Viral Campaign Ideas for 2019 in Every E-commerce Business

Marketing campaigns if done the right way can be a great breakthrough for your business sales. A viral campaign is a great way of showcasing your product’s potential and at the same time gaining some loyal customers.

To have viral content, you would need to have a content marketing plan that encourages sharing. Such a campaign can improve your brand image, spread better brand awareness and can increase your revenue. Click To Tweet

A viral campaign has to be persuasive enough to encourage customers to view it, share it and spread it. This should be included with a certain reward for engagement. Such campaigns require out of the box ideas and inspirations. You can get such inspirations by looking at existing examples. A viral campaign will end up receiving above average response. You can use any social media channel to make a campaign viral.

Also Read 17 Awesome social media viral campaigns

Below are a few emotions that work to make a content viral.

Emotions of content viral

Courtesy: Statista

With this information in hand, let us check some inspiring viral campaigns. This can give you an idea for your next marketing campaign.

Viral campaign Ideas


This being popular for eateries and especially Chicken created an extravagance display right at their on-location store. With lights and music, this was beautifully decorated and attracted a lot of attention.


Being done during the Christmas period, this attracted quick media attention.  A lot of people traveled just to watch this store display. With a lot of local and national media coverage, this also spread across different social channels with Facebook being the biggest contributor.

Why was this successful?

  • This was out of the box idea
  • They targeted the festive period when more people can come and watch it
  • In-store display with lots of media coverage attracted several curious visitors

Learnings from this example:

To make a content viral you need to target specific seasons. A viral campaign need not always originate from a social media channel. Sometimes in-store displays can attract a lot of attention and gain popularity.


This is a popular fashion brand. They started their #AsSeenOnMe campaign. This worked over user-generated content. This just required users to take their pictures on Instagram with #AsSeenOnMe tag. These pictures were then added to the gallery of the ASOS website. This is one of the longest running campaigns.

ASOS fashion brand

A lot of people enjoyed adding their fashion pictures and this effortlessly created customer-generated content.

#AsSeenOnMe tag

Why was this successful?

  • Worked on customer engagement
  • Clear idea displaying what needs to be done via Instagram
  • User opinions mattered the most

Learnings from this example:

A simple campaign over Instagram which works over user-generated content can become viral. Motivate people to share their opinion and comments. This seen by others in your store network can stand as motivation to buy from your website.


Kia cars started an in-store kiss the car contest which required anyone kissing their Kia Optima car. Anyone who was left kissing the car for 50 hours could win it. This contest not only attracted a lot of people but soon became viral over multiple social channels. This also included YouTube videos showing kiss the car challenge.

Kiss the car contest

Why was this successful?

  • This was certainly not a conventional idea. It was completely out of the box
  • People love such challenges
  • Most users attempting this felt good about it and shared it over multiple social media channels.

Learnings from this example:

A simple yet weird contest can make a product sound more interesting. This certainly was risky marketing but at the end of the day was hugely successful. People love such challenges as opposed to a boring test drive. Certainly, a great way to make viral marketing.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron is a meal delivery online store. They are known to provide homemade, hygienic food and take care of any allergies. They came with a series of “What can cooking do” videos. The videos focused on the emotions of people when they received their meal kit.

Blue Apron is a meal delivery online store

These videos showcase some inspiring stories of customers along with reviews.

Why was this successful?

  • Showcases actual customer review and stories
  • Several videos were uploaded periodically and frequently
  • Each video displayed a unique theme and product benefit with a simple real experience story

Learnings from this example:

You can use theme based videos with a specific headline. In this case “What can cooking do” is the headline. Periodic videos with real stories can inspire and attract several customers. In short with multiple shares such videos can be a gold mine to generate viral content.

Also ReadStep by Step Guide to Create Cart Abandonment Campaigns


It is a popular outdoor accessory and recreational products, retailer. REI instead of propagating their sales on Black Friday, encouraged customers to go outside and trek instead of shopping. In fact, REI remained closed on Black Friday.

#OptOutside on a Black Friday

This made it a viral campaign. They also allowed users to share and find #OptOutside experiences shared by others within their website. This actually created a community of other brands which also supported #OptOutside on a Black Friday.

REI is a popular outdoor accessory

Why was this successful?

  • This idea was out of the box, reverse marketing
  • People like to indulge in such unusual campaigns and also check other’s ideas
  • This was a motivating factor for several other brands. Support of other brands made it bigger

Learnings from this example:

Out of the box, ideas work well when targeted on specific days. Like here it is the Black Friday. This gives a sense to customers that customer’s relaxation is more important than the product sales and hence you end up getting loyal customers and at the same time this is an amplification to your brand image.

PF Changs

Known for its Chinese cuisine, PF Changs made an offer during Chinese New Year. Customers could enter the contest by selecting a Chinatown Sweepstake. As a reward, the winner could win free gifts or a trip for two to Chinatown in New York, San Francisco or Chicago.

Intentionally designed in red which is a symbol of good luck, the contest became viral.

Chinese cuisine

Why was this successful?

  • Targeted a special festive period, the Chinese New Year.
  • People could win gifts and most importantly could visit any of the mentioned places which are considered to be the most famous cities

Learning from this example:

Based on your product you can target specific auspicious or special days to run contests. The creativity of putting through this contest was the biggest winner for this campaign. The design, look and feel of a simple envelope made a huge difference.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

While this isn’t an e-commerce business campaign, yet this is a good example of making a campaign viral. The intention here was to create awareness about ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) disorder and raise funds. As part of the challenge, people had to pour a bucket of ice-cold water over their head and challenge at least 3 people to take up this challenge and make a donation to The ALS Association.

This became so viral that even a huge number of celebrities became part of this campaign. Few of the popular names include – Bill Gates, George Bush, Tom Cruise, and several others.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

In a span of 8 weeks, this campaign became viral with several videos trending over different social media channels.

Why was this successful?

  • The campaign was to create awareness and at the same time raise funds
  • A different idea about a challenge which is the most unusual thing about the ice bucket challenge
  • Several celebrities participated in it and had videos trending in almost every social media channel

Learnings from this example:

A unique challenge can become viral when done in the right way. A background thought behind a challenge (in this case to create awareness) along with challenging more than 3 people can make a campaign successful. With celebrities also joining such a challenge is an added advantage for more people to know about it. While this is in no way related to any e-commerce business, yet this has been a truly inspirational example to make a campaign viral.


Budweiser added a commercial showcasing why you should not drink and drive. This mentioned about someone waiting at home, in this commercial it was the dog being left alone at home.


The heart touching video had multiple views and has been shared multiple times.

Why was this successful?

  • People appreciate brands that try and create awareness irrespective of the product they sell
  • The video was simple yet had a strong message with an emotional touch to it.
  • The title given to the video along with visuals and audio made it better and more appealing

Learnings from this example:

An intelligent mix of brand and a message sent with an emotional touch can make a content viral. A simple yet creative Ad is something that people appreciate and look forward to.

Dollar Shave Club

A piece you can’t miss when it comes to viral campaigns. For the first time ever, Dollar Shave Club was the only providers for razor subscription service. This was a unique offering and had a video showcasing its CEO explaining why to use Dollar Shave Club in a rather funny way.

Dollar Shave Club has hit almost every social media channel with funny campaigns.

Dollar Shave Club

Why was this successful?

  • Unique product idea
  • The campaign is driven over multiple channels and in different ways over each channel
  • People found these Ads amusing and it drastically attracted a lot of curious customers to use their services

Learnings from this example:

Though now Dollar Shave Club has competitors, this was first of its kind. Most people still stick on to Dollar Shave Club, since they have gained loyal customers who do not want to experiment with other brands. The funny campaigns with educational content were quickly loved by people including millennials. Dollar Shave Club intelligently kept its promotions focusing more on the younger generation who would be interested to experiment with their services.

Also Read- 13 Common Pitfalls in Adwords Campaign for your Ecommerce store


Creating a viral campaign requires creativity, knowing your audience, choosing the best channel to use for a campaign. Getting a unique idea for a campaign is the biggest challenge. Click To Tweet

A lot of existing viral campaigns irrespective of e-commerce business or not, teach great campaign making techniques. While creating a jaw-dropping campaign is important, social amplification is equally important.

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