So far this year, we have witnessed the success of a number of viral videos. Let us take a look at some of these and the learnings they offer with regards to online brand-building and marketing efforts.
Dove’s “Patches” video, released in April 2014, garnered 33 million views within a week of its release. The online advert is a continuation of the brand’s decade-long “Real Beauty” campaign. The video is structured around a psychological experiment, wherein a scientist provides a “revolutionary beauty patch” to a number of women battling body-image issues. The women are asked to maintain a video journal, documenting the effects of said patch on their appearance and self-esteem. Two weeks later, the women return, noticeably more confident about their appearance, whereupon the scientist reveals the patch’s secret ingredient – nothing.
“Patches” is a new and innovative take on Dove’s long-running message about the positive equation between self-confidence and beauty. The “reality prank” has had its share of detractors, drawing criticism for “tricking” the subjects during the experiment. Overall, however, the video has been well-received by viewers and even lauded for its positive reinforcement of “beauty for all”. Harnessing the power of “reality” is an extremely appealing factor in online marketing – it enhances share-ability value on social media and lends the effort credibility. Reality television is now a global staple – viewers understand and relate to this concept easily. “Patches”, like other videos in the same campaign, once again highlights the potential of this format.