Thinglass—Getty Images/iStockphoto
By Martha C. White
July 20, 2016

Dollar Shave Club parlayed a tongue-in-cheek tagline (“Our blades are f—ing great”) into an online viral video ad sensation. Now, four years and nearly 23 million YouTube views later, the startup is getting a $1 billion buyout from Unilever.

Dollar Shave Club isn’t the only brand that experienced a major boost in consumer awareness (and sales) from a well-played video marketing campaign going viral. In fact, It’s no wonder Unilever knew a viral marketing hit when they saw one: Its Dove brand’s Real Beauty videos are consistently high-ranking.

Have a laugh by watching the original Dollar Shave Club pitch, as well as a few other highly successful online ads below:

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Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World”

This Heineken-owned brand vaulted from being a small regional player to mainstream stardom (and Internet-meme fame) when it rolled out its “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign, which ran for nearly a decade before it shot its adventurous character into space earlier this year. Sales grew by double-digit percentages, according to Advertising Age, while other import beers struggled.

HelloFlo

Feminine hygiene wouldn’t seem to be a product category that lends itself to blunt, humorous advertising. But that’s why this campaign took off when it launched in 2013. Offering mail-order subscriptions of feminine hygiene products, business for the HelloFlo period starter kit was slow at the outset, founder Naama Bloom told Fast Company. But the “Camp Gyno” video opened up a the market for HelloFlo, and attracted the attention of Proctor & Gamble, which threw its marketing checkbook and the name recognition of its Always brand behind HelloFlo, even creating a second video in the same funny-yet-cringe-worthy vein.

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Cardstore.com

When greeting card company American Greetings wanted to get the word out about its new platform for creating customizable cards, it pegged Mother’s Day as the right time to launch a video ad that went for the element of surprise. Accompanied by the hashtag #worldstoughestjob, the video (which has been viewed more than 26 million times on YouTube since it launched two years ago) sets up a mock job interview that sounds like the position from hell: Long hours, no breaks, demanding and high-pressure tasks — the works. The mic-drop moment is, of course, when the “interviewer” reveals that the job interview is fake but the job is real: being a mom.

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