Top 3 Viral Advertising Stunts of 2017

When advertising, going down the traditional routes of Facebook Ads and website banners gains consistent, yet uninspiring exposure.
As a result, more and more brands are creating videos.  Often tackling controversial socio-political issues, many of which go viral, leads to engagement and exposure which conventional advertising could never provide.
Let’s look at the top 3 viral advertising stunts of 2017 so far.

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Heineken’s “World’s Apart”

In April, Pepsi released a commercial involving protestors and the police, with a can of Pepsi given to a Policeman by Kendal Jenner and instantly diffusing the tense situation. Although the advert was intended to promote a message of unity, peace and understanding, it missed the mark completely and ended up trivialising a very serious issue.

Just two weeks later, Heineken showed Pepsi how it should be done, with their World’s Apart #Openyourworld campaign. The video involved pairs of people with contrasting views on sensitive issues, such as feminism, transvestism and climate change.

Without knowing that they had opposing outlooks, they undertook tasks which required them to work collaboratively.   One task was making a makeshift bar.  Once they had finished, they were shown the videos of each other’s contradictory views on controversial topics.  They were then given a choice.  They could leave, or they could stay and discuss their differences over a beer, Heineken of course.

They all chose to stay.

Heineken not only found an effective way to promote their brand, while tackling major political issues, they  also supported ideas of unity, collaboration and understanding without belittling their importance.


Samsung’s “Unbox your Phone”

The ‘Unbox your phone’ ad was produced to promote the Samsung Galaxy S8’s ‘Infinite display’, which stretches right around the edges of the phone.

The advertisement involved videos, such as a kid drumming and a boxer training, on an old-style phone, with each situation knocking away an edge, ending up with the futuristic looking Infinite display of the Samsung Galaxy S8.

The viral hit not only showed off their new design, but also the brilliant 4K, OLED technology, in what was an incredible video advert.


84 Lumber’s Super Bowl Commercial

The Super Bowl is synonymous with its commercials, which air in between the action.  These ads are renowned for their high quality and unpredictability. The best, and most controversial, commercial this February was 84 Lumber’s.

Maggie Magerko, the CEO of 84 Lumber, wanted to promote a message of acceptance and that America is a land of opportunity for all.  The video showed a Mexican mother and daughter trying to cross the border to America and highlighted their struggles.  It aired amidst huge political controversy following President Trump’s election pledge to build a physical wall between the two countries.

Overall, the commercial intensified an already heated political debate over the Mexican border wall. And although it didn’t directly involve the brand, the ad was a viral hit and a brilliant piece of marketing.

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