How to make your ad viral without trying too hard

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Take note – all those who call advertising their bread and butter, their one great love, or their weakness - this is how branded content goes viral without resorting to cliches!
by Nidhi Dewan, Chief Manager – Content - Circus Elephants

Ikea takes a hilarious swipe at Apple’s over the top, ‘your world is about to be turned upside down’ style of commercials in it’s BookBook ad, highlighting the company’s 2015 print catalog. Narrated by Ikea’s chief design guru, the ad lovingly details the heady joys of browsing through the catalog in the style of an Apple ad touting the catalog’s eternal battery life, pages that load instantly with zero lag and how one can literally share it with others.

It’s great fun to watch the ‘chief design guru’ poke fun at Apple’s standard practice of using hyperbolic descriptions of each new product with a clean white background and deadpan style of invoking awe and envy, to launch the Ikea BookBook.

As a digital marketer, waging a battle with the teeny attention spans of my audience, I think the parody manages to steadily hold attention with it’s sheer cheek and relentless spoofing of a brand name revered by millions, without resorting to an actual insult. And that for me, was the standout factor in this commercial. Inadvertently, I believe the ad also offers a smart commentary on the over-the-top enthusiasm of tech advertising in general and gadget obsession in particular. The video’s virality has proved that careful execution, focus on context, polished wit and respecting your audience’ sense of humor, can take a spoof from tired and dull to memorable and brilliant in a few strokes.

The commercial has brought global chops for the brand and the agency, BBH Singapore propelling it into the world’s top three agencies as named by Advertising Age, in their annual International agency of the year awards. The video has been viewed more than 16 million times on YouTube and trended far beyond its initial campaign home of Malaysia and Singapore.

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