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LG leverages prank videos in new viral campaign

LG Electronics released “So Viral It’s Scary” on YouTube, a satirical ad showing how men can often fail to multi-task, even when doing a funny prank video.

In a span of 24 hours, the video went viral and earned more than one million views on the popular video-sharing site.

Video Campaign

“[LG] marketers incorporated features of videos that typically go viral on YouTube, which includes pranks, bathroom vids, and hidden cameras,” according to a Dec. 11 report by “It’s a piggyback strategy to try and generate as many views possible for LG’s new products by using something (viral videos) that the audience is familiar with.”

Within two days, "So Viral It's Scary" generated nearly two million views on YouTube. The theme offered a satire of the scare prank genre, an unconventional approach for a global electronics maker.

It also caught audiences off guard.

So what makes a video go viral? Years ago, Internet researchers had a nearly impossible task of predicting which vids would go viral on the web, including popular video-sharing sites such as YouTube.

“In a world where over two days of video get uploaded every minute, only that which is truly unique and unexpected can stand out in the way that [viral videos] have,” Kevin Allocca, a trends manager at YouTube, told a TED audience in 2011.

Viral Marketing

LG is one of the few tech giants that has enjoyed success with its viral marketing campaigns. Viral marketing transforms users into a marketer’s foot soldiers by letting them share content on the Internet and social media.

To work, the content usually needs to be unique, funny, and/or surprising to induce social shares.

In October 2012, LG demonstrated the lifelike image quality of its IPS monitors by creating a 1 minute 50 second video which has since generated over 20 million views on YouTube. The “Meteor Prank” ad was designed to showcase the realism of the images of LG’s IPS monitors, and the video succeeded immensely in connecting with the audience, especially younger consumers.


In May 2013, executives followed up with a sequel called “Stage Fright – So Real It’s Scary 2,” testing the theory that men cannot go to the bathroom if someone is watching them. The satire approach helped the video generate over 6 million views on YouTube.

LG has taught the advertising industry a valuable lesson: Follow the views.

Watch some of the most popular videos on YouTube. Why? Because that’s what is interesting to today’s demanding audience.

Then replicate. Include some of the same qualities and do some product placement.

As simple as that sounds, LG has shown in the past year that the strategy is quite effective.

Wide Displays

Why is multi-tasking a theme in the humorous commercial? Because LG is spearheading a recent them in the tech world: ultra-wide displays.

The company’s IPS 21:9 LED screens lets users multi-task on several applications at once due to its 4-screen split. Thus, you can work on an Excel spreadsheet on the left side of the screen and have a movie playing on the right side of the screen.

If you’re a safety manager, you can simultaneously monitor four security cameras on the same LED screen. The wide display is appealing to several industries such as public safety, finance, retail, accounting, engineering, architecture, among a variety of fields.

Dell recently announced that it will also introduce a high-resolution monitor with a 21:9 aspect ratio display towards the end of December. The display will be 34 inches in size and pack a resolution of 3440 x 1440. Dell’s display will be named the U3415W and contain an IPS LCD panel manufactured by LG.

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