Every person working in digital marketing would love to put together a viral campaign. Viral digital marketing campaigns can find success through a number of different avenues, from social media to catchy slogans, to content. Read on to learn all about the viral digital marketing campaigns from the last few years and what exactly made them viral.


Popeye’s harnessed the power of social media to rocket their new chicken sandwiches to viral status. Twitter and TikTok were particularly influential in this effort. Timing was also essential to the campaign’s success.

The restaurant most known for its chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-a, was under intense public scrutiny for giving money to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations. People were turning away from Chick-fil-a, and seeking an alternative. The rivalry between the two chicken chains, timing, and “special, limited” run all combined to make the Popeye’s chicken sandwich a top runner for most viral marketing campaign this year.


Southwest Airlines has grown rapidly over the past decade. From a low-budget regional airline to affordable international flights, they have focused on a few components in marketing. Chief among those are unparalleled customer service and social media engagement with customers.

Southwest’s social media team posts at least once a day, if not more. Their emphasis is on the good work of the airline, as well as awards the airline receives. The constant good deeds do not always go viral, but the consistent actions eventually are noticed.

One of the airline’s recent act of kindness was in conjunction with Macy’s and Make A Wish. Southwest flew a young boy and his family out to Colorado, so he could build a snowman with Santa.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell is one of those companies that seems to go viral over and over again. The bulk of Taco Bell’s success in digital marketing comes from embracing their image and brand collaboration. Working with Internet darlings such as Doritos and Mountain Dew allows Taco Bell to piggyback off of marketing by those brands.

Taco Bell completely understands their public image and leans into the interest of many of their target audience. Gaming, conspiracy theories, and memes all aim to match what is on the screen of their consumer base already.

ALS Association

If you were on the Internet in 2014, it was impossible to avoid the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. This social media challenge went viral because it was focused on something so positive and accessible to all ages. Additionally, it leaned into the interactive and connected nature of social media

The premise, for those who weren’t around, was that people would receive the challenge when a friend tagged them. The person would then have 24 hours to complete the challenge of dumping ice water on their head. Alternatively, the person had the option to avoid an ice-cold soak through a simple donation.