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The 7 Best Viral Interactive(!) Video Campaigns of All Times

Advertising campaigns are ideally “highly engaging”, “unobtrusive” and of course “fun”. Sounds like a lot of buzzwords to me. Well, some campaigns actually do combine all these attributes + some other secret ingredient for a viral success: Interactivity. So without further ado, we are proud to present the top 7 viral interactive advertising campaigns of all times. By “interactive” we mean, surprise, at least some kind of interaction between the brand(-video) and the user.

Please note: NOT knowing at least 3 out of 7 campaigns from this list is a strong indicator that you have no friends (who send you stuff when they are bored at work). Here we go:

1 The Hero

Client: Radiotjänst (Sweden’s public TV and Radio license fee collector)
Agency: Draftfcb
Plot: An entire nation is anxiously waiting to find out the name of their hero. When the secret is revealed, it turns out that the hero is: You.

Our No.1 pick was an easy one, since the numbers speak for themselves: “The Hero” campaign site had a total of over 26 million visits and 66 million pageviews from 230 countries within only 3 months. Over 6 million “Hero” films have been created during the campaign, making it “The most successful global viral interactive film ever”. You can check out the official press release for more facts and figures.

The original version of the movie is no longer available, but you can watch a pre recorded version below. In a follow up campaign you can create a “Thank you” Video for your hero.

2. Old Spice Guy Individually Thanks Online Fans through Video

Client: Old Spice
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Plot: As a response to the overwhelming reactions on the initial campaign, the Old Spice guy records individual video responses to questions from the community.

No need to lose many words about this campaign since all of us have seen it over and over again (Ok, watch it one last time here). Please note that we are only counting the interactive part of the campaign (the personal video responses). Otherwise it would not have belonged here (and probably deserved the gold medal…). But honestly, does social media advertising get any better? A well deserved second place for the individual, super fast reaction on user feedback (= interaction). Oh and before I forget: Sales for Old  Spice went up 107% and the campaign collected an incredible 40 million video views in one week. Watch all of the responses here or a sample response below:

3. Subservient Chicken

Client: Burger King
Agency: CP+B
Plot: Have it your way. Command the chicken.

Yes, this campaign is old. Yes, there has been much cooler stuff around since then. But Burger King’s Subservient Chicken was one of the first interactive video campaigns ever. And a very successful one as well. The chicken even got its own Page on Wikipedia. So think again, or do you really know all 300 different commands for the chicken including the built in easter eggs? Well, try asking the chicken to “Eat a Big Mac”… Promoting Burger King’s “Have it your way” has never been more fun. And you can still have it your way here.

subservientChicken02 The 7 Best Viral Interactive(!) Video Campaigns of All Times

4. BooneOakley’s Interactive Video Website

Client: BooneOakley
Agency: BooneOakley
Plot: The first ever Homepage that is a YouTube Video (huh?).

Daring. Brilliant. 4th place.

5. Obama’s Loss Traced to: You!

Client: Barack Obama (44th President of the United States)
Agency: Moveon
Plot: Fictional news about Obama losing the 2008 election by one vote. Quickly the press tracks down the person responsible because he did not vote: You.

Smart, effective and the first viral interactive video ever used in a presidential election. Gotta be in the top 7. And you can still scare your friends that they screwed up here.

6. Chose Your Own Adventure (Don’t Take the Knife)

Client: Metropolitan Police England
Agency: AMV BBDO
Plot: Make your choice and see the consequences from a first person’s perspective.

Knife stabbings are a big problem in England and very hard to fight because of the universal availability of knifes (normal kitchen knifes are among the most common assault weapons). AMV BBDO gives teenagers the chance to experience the consequences of their choices in an extremely realistic setting and from a first person’s perspective. Make your own choice below:

7. Elf Yourself

Client: OfficeMax
Agency: Toy New York, EVB, JibJab
Plot: If nobody has ever sent you an Elf Yourself video, you can now be sure that you have no friends. Sorry.

Launched it 2006, Elf Yourself collected 11 million visitors. In 2007 the numbers looked even better. Much better:193 million visitors over the holidays created 123 million video cards. According to Nielsen Online 1 in 10 Americans Elf’d themselves and millions more received the greeting. With an investment of under $500,000 not bad I’d say. But, could you recall from memory what brand was advertised? I thought so. Whey too popular to ignore but weak on the branding. 7th place.

I hope you enjoyed this selection. If not, please feel free to disagree with me in the comments ;-)

In one of my next posts I will cover interactive video campaigns from a more technical perspective (“the magic behind the campaigns”) and also show how easy it is to create customized video campaigns with Stupeflix. So if you are thinking about creating a campaign for your client, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly (felix -at stupeflix -dot com) or use the form below

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