Kmart needed to get the attention of discount shoppers and they did it with humor. The “Ship My Pants” and “Big Gas Savings” campaigns both went viral. The viral marketing content does support the business objective because it is a discount department store and allows product shipping to another store or the customer’s home. I think both of these created brand awareness and made people seek out the videos as well as possibly consider a stop to the nearest Kmart. Since the videos we funny, the content was shared by many and viewed by millions. Not only did Kmart produce two ads that went viral in a short amount of time, they also created a third, “Show Your Joe.” Although it revived the brand and created a splash, Kmart is still struggling to compete with the likes of Target and Walmart.

Viral marketing can become a successful tactic when it works. In a time of instant gratification and faster internet, a company has less time to be memorable and effective. Marketers need to create unique plans to stand out from all the noise and coloring outside the lines becomes the standard. The most important ingredient is to evoke an emotion from the viewer. A positive one is best such as laughter, happiness, etc. This will make them want to share it with others. If it made them laugh, they want to make others laugh.


4 thoughts on “Viral Marketing Initiatives

  1. Hello,
    Interesting post. You mention emotion as one key element for helping marketing content go viral.
    Do you feel there is certain emotions that help ads go viral over others (i.e. laughter vs. sadness vs. admiration, etc.)?
    What other elements do you think help make marketing content go viral?


  2. I think the more positive the emotion, the more opportunity to go viral. Humor is the most popular to share. Other elements that can help marketing content go viral include telling a story and engaging the viewer, inclusion of a celebrity, and goes outside the lines but not too extreme. Like this Kmart example, it is an opportunity to promote a service with humor instead of just showing the product or service in a traditional manner.

  3. K-Mart used a funny, simple-to-follow play on words to entertain viewers for a few seconds, which encourages us to spend a few *minutes* sharing the humor (and their brand) with friends and family. Well done!

  4. Hi Emily, I totally agree that ads these days that emphasize humor are well on their way to going viral. Humor does a great job, like you mentioned, of cutting through the noise and making sure that the message gets noticed. Of course, that means that it’s also more likely to get shared with others. I know that, every day at lunch time, I need a moment of comedic relief, and I normally turn to YouTube on my phone to see some of the ads that can give it to me. Seems like such a departure from the world we lived in prior when we had to wait for them to come on TV! Now people watch ads numerous times and determine when those times are, as well as how frequently they are shared! Great post and I love the layout of your blog!

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