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Viral Marketing

Hubspot says, close to 95% of marketers plan to add either YouTube or Facebook video to their content distribution efforts. In other news, in a recent video, a first-year grad student just winked and trumped Mark Zuckerberg on Instagram with 4.9 million followers!

Err…I know these sound varied, twisted and unrelated, but nope I dint digress.

So to answer the title question — what does Priya Varrier, Dollar Shave Club and Paranormal Activity have in common?

They have all gone viral.

You already know videos are mandatory for your marketing strategy, but how do you make a video viral? Nah! This blog won’t teach you any Viral Marketing technique, but I will analyze these three and spot a few things they all have in common. So let’s dig in.

1. Priya Varrier: Oru Adaar Love

India’s latest “National Crush” in a 30-second video clip of an upcoming movie, just winked and smiled at a schoolboy and achieved “overnight sensation status”, almost 5 million Instagram followers and featured in a Kelloggs Pringle ad. Almost within 24 hours of the video’s release on YouTube, Priya Prakash Varrier started trending beating some of the famous Indian origin international stars like Deepika Padukone and Sunny Leone in a number of searches this Valentine’s week.Priya Varrier - Google Trends; India Jan 23 — Feb 20, 2018

Source: Google Trends; India Jan 23 — Feb 20, 2018

Why did it work?

Four reasons: perfect timing, engaging content, right target audience and multiple channel mix. Allow me to elaborate.

Perfect timing, engaging content, right target audience:

This OST video of a to be released regional Indian movie features high-school romance. Released around the valentines week majorly targetting the millennials, proves engaging content at the right time has a potential to go viral.

Channel Mix:

For marketers, a multi-channel approach means always being where the customers are.

According to Business Standard India has a base of more than 930 million mobile subscribers, of which over 300 million use smartphones that allows them to access internet on the go. The demography for YouTube in India encompasses over 70% viewers aged below 35, with 4:6 female/male ratio. Facebook demography has users aged between 18–24, which is the largest and fastest growing population in the country. In this case, the story was picked by RVCJ Media with over 14 billion followers on Facebook alone, which then quickly went viral, as other popular pages started following the cue.

2. Dollar Shave Club: “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”

For those who do not know, Dollar Shave Club is a Venice, California-based company that delivers razors and other personal grooming products to customers by mail. The video in question is over 5 years old but still holds good. Out of all (53 YouTube videos) of Dollar Shave Club’s, this is still the brand’s most popular, with 25 million views.

Source: YouTube: — Our Blades Are F***ing Great

Why it still works?

Associating a bugbear with humour in addition to putting a face to the brand is what this video does. Kredible Research says employees can have up to 10X as many followers on social media as the companies they work for, and content shared by them receive as much as 8X the engagement. Simply put, viewers like it when the people behind a brand advocate for it. A touch of humour to it and you have yourself a winner.

Michael Dubin, the main protagonist in this video and Dollar Shave Club’s founder, sends the message that he believes in his brand, tops it with a hilarious monologue and continues to garner millions of views even today. Keeping up with the success Dubin personally advocates by appearing in most of Dollar Shave Club’s videos, to date.

3. Paranormal Activity: “Demand it”

Again an oldie but goldie, this is a classic example of using democracy along with social media to your advantage. Paranormal Activity started as a low budget horror film. A small independent movie with a $15,000 production budget has earned Paramount close to 200 million dollars. After Screamfest, a boutique film festival, screening, Adam Goodman, president of production at Paramount Picture, took notice of the movie and scheduled a limited release in the fall of 2009. After the goose-bump inducing trailer, a call to action appeared prompting the audience to “demand” the movie play in their city. Paramount teamed up with and advertised the movie as the “first-ever major film release decided by YOU”. The team launched an interactive website, used social networking tools such as,,,,, and Twitter. Fans could even “tweet their screams” directly from the Paranormal Activity website. All marketing efforts paid off and in less than one month, the film was released nationwide.

Driven solely by viewers, Paranormal Activity is one of the first films to successfully use viral marketing integrated with social media marketing into their advertising. They continued the effort, even after the release by running another campaign where those who “demanded” the film could be included in a “special thanks” section of the credits when the film was released on DVD.

Through the use of a viral marketing campaign, extensive social media and word-of-mouth, Paranormal Activity has illustrated how films can successfully utilize disruptive technology to advertise and drive profits.

So, there you go, from eerie to hilarious, these viral videos and marketing campaigns illustrate the endless possibilities of how your brand can create similar content and drive engagement.

What are your favourite viral video marketing examples? Let us know in the comments.

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