An awful lot of brands are very keen to “have a viral” ad.
Who wouldn’t be?
Like I’d love to win the lotto.
But the odds are against it.
They point to viral successes and say “I want some of that!”
And who wouldn’t?
Millions of free views for nothing. Tons of PR. Lovely!
Usually though, if you examine brands that have had the most popular advertising, you’ll find a history of them trying really hard to have the most popular advertising.
It rarely happens overnight. Like the fairies made it happen!
When I created an astoundingly popular campaign for Budweiser, i had the good fortune to top their previous campaign which was also the most popular campaign at the time. And not uncoincidentally, the insanely popular Bud Light Real Men of Genius radio campaign hit around the same time my campaign did.
Budweiser had been getting looser and looser about their advertising since the early 90s. And it was paying off in a big way.
And the clients, who all were lifetime beer guys, got really good at picking the winners. They had a lot of hits.
But they understood that to get the hits you had to take a lot of chances. And bomb a few times.
I have, i think, quite a good reel of Budweiser ads that never aired for some reason. And they’re all daft in some respect. I have about six or seven spots. At $300K per spot. I was never very cinematic. winking smiley face.
But the most important part was that failure was swept under the carpet without a word. Onward and upward. Success was the only thing that mattered.
Similarly, the recent Old Spice campaign was the most fruitful part of Wieden and Kennedy’s efforts for years to get Old Spice into the national discussion.
They even hired Bruce Campbell!
This success did not come from nowhere.
It took a lot of time and patience and money.
And that’s the part nobody wants to hear.
But the secret to having the most popular advertising in the world is to really, really want to have the most popular advertising in the world.
And then create the most loveable advertising in the world.
It’s that simple.
Imagine your brand trying to hug the entire world.
What would the advertising and brand communications look and feel like?
Love the world and it will love you back.
At some point.