What do a glass manufacturer, a toilet seat company, a phone system provider, a printing company, and a repo man all have in common? They all decided to forego the conventional wisdom that companies who sell relatively ordinary products B2B cannot produce virally shareable videos.
At ThriveHive we hear from businesses all the time who think that their business is too unexciting to create engaging content, or that viral is something that only happens to B2C companies and not to B2B companies. To help dispel those notions we put together 9 examples of some of the most successful viral videos from companies that decided to ignore conventional wisdom.
Corning – A Day of Glass… Made possible by Corning
18 Million Views
Obviously there aren’t 18 million buyers of glass out there, but by making a video with broad appeal (including to consumers) Corning managed to create one of the most successful B2B viral videos of all time. I would be willing to bet that if you work for a company that uses glass in its products, you have probably seen the video.
Cisco – The Future of Shopping
7.1 Million Views
This video shares many of the effective attributes of the Corning video in the sense that it appeals to the very large group of people out there who enjoy seeing new tech gadgets. Here again, most of the 7 million viewers are not potential customers, but there is a pretty good chance that if you are a potential buyer someone sent you a link to view the video.
Grasshopper – The New Dork – Entrepreneur State of Mind (Jay-Z ft Alicia Keys Spoof)
1.3 Million Views
Grasshopper has been extremely successful with viral marketing in general, particularly their chocolate covered grasshopper stunt. These guys really know their target market (entrepreneurs) and the lyrics in the video are witty and authentic to anyone in that category. This video clearly was not cheap to put together, but it is yet another success in marketing a product that isn’t easy to market; phone systems.
Serena Software – Just @#$% It!! What are they saying?
1.2 Million Views
This video isn’t very complicated, but one thing that stands out in particular is how effective the call to action is in the video. Even if you have never heard of the company you are really compelled to go to the provided link to find out what they are saying. Serena sells application lifecycle management solutions to large enterprises. I would imagine that any potential buyer of their services has seen the video.
VeriSign – Cart Whisperer – World Premier
1.2 Million Views
Just about anyone can get a laugh out of watching this shopping cart video. VeriSign put the campaign together to help promote its security products that they argue can help reduce online shopping cart abandonment. Another example of marketers getting very clever with a product that doesn’t automatically invoke laughter.
Grasshopper – Entrepreneurs can change the world – Grasshopper
870 Thousand Views
This video is very simple and could not have cost much money to produce. It came out in 2009 at a time when millions of people were losing their jobs and many of them were becoming entrepreneurs (not necessarily by choice). The inspirational message really resonated with entrepreneurs and scored a big hit for Grasshopper.
Walter Salmon – Totally Random Repo Commercial
350 Thousand Views
Considering the success of multiple TV shows that now focus on showcasing the work of repo men it seems that this profession actually has broader appeal than one might imagine. Add in a little humor and it was enough to help a local repo man in Tennessee score worldwide attention. Doing a quick search for Walter Salmon’s business brings up some accusations of TCT Recovery not conducting business properly and I cannot confirm that the company is still in business, but if that is the case it certainly wasn’t from a lack of awareness.
IBM – Mainframe: The Art of the Sale, Lesson One
340 Thousand Views
IBM did a great job of poking fun at itself in this video that spotlights mainframes in a way that grabbed more attention than mainframes have had in a long time. Once again, if you have any type of interaction with mainframes in your job, I think there is a pretty good chance that you have seen this video.
Pazazz – Printing’s Alive
240 Thousand Views
The self-deprecating humor in this video continues the theme of using comedy to elevate the appeal of industries and products that otherwise don’t get too much attention. Not only did the video generate a huge amount of brand awareness for Pazazz, but it also does a great job of convincing you that you will have a better experience if you hire the company.
Hopefully these viral video examples inspire you to dig a little deeper when it comes to creating great marketing content for your business. Once you start creating this content you are certainly going to want to track the results of your marketing. For that we recommend taking a look at ThriveHive.