A collection

My favourite low-budget viral ads

Ads

30 years ago, to get millions of views you needed a Super Bowl budget. Today all you need is a phone and an idea.

Grab a cup of tea, enjoy the ads, and afterwards we’ll discuss what connects them:

1) Alamo's angry voicemail — 5M views

Back in 2011, a customer left an angry voicemail after being kicked out of an Alamo cinema. Alamo turned the voicemail into an ad and started playing it in all their theatres:

Movie go-ers found it hilarious. Soon the ad made national news.

2) Say NO to Crack, Say YES! to Roller Skating — 13M views

Comedians, Rhett and Link, teamed up with Roller Kingdom in Reno to produce this gem:

The video went viral on Twitter after being shared by Complex News and Andy Richter.

3) Flea Market Montgomery — 12M views

Back in 2006, Sammy Stephens recorded a song to promote his flea market in Montgomery, Alabama.

Local DJs started playing the song and before Sammy knew it he was on The Ellen Show:

4) Burglars just want Tacos — 5M views

On the 16th December 2015, Frijoles & Frescas Tacos was robbed. The next day store manager, Greg Carlson, released the security footage.

Except he added captions which turned the burglary into a story about the thieves just wanting tacos:

5) Our Blades Are F***ing Great — 27M views

You knew it was coming. The OG low-budget viral video cost $4,500 and was shot in 7 hours:

Dollar Shave Club raised a seed round a month before shooting the video. Cleverly, they delayed the announcement.

This meant when startup media wrote about their funding, they all linked to the launch video which came out the same day. Smart.

6) Furkids Kitty Kommercial — 6M views

Furkids volunteer, Helen, invited her brother Paul to the pet shelter. Paul improvised with the cats for 30 minutes and produced this masterpiece:

The video hit the front page of Reddit and was all over national media overnight:

* * *

Whilst preparing the article I played each video for my brother. The first thing he said:

None of these ads make it through meetings

And he's right. These ads are the product of an individual's vision.

Another common thread is humour. There is nothing special about flea markets, razor blades, or roller skating. The product is unimportant. People share what makes them laugh.

To quote Howard Gossage, “Nobody watches ads. People watch what entertains them. Sometimes it's an ad”.

And finally, each ad embraces its amateurishness.

Fancy cameras, professional actors, and film degrees can be a hindrance. There is something charming about the novice. We celebrate the Sammy Stephens of the world.

Support

I hope you enjoyed it. If you liked it, joining the email list or sharing the thread on Twitter is appreciated:

Thanks to Ahrefs for sponsoring. I rely on them to grow my own search traffic.

Share on
Join 44,602 marketers getting
the weekly case study
Get new case studies
Hands down the best marketing newsletter I'm subscribed to.
Marketing Examples is so f***ing great. I love it!
Show filters
Hey, I'm Harry
Each week I share a new case study in my newsletter.
It’s short, sweet, and practical.
44k marketers read it. I’d love you to join.
Try it
Dave Gerhadt
My favourite newsletter on the internet
1
Dave Gerhadt
I have read every. single. article.
2
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
The newsletter is so f***ing great!
3
Dave Gerhadt
Most marketing wisdom per email of all time.
4
Dave Gerhadt
No fluff marketing that works right now.
5
Dave Gerhadt
You ALWAYS find something useful
6
Dave Gerhadt
I literally can't wait for new articles
7
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
One of the few newsletters I look forward to
8
Dave Gerhadt
If you don’t read Marketing Examples you aren’t really a marketer
9
Dave Gerhadt
🦄🦄🦄 — Nuff said!
10
Dave Gerhadt
I am addicted!
11
Dave Gerhadt
Every post is filled with insightful and clever tips
12
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
I open the moment I see it, and read from start to end.
13
Dave Gerhadt
Exactly what you want from a newsletter 👏🏾
14
Dave Gerhadt
Marketing made easy
15
Dave Gerhadt
There’s “marketing examples”. Then there’s the Marketing Examples
16
Dave Gerhadt
Wins at practical, actionable advice. No more words.
17
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
A must read for every marketer
18
Dave Gerhadt
The Sir Alex Ferguson of marketing
19
Dave Gerhadt
The only site I share with every person every person that joins my team
20
Dave Gerhadt
The best thing a Harry has ever made on the web!
21
Dave Gerhadt
I love Marketing Examples!
22
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
Shows, inspires, teaches.
23
Dave Gerhadt
Just really f*cking great!
24
Dave Gerhadt
Learnt more about marketing here than my marketing degree.
25
Dave Gerhadt
Better than business school
26
Dave Gerhadt
I enjoy reading every thread
27
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
Consistently stands above 90% of the marketing BS.
28
Dave Gerhadt
The most comprehensive, real-world examples
29
Dave Gerhadt
B*llshit free newsletter that provides REAL value.
30
Dave Gerhadt
Shit you actually want in your inbox
31
Dave Gerhadt
How is this still free?
32
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
The only email that makes me jump out of bed
33
Dave Gerhadt
When I need marketing inspiration, I head to Marketing Examples.
34
Dave Gerhadt
No BS!
35
Dave Gerhadt
Stands out amongst the crowd
36
Dave Gerhadt
Sadly, there's only one Harry Dry
37
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
One of the best marketers I know
38
Dave Gerhadt
Federer serve and volley good!
39
Dave Gerhadt
The most important thing is it works!
40
Dave Gerhadt
A++
41
Dave Gerhadt
I have no regrets.
42
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
Dangerous in the wrong hands.
43
Dave Gerhadt
I haven't read a bad post yet.
44
Dave Gerhadt
You feel like the guy on the other side actually cares!
45
Dave Gerhadt
I wanna be Harry when I grow up
46
Dave Gerhadt
Essential newsletter for marketers.
47
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
No theory. Practical advice.
48
Dave Gerhadt
You should build a school for marketing. I'd pay.
49
Dave Gerhadt
All killer. No filler.
50
Dave Gerhadt
Gems everywhere. I read through every post.
51
Dave Gerhadt
The best newsletter I'm subscribed to.
52
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
What I show to friends that want to learn marketing
53
Dave Gerhadt
Every marketer needs to sign up to this newsletter
54
Dave Gerhadt
The Michelin Star of marketing
55
Dave Gerhadt
The most insights per word on the web
56
Dave Gerhadt
Harry says in 5 words what others say in 200.
57
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
Harry, when are you going to charge for this?
58
Dave Gerhadt
The most actionable No BS marketing insights
59
Dave Gerhadt
Little deposits of marketing gold in my inbox
60
Dave Gerhadt
One of those rare newsletters that's always worth my time
61
Dave Gerhadt
The email turned my phone into a solid brick of gold
62
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
My go-to any time I need inspiration
63
Dave Gerhadt
The only marketing email I read.
64
Dave Gerhadt
Best 8-12 minutes I spent last week.
65
Dave Gerhadt
A newsletter I can't live without!
66
Dave Gerhadt
Harry knows his s**t.
67
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
The best marketing newsletter around!
68
Dave Gerhadt
The articles are such an easy read!
69
Dave Gerhadt
Concise. Actionable. Practical.
70
Dave Gerhadt
One of few newsletters I consistently open
71
Dave Gerhadt
Absolutely love it!
72
Anne-Laure Le-Cnuff
Should be part of student curriculum!
73
Dave Gerhadt
Truly appreciate your content
74
Dave Gerhadt
Who needs a uni textbook when you have Marketing Examples?
75
Dave Gerhadt
A genius that actually gives a sh*t
76
Dave Gerhadt
I have multiple notifications so I never miss it!
77