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