How to Create a Viral Moment: Lessons Learned from Viral campaigns
How to Create a Viral Moment: Lessons Learned from Viral campaigns

1851 looks back at some of the franchising industry’s recent viral moments

Going viral. It is the dream scenario and goal for every franchise brand marketer and social media manager; to create a moment so powerful it captures the internet’s collective attention and turns millions of rapid users into a veritable army of brand advocates.

While there is no surefire answer as to what makes branded content go viral, by looking at some past examples of viral campaigns, marketers can hopefully piece together the key elements of a successful online push.

Wendy’s Twitter Sass

Sometimes the best way to go viral is not with a single campaign or idea, but by giving your brand a recognizable and bold voice. The marketers behind Wendy’s Twitter account have figured out the perfect voice for the burger brand, creating an online persona so unique, consumers cannot help but share the brand’s terrible rap lyrics and public shots at fans of their competition:

Checkers & Rally’s reminds the Competition Who’s Boss

Another bold entry from the burger world, Checkers & Rally’s has long been proud of its legacy menu offerings. So when the competition tried to roll up on its turf, the brand wasted no time in reminding the world that not everyone can make a French fry or grill up the perfect hot dog. The result was a playful, and viral, notice that Checkers & Rally’s will never back down from a challenge:

KFC Fires up its Fans

KFC is no stranger to the fun and wacky side of viral marketing, but sometimes all it takes is some brilliant and simple design to make branded internet waves. That is what the fried chicken brand achieved with a recent viral KFC Hong Kong ad campaign promoting Hot & Spicy chicken by photoshopping in delicious poultry for literal fire and smoke.

While these are just three examples of brands finding viral marketing success, the takeaways are clear. Brands need to find authenticity, a strong voice and take artistic risks if they hope to find themselves on the internet’s proverbial front pages. But a word of warning: for every Wendy’s Twitter success story, there is an equally devastating Kendall Jenner moment just waiting to happen.