In 2018, with one single tweet, IHOP caused online pandemonium when they suggested they were changing their name from IHOP to IHOb. But no one knew what the “b” stood for.
For the next 7 days, the whole world was left guessing as to what the b could possibly stand for. Their social media accounts played along with the speculation and fueled the fire online. Finally, they revealed the hidden meaning: b stood for burgers.
This caused IHOP to receive over $113 million in earned media and resulted in an increase in its burger sales. While this campaign was slightly controversial at the time (some users felt the reveal was overhyped), there is no denying that it was a success.
In 2012, Australia’s Metro Trains wanted to find a way to encourage people to act safely around trains. Instead of going the traditional route of scary and off-putting ads, McCann Australia decided to add levity to Metro Train’s ads, delivering the instant hit Dumb Ways to Die.
Some of the best viral content comes from seizing the moment. Perhaps the most famous example of this is Oreo’s “Dunk in The Dark” tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl.
A few years ago, The ALS Association launched the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of the condition and funds for medical research. The challenge was to film yourself pouring a bucket of ice water over your head and then nominate three other people to follow suit.