companies The Worst Viral Marketing Campaigns  

Jacob Shelton
398 votes 159 voters 32.2k views 27 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the worst viral marketing campaigns that failed the hardest.

It's the 21st century and weird viral marketing campaigns are everywhere. It used to be that you could walk down the street and not worry that every crazed man carrying a gun or exploding demon baby was trying to sell you something. But now, everywhere you look, you’ve got to worry that you’re being tricked by viral marketing. The best kinds of viral ads are the campaigns where you don’t even know you’re being advertised to. Volvo, Old Spice, and Dove come to mind when we think of companies with the best viral ads, but that’s not what we’re talking about today. This list is made up of the dregs of viral marketing; the commercials that don’t even know what they’re trying to sell, and the public stunts that backfired horribly. This is the list of the worst viral marketing fails ever.

On a day to day basis the average person is inundated with a bajillion pieces of advertising and it’s on the companies themselves (or their marketing firms) to make their ads stand out from the white noise that permeates the air. But usually, the disconnect between the people at those companies and the people they’re marketing to makes for some pretty horrible commercials. We’re genuinely surprised that every ad isn’t made up of rapping grannies and skateboarding aardvarks. Although, come to think of it, those would be some pretty cool commercials.

Take a look at these viral marketing fails and vote on which ad campaign failed the hardest. Afterwards, leave us a comment telling us how you would have done better. If you're like us, you would have added at least one rapping granny.
54 16

The Fake Hoverboard That Fooled Everybody

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Video: YouTube
When the videos for HUVr appeared in 2014, every nerd on the planet had an aneurism. This is what they'd been waiting for their entire lives. Finally, they had the chance to be Marty McFly. But just as quickly as their dreams were realized they were snatched a way when it was revealed that the boards were nothing more than viral marketing for Funny or Die.
35 16

That Viral Devil Baby Video Made for a Movie Nobody Ever Saw

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Video: YouTube
We didn't see Devil's Due, but after watching this video of a creepy monster baby, designed by Thinkmodo, roaming the streets of New York to drum up some business for the film, we can't imagine anyone would want to.
20 7

Cheetos Orange Underground, When Cheetos Thought They Were Tyler Durden

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Video: YouTube
In 2008, Cheetos went full Fight Club and started recommending that we, the orange cheese dust consuming masses, started smashing societal norms while munching on puffed corn. Some people thought it was a brilliant deconstruction of the modern patriarchy, and others thought it was unabashedly bringing down democracy as we know it. Personally, we prefer Takis. 
18 7

The Gusher Eyeball Ad That Made Mommy Bloggers Vomit

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Video: YouTube
In 2009, Gushers started a campaign centered around a kid with a Gusher for an eye. As a piece of Tim and Eric inspired weirdness, it totally works (except for that awful song) but as a commercial, it doesn't make anyone want to eat Gushers. It does, however, make moms want to blog about how they want to throw up. Sorry Gushers, you're grounded.