The Worst Viral Marketing Campaigns

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.                                 

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.

That Viral Devil Baby Video Made for a Movie Nobody Ever Saw
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.
Cheetos Orange Underground, When Cheetos Thought They Were Tyler Durden
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.
The Gusher Eyeball Ad That Made Mommy Bloggers Vomit
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.
The Dennis Quaid On-Set Freakout That Everybody Suspected Was Fake
The biggest tell for when a piece of viral marketing isn’t working is when EVERYONE in the world says “Oh, this is viral marketing.” In the case of the fake Dennis Quaid freak out that showed up online in 2015 – everyone called it, but also, no one knew what it was for. It’s not so much a viral marketing fail as a viral marketing mystery.