When it comes to videos, ‘viral’ is a good thing. Viral videos are those that rapidly spread worldwide, often resulting in millions of views.
The thing with viral video is that they don’t have a set formula that aids them, but companies are slowly starting to get it right.
Why do videos go viral? Because people love it, and they share it. That’s it.
With about 85% of consumers wanting to watch more video content from brands, it might be a good idea to get your creative juices flowing.
Don’t worry though. You don’t have to start it alone. Here’s a list of 26 of the best branded viral videos of all time to give you some inspiration for your very own video marketing efforts.
- Best Branded Viral Videos
- 1. Dollar Shave Club – Our Blades Are F***ing Great
- 2. Volvo – Moments
- 3. Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
- 4. Purple Mattress
- 5. Always – Like A Girl
- 6. Honey Maid – Love
- 7. Red Bull – Danny MacAskill’s Wee Day Out
- 8. Dove – Beauty On Your Own Terms
- 9. Dove – Real Beauty Sketches
- 10. Paralympics – We’re The Superhumans (Rio Paralympics)
- 11. Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split
- 12. Intel – Meet The Makers (Shubham Banerjee)
- 13. American Greetings – World’s Toughest Job
- 14. Tourism Australia – Dundee
- 15. Blendtec – Will It Blend?
- 16. Nike Football – The Last Game
- 17. Buzzfeed and Friskies – Dear Kitten
- 18. Alibaba – To the Greatness of Small
- 19. Slack – “So Yeah, We Tried Slack…”
- 20. Code.org – What Most Schools Don’t Teach
- 21. Dissolve – This Is A Generic Brand Video
- 22. Turkish Airlines – Kobe vs. Messi (Legends on Board)
- 23. British Airways Safety Video – Director’s Cut
- 24. Dumb Ways To Die
- 25. The Red House – Black and White People Furniture
- 26. Poo-Pourri – Girls Don’t Poop
Best Branded Viral Videos
These examples will definitely give you a clear idea of how to create a viral video effectively.
And trust me, if they can, you can too. You’ll see.
1. Dollar Shave Club – Our Blades Are F***ing Great
You can’t really make a viral video blog without mentioning them.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out on something brilliant.
With over 26 million views, DSC’s legendary launch video is still being watched seven years later! Now, that’s a success.
“Our Blades Are F***ing Great” appeals to their target audience without an over-imposing brand image AND a reasonable price tag. Blended with a lovely sense of humor, what more would a consumer want, right?
Moreover, this awesome viral video is a great example of what you can do even without fancy equipment. It’s all about how you execute it.
One thing is for sure, this video is *beep* great!
2. Volvo – Moments
“Sometimes the moments that never happened, matter the most.”
You have to admit, Volvo has its way of touching hearts. The slogan on top is what they end their video with for the Volvo XC60.
They use an idea that a majority would relate to – a mother encouraging her daughter on her first day of school. Using a soul-stirring storyline, Volvo has smoothly blended their characters and the car to evoke strong emotions from the viewer.
This is beautiful not just for its story, but also because it showcases Volvo’s consistency of striving to be the ‘safest car in the world.’
The video piques interest by tugging on emotions with a thought-provoking story.
Presently, the video has over 1 million views and counting. The reason why it became viral will become clear when you take a look at the video too.
3. Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
Launched in 2010, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” proved to be a huge success for the Old Spice campaign. At a time when the internet was slowly starting to get weirdly funnier, this video broke the internet.
Starring American actor Isaiah Mustafa, this video created a tremendous surge of benefits for Old Spice. Their webpage traffic went up by 300% and their Facebook fan interaction shot up by 800% as a result of the campaign!
The video received a whopping 5.9 million views on its very first day! Today, it has over 56 million views!!!
This video achieved the number 1 spot for men’s body wash at the time. Here was a brand that knew what the crowd needed.
4. Purple Mattress
We all know Goldilocks. Yup, our very own ‘bed expert’ from the fairy tales is on the screen to show you the best mattress you can possibly wish for.
Purple Mattress has used a well-known character with a very humorous side, and successfully created this video that has over 179 million views!
They’ve explained why their mattress is different through an experiment. Although it might not seem scientific, it is definitely engaging.
Much like Dollar Shave Club, they haven’t incorporated too much professionalism either. This isn’t a commercial you can skip, because that’s how wonderfully it’s been made.
5. Always – Like A Girl
Women and girls have been through so much, and they still do. They are the target audience of Always.
This video focuses on the phrase “like a girl” and its negative connotation in the world today.
It goes on to show that the phrase should instead mean something positive by encouraging people to rewrite the rules.
It’s beautiful. It’s engaging. And it doesn’t leave without an impact on the audience, whoever it may be.
6. Honey Maid – Love
Here’s how Honeymaid made the best out of a bad situation.
With over 4 million views, this is a product of the negativity that arose from their previous campaign, “This Is Wholesome” that celebrates all families. All.
Long story short, not many people agreed with them. So what did they do?
They got two artists to create something out of all the negative remarks they printed out. What did the artists do then?
They created something powerful using one emotion that was important for every family – love. It worked!
7. Red Bull – Danny MacAskill’s Wee Day Out
Red Bull might not always give you wings, but it definitely gives you some brilliant videos on YouTube.
In this video, Danny MacAskill explores the rural countryside of Edinburgh on his mountain bike. Does it end there? Well, obviously not!
You can see Danny perform never before seen stunts on a mountain bike, right from riding on top of a cottage to riding under 6 feet of water (you’ll get it when you watch it).
Along with it is good vibey music that compliments the video. Oh and also, they’ve added behind-the-scenes footage of his stunts. And honestly, it is funny and astonishing what he can do with a mountain bike.
All this makes a long ad watchable and enjoyable.
Published in 2016, the video now has over 30 million views.
8. Dove – Beauty On Your Own Terms
Dove launched the #MyBeautyMySay campaign in 2016 for women to stand up for their own beauty. It featured stories of various women, right from athletes to models, to share their story of being judged by looks.
As part of the #MyBeautyMySay campaign, Dove made this impactful video featuring women standing up for themselves. This in turn was a key element in making the campaign viral.
The video’s message is simple. Who’s everyone to judge women on their beauty?
It featured five women in specific – Rain, Heather, Jessica, Grace and Hannah – and their personal stories of how they overcame the daily judgments imposed on them.
While “Beauty On Your Own Terms” was a video on all their stories together, Dove also released individual videos of the very same women in greater depth.
Launched 3 years ago, “Beauty On Your Own Terms” was a huge success in showing how others perceive women along with how women perceive themselves. It now has over 13 million views.
9. Dove – Real Beauty Sketches
Yup, it’s another one by Dove. They take this seriously.
Unlike the above video, this one aims to get women to see themselves as beautiful and to feel confident in their own skin.
They spoke to tonnes of women, and with the help of FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora, they made a video that portrayed their message beautifully.
This eye-opening social experiment created a sense of self-reflection and empathy amongst viewers, resulting in a glorious 15 million downloads in its first week alone.
10. Paralympics – We’re The Superhumans (Rio Paralympics)
An athlete’s ability to push their body to the limits is something remarkable. Even more so, are people with disabilities doing it just as well, if not better!
This video is a compilation of people with disabilities, including Paralympic stars, doing a range of astonishing things.
Set to the song, ‘Yes I Can’ by Sammy Davis Jr., this video oozes confidence and joy. So much so that the results were astonishing.
Currently, this viral video has over 9 million views.
11. Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split
Volvo, once again in 2013, raised the bar for many creative minds.
“Hmm, how best can we show our trucks’ capability?” Well, Volvo found the best way to do it.
They portrayed their epic trucks’ epic dynamic steering by getting the epic Jean-Claude Van Damme to perform the epic split, while in reverse! EPIC!!!
They really couldn’t have done it better. Currently, with over 92 million views, this video is still a great example of how creativity can be used to the maximum.
Oh, and just to make it truly epic, this video was shot in one take on a closed-off landing field in Spain.
12. Intel – Meet The Makers (Shubham Banerjee)
Now, here’s a video to make you go ‘aww!’
This is an inspiring and heartening story of Shubham Banerjee, who collaborated with Intel to create a more reasonable and affordable Braille printer for the blind.
At the time of his invention, Shubham was 13 years old and till today, he is the youngest entrepreneur to receive Venture Capital Funding for his company, Braigo Labs Inc.
The video starts with how Banerjee received a letter one day asking for donations for the blind. He then starts to imagine life without sight and is astonished upon learning how expensive Braille printers are.
Thereby starts the journey of the 13-year-old set on a mission to invent a low-cost Braille printer.
With over 1 million views, the video of his invention was definitely a story worth sharing. He is the reason over 200 million blind people have an affordable way to read today.
13. American Greetings – World’s Toughest Job
Now, here’s a video from American Greetings to go a step further and actually make you spill a tear or two.
What is the world’s toughest job? And how many people are actively willing to take it up without complaining? The answer is all there in the video.
“Unlimited hours. No breaks. The most important job is also the world’s toughest job.”
With real interviews for a fake job that was posted online and in newspapers, the video is really a punch to the gut when you realize what they mean.
Mothers. Created for Mother’s Day, this video created a surge of emotions, ranging from “you got to be kidding me!” to “did you have to make me cry?” It was a very different but extremely powerful approach to showing how much a mother goes through to keep us happy.
Being something that everyone could easily to relate, there’s no surprise that this video went viral.
“World’s Toughest Job” currently has over 28 million views, which isn’t shocking considering the emotional intensity of the video.
14. Tourism Australia – Dundee
Who doesn’t like a good movie trailer? Well, that’s what this video is…..almost.
Probably one of the most creative videos in this list, it’s obvious why this video went viral. Tourism Australia really jumped out of the box with this one.
Starring Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride with a slightly twisted plot of the actual Dundee movie, this commercial generated over 7 million views in a year.
Did this campaign end well? Slightly more than 750,000 Americans visited Australia last year, spending $3.7 billion while they were there.
This video is honestly a brilliant watch. Do check it out yourself.
15. Blendtec – Will It Blend?
Will it blend? I guess we’ll know soon.
The famous “Will It Blend?” series on YouTube has proved to be a huge success for the blender company, Blendtec. It’s nothing but a series of videos wherein some everyday object is blended in a blender.
You might ask yourself, “What’s the point?” Well, it leaves an impression, doesn’t it? That’s what matters.
In addition to the content, they directly involved the viewers by asking them for suggestions on what to blend next. Amazon Echo, iPhone X, Super Glue – anything from their part was taken into consideration.
With its old-fashioned infomercial style shot and its weirdly engaging content, this video currently has over 12 million views. And it was made in 2007.
That’s a good job right there.
16. Nike Football – The Last Game
Nike really goes all out on the Risk Everything front huh.
The third part of their #riskeverything campaign, “The Last Game” is a short movie starring some of the world’s best football players saving football from the villainous mastermind, The Scientist.
You’ll connect better with the story when you watch it yourself, so not much will be revealed here. It’s an engaging and funny portrayal of Nike’s ideology of risking everything.
It also depicts the importance of risk-taking in a game as beautiful and unpredictable as football. For any true football lover, this video will strike the right chord.
A major reason this video went viral was focusing on a trending topic (2014 Football World Cup). They were able to catch the attention of 93 million eyes.
Though it may not be as stirring as other World Cup commercials, “The Last Game” was definitely a refreshing change of pace.
17. Buzzfeed and Friskies – Dear Kitten
Cats. They’ve built a reputation for themselves just by being their own….mysterious selves.
This ingenious video started up a whole series of “Dear Kitten” videos all centered around the same scene. Boom, a viral video franchise!
By teaming cats with a humorous script, this viral video easily earned over 31 million views. It’s a cute video. You should watch it.
18. Alibaba – To the Greatness of Small
“To the Greatness of Small” is a video by Alibaba that marked the start of a ten-year partnership with the Olympic games. Well, they started with a bang.
With over 7 million views, this video features Kenya’s first ice hockey team that dreams of participating in the Winter Olympic Games. By using a real-life story, they beautifully portrayed their desire to make dreams become possible.
Big dreams start small. This video perfectly reinforces that.
19. Slack – “So Yeah, We Tried Slack…”
Slack was to change the way teams communicate. Slack asked Adam and his Sandwich Video team to make a video about it.
So yeah, Adam tried Slack. Adam liked it. A few months later, Adam loved it. Hence, Adam made this video.
This video is great because the viewer’s attention is caught from the very beginning (as do all Sandwich Video’s others). Hilariously scripted and acted out, this video showed the features of Slack in a very non-imposing way.
They didn’t show too much, but they showed enough.
Everything you might need to know about Slack – testimonials, graphs, ease of use, mobility, platform integrations – is all done in a neat sequential manner while maintaining the humor.
The other interesting fact about this video is that they managed to put all that information in less than two and a half minutes! Not too long to get bored, but not too short to miss information either.
The video has over 1 million views currently. Also, try Slack. It will change the way your team communicates.
20. Code.org – What Most Schools Don’t Teach
Hmm…what could that be?
The answer is coding. That’s right, computer coding.
First off, your video already has a good chance of being shared when it has important and big names in it. Code.org did just that. Their video featured quite a few business tycoons – Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Gabe Newell, will.i.am, etc.
Second, their content is thought-provoking and strong. It’s addressed directly to kids and young adults, explaining why coding is a valuable asset or ‘superpower.’
Third, did you notice their title? Exactly! It’s intriguing and attracts eyes. When that catches your attention, you’re almost dying to know more.
That’s the power of a well-thought title. Do NOT forget that.
Don’t believe us? This video became so popular within its first week in 2013 that 15,000 to 20,000 teachers signed a petition saying they wanted the course in their schools. All in that very first week!
21. Dissolve – This Is A Generic Brand Video
Dissolve is a company that sells stock footage and photography for businesses. They made that pretty clear in this hilarious video.
Using their very own stock footage and a clever script, this video pokes fun at generic stock footage videos in the advertising industry.
Currently, with over 2 million views, it’s hard not to see why this video gained so much attention. It was light-hearted, funny and definitely engaging.
This viral video was the winner of the 2015 Shorty Award for Best in B2B.
22. Turkish Airlines – Kobe vs. Messi (Legends on Board)
This is what happens when a company knows what they’re doing.
Turkish Airlines, very effectively, created this comical and hearty video starring two famous stars from their field, Lionel Messi and Kobe Bryant.
It’s cute to see huge public figures competing over a kid’s desire to simply get an autograph from both. Turkish Airlines have cleverly used this to create this brilliant video that has over 153 million views!
Now that is branding done right!
(Note: The original video was removed from their channel but here’s the same ad posted on another channel).
23. British Airways Safety Video – Director’s Cut
While we’re still on the topic of creative Airline videos, here’s one by British Airways.
Featuring British comedian Asim Chaudhry as the film’s director Chabuddy G, this star-studded inflight safety video attracted over 12 million views on YouTube and over 25 million views all across their social media channels.
“It’s extremely important to us that customers engage with our safety video, and involving some of the nation’s most well-known personalities has given us the chance to create something fun that we hope people will watch from start to finish,” BA CEO Alex Cruz said in a statement.
They did a great job with that. The video is indeed captivating from start to finish. Right from Thandie Newton to Rowan Atkinson, the video sure is bound to keep you focused on it.
Apart from being a hilarious and entirely creative new safety video, this helped raise funds for its global charity partnership with Comic Relief.
24. Dumb Ways To Die
Don’t you think it’s only a matter of time before something bizarre pops up? You’re absolutely right. This video right here is bizarre video number one.
Dumb Ways To Die is a game released in November 2012 as a public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains Melbourne. Ironic? Yes, a little.
The game is simple. It shows….well….dumb ways to die!
The video is simpler. It’s a creative and funny song about…well…..dumb ways to die! With some adorably brutal deaths of animated characters.
More than the catchy song and funny little characters, it was the sudden message at the end of the video that sent ripples of awareness.
“Be safe around trains. A message from Metro.”
A public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains Melbourne indeed.
If it doesn’t seem like much, just think about how this video has over 180 million views today.
It’s viral alright! And for all the right reasons.
25. The Red House – Black and White People Furniture
Here, we have our second contender, bizarre video number two.
How in the world does a furniture store become a viral internet sensation? Featuring YouTube stars Rhett and Link (the brains behind the video), The Red House furniture did something absolutely……interesting.
“At the Reedddd House!” Yes, it sounds stupid now, but you’ll get it once you watch the video.
Posted a decade ago, it’s still difficult to tell if this was a joke or not. Regardless, this video gained over 6 million views just because of its bizarreness.
According to its creators, Rhett and Link, the video was made to gain popularity online by raising eyebrows.
“We thought the idea was hilarious to use race and racial reconciliation as a marketing angle,” Link said. “We also knew it would raise eyebrows and spark discussion.”
Well, they made it work.
26. Poo-Pourri – Girls Don’t Poop
And now, we have our champion, the most bizarre of the bizarre, the unchallenged, Poo-Pourri.
This video evokes a lot of questions like, “Wait, what?”, or “Huh?”, or “What on Earth?!” Valid questions indeed.
The blue-dressed socialite, the setting, the absolutely weird content, the product itself – everything has been done in such an odd way, it’s brilliant! And the title? Who wouldn’t be intrigued by it!
This viral video has over 41 million views! It goes to show just what you can achieve by thinking out-of-the-box.
As we mentioned earlier, creating a viral video has no strict formula as such. If you notice, none of the above videos are similar. They’re a mixture of serious, thought-provoking, funny and bizarre videos.
At the end of the day, it’s about creating a buzz, and that takes creativity. Make videos that you think your audience will enjoy, and make sure you promote it on the right social media platforms. It takes effort, research, time, creativity and some gut feeling.
The results will be worthwhile and satisfying.
If all this has been too much, here’s a cute video to end your day on a good note.
We hope this list of best branded viral videos of all time has helped you gain some inspiration and ideas. Now, it is time for you to get your creative juices flowing and create your own quality content.
If you want to find out more about viral videos, check out our blog on How to make videos go viral.
As always, if you have any doubts, feel free to contact us. We are more than ready to help you.