Viral marketing campaigns in 2022 to inspire

PageProof's top 2022 viral marketing campaign round-up.

Since the rise of social media, influencers, and brands seem to have a common goal: go viral! Viral marketing is defined as content generated by an individual or business that inspires consumers to eagerly share it with their extended social circles. As such, viral marketing can help a brand or individual build awareness and increase sales in the fastest and most cost-effective way. However, successful viral marketing requires brand consistency across every channel, otherwise negative messages can also destroy your word of mouth as fast as virus.

Here are our top 10 marketing campaigns of the year across a range of channels that went viral. We hope they inspire you to create your next buzz-worthy campaign.

1. Guinness ad celebrates passion and diversity of FIFA fans

FIFA World Cup is one of the most effective international marketing platforms. ⚽

The latest promotional video from Guinness Nigeria in collaboration with AMV BBDO, “Brothers” aims to celebrate the power of World Cup soccer fans and promote diversity.

The promotional video, set in a Nigerian football viewing center, is filled with passion and energy. Miracle and his brother, Abidemi, at the center of the spot, bring the football community together through their passion. It is not until the end that the viewer realizes that Miracle, who brings infectious energy to the screen, is blind. 🍻 🕶️

Brothers is the latest addition to Guinness’ “Black Shines Brightest” campaign, which targets the Seychelles and Africa as key markets. The launch of the campaign has resulted in 1.5 million additional Guinness drinkers on the African continent. 💚

This ad cleverly shows us the diversity of football fans. But best of all, we love how it portrays that passion is not only what you see, but what you feel.


The latest Guinness ad brings the diversity of FIFA supporters to life

2. Nike’s first-ever 3D billboard stuns in lead up to Air Max Day

We love how Nike has taken over a huge billboard in Tokyo’s Shinjuku area for its first-ever 3D activation in the lead-up to Air Max Day 👀.

The campaign features the instantly recognizable orange Nike sneaker box, which bursts open to reveal numerous Air Max styles in multiple colorways while hinting at the inspiration behind each shoe. Such a clever way to tell the brand story.

Nike Air is a celebration of creativity, imagination and innovation, and this 3D OOH campaign perfectly conveys those spirits through groundbreaking technology. The campaign has also really inspired excitement among sneaker lovers and passersby – it received 743k views and 13k likes after it was posted on Nike’s YouTube. 👟

We expect the next Air Max Day will bring us even greater surprises! 💚


Nike debuts 3D OOH campaign in Shinjuku for Air Max Day

3. Create your dream virtual sandwich on Subway’s 3D billboard

Subway is taking 3D billboards to the next level by launching an interactive billboard! 🎉

Subway partnered with Above+Beyond to launch this interactive 3D billboard that allows passersby to build a virtual sandwich of their dreams whilst seeing their creations come to life on the billboard.

To enhance this experience even further, Subway ambassadors hid in the crowd and surprised the person who created the sandwich with the real thing – bringing their vision to life. 🪄

Even though we’ve seen a lot of great 3D billboards, creating a fully interactive screen was a first attempt in marketing – which is why we added it to our top marketing campaign list. Subway’s “Go Big, Go Subway” campaign successfully demonstrates their commitment to always putting the customer first and engages their fans in a completely new way.

We love this innovative campaign, and it’s always exciting to see how brands use new technology and groundbreaking ways to engage with audiences.💚


Go Big, Go Subway campaign introduces the world’s first fully interactive 3D billboard

4. McDonald’s shows environmental awareness in an ingenious way

We love that McDonald’s Norway has taken ownership of its littering by showcasing the ugly side of its packaging 💚.

In a new advertising campaign developed by NORD DDB, with the message “Take away your takeaway”, the restaurant chain encourages all McDonald’s lovers to help them reduce littering. Photos of “iconic trash” from McDonald’s lying on the ground on the streets of Oslo are shown in print, social media, OOH displays and McDonald’s trays to reach as many customers as possible.

Cleverly trash cans have been placed next to OOH displays so that the iconic McDonald’s arches can be used as a trash guide. The campaign also includes a commercial shown on TV and online that takes inspiration from a moment in Academy Award-winning film American Beauty, where a plastic bag blows in the wind ♻️.

In addition, McDonald’s Norway’s instagram account features posts calling for a reduction in litter and has now amassed 15.5k followers. They are also encouraging people to share their daily findings of McDonald’s packaging waste on Instagram using the hashtag “#McTrash”, which currently has 1.7k posts.


McDonald’s Norway “Take away your take away” advertising campaign

5. Minions are blown away in Sky’s marketing campaign

We love how Sky TV Broadband communicates ‘speed’ so clearly with their Minions out-of-home campaign 💚.

To showcase the speed of its new Gigafast product, Minions are seen clinging to various structures including billboards and bus stations. Literally being blown away by Gigafast’s amazing internet speed! 💨

Sky Broadband’s partnership with Minions has lasted for nine years, and the reach and engagement of the Minions series has enabled them to create outstanding work across all media channels. In this campaign, Sky Boardband is bringing more creativity beyond traditional outdoor and television, and taking the benefits of the animation partnership to a new level. The campaign has been retweeted and buzzed about on numerous marketing platforms since its launch. Among them, a post by Famous Campaigns on LinkedIn received 3.7k interactions.

We love how this campaign incorporates elements of the metaverse in a fun and creative way to reveal Sky’s fastest broadband. 🤩


Sky broadband’s metaverse marketing campaign for its Gigafast product

6. Biebs Brew has the perfect ingredients for a viral marketing campaign

Building on the success of last year’s celebrity collab, Justin Bieber and Tim Hortons brought it back, this time introduced us to “Biebs Brew” 💚

The new innovation brought you iced coffee with creamy vanilla flavors (both favorites of the celeb).

The marketing campaign also saw Timbiebs returning to Tims’s restaurants for a limited time, and included a limited-edition, stainless steel Biebs Brew tumbler for purchase.

Collaborating with celebrities is a boon for many brands, as it helps them reach a wider and younger customer base, thus boosting sales. Not surprisingly, the launch of this Biebs Brew has rapidly garnered huge attention. Tim Hortons’ instagram post announcing the renewed collaboration with Justin Bibber received 39.7k likes and 1.1k comments – hundreds of times more than their usual number of likes. And the post from Bibber’s account received a whopping 1.6M likes and 8.4k comments.

We love this heartfelt campaign grounded in Justin’s love for Tims going back to his childhood. 😍


Justin Bieber & Tims collab again to bring you Biebs Brew

7. Nerf introduces its first mascot and it goes viral

Do you remember Nerf guns from your childhood? No surprise really as the toy has been around since 1969. 🔫

This year, Nerf introduced its first-ever mascot. Murph is made up of 10,000 Nerf darts and with no facial features, it has similarities with a mop. It’s no wonder that some people found this character scary. 😱

However, Murph was launched to encourage kids and their parents to get off the screen, unleash the play, and make forever memories. This design concept is similar to the Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty, who entertains people with humor and quirkiness.

Murph quickly went from scary to entertaining. They even have a Twitter account to share its playful antics. 😆

The launch of Murph gave Nerf the opportunity to increase exposure and engagement on social media – with the mascot buzzing all over the internet. Since Murph joined Twitter on June 2022, his account has accumulated 16.5k followers, and his first tweet has garnered 58.5k likes and 4.4k retweets.

We think the introduction of Murph has gone viral for a multitude of reasons – nostalgia, talk-ability, and humor. 💚


Nerf’s first-ever mascot Murph going viral on the internet

8. ASDA hires Buddy the Elf for this year’s festive ad

The heartwarming and quirky Buddy the Elf has been with us every Christmas since the film’s release in 2003. 🧝

British retailer Asda “hired” Buddy the Elf as a new employee in this year’s Christmas campaign. The film was created by Havas UK and is the first time the Elf has been licensed for brand marketing.

The film features original Elf footage, lines, and actions. It opens with a tribute to Elf’s iconic “street crossing” scene – although this time Buddy runs into an Asda shopping cart instead. In each scene, the special new colleague Buddy interacts seamlessly with Asda employees using footage from the film – causing chaos along the way. 🛒

Combining a promotional campaign with scenes from a much-loved movie has made Asda’s customers giggle and feel more connected with the brand during the lead-up to the holidays. In Asda’s YouTube account, the video received 2.3 million views, 12k likes and 1.1k comments in two months.

We think the special effects of Elf for this campaign are spot on! And love how it creates a Hollywood atmosphere for Asda supermarket! 💚


Asda created a new story of Buddy the Elf for this year’s Christmas campaign

9. Adidas: “Impossible is nothing” campaign celebrates all women

We love Adidas short film for the latest iteration of its ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ campaign 💚.

The video spotlights a collection of inspiring women that have defied the odds to become successful in their own field. This includes brand ambassadors Squid Game actor HoYeon Jung, volleyball player Tifany Abreu, and basketball Asma Elbadawi. The new campaign also includes a much-talked-about digital campaign, sponsorships, and new product innovation.

The topic of women has been the focus of many brands, and Adidas’ latest “I am Possible” chapter is the perfect marketing inspiration for the lead up to International Women’s Day 2022. The video has received 27 million views, 4.3k likes and 4k comments since it was posted on Adidas’ YouTube account. 🌟


Adidas’ s latest “The Impossible is Impossible” campaign chapter

10. IKEA’s summer campaign brings pops of color and humor

We love how IKEA announced its summer bedding collection with oodles of color – and humor. 🍦

This innovative integrated campaign makes you look twice. And if you love bright colors and ice cream, this one is for you. And cleverly Ikea sells both.

IKEA thought outside the box with this campaign, by making you look twice – thus attracting more attention. Users and corporates alike loved it. For example, marketing service company, Seedily, shared this campaign on their LinkedIn account and received engagement from 3,932 users. 🤩

We also love how the campaign connects easily with its audience through feelings of nostalgia. 💚


IKEA’s summer campaign for their new bedding collections

We have loved collating this list of top marketing campaigns from 2022 that were so good they went viral. The above-mentioned marketing campaigns cover hot topics such as 3D technology, metaverse, environment-friendly, celebrity collaboration, and diversity. The common feature that makes them go viral is their innovative and eye-catching approach to capture the audience’s attention. As viral marketing becomes more competitive, brands need to deliver more innovative, fun and interactive content to stand out. Hopefully, our list can inspire your campaigns for the coming year.

For those seeking inspiration for their upcoming billboard campaigns, we highly recommend exploring our carefully curated selection of the top 10 most brilliant billboard ads of 2022. Follow this link to discover these traffic-stopping billboard ads and get inspired for your next marketing campaign.