10 Best Viral Marketing Examples in India in 2023

Want to get your audience talking about your product or service?

You are in the right place!

Viral Marketing is when your marketing advertisement or campaign reaches a broader audience over social media through word of mouth or via the internet. Before discussing brands whose advertisements got everyone thinking about the brand for days, let’s understand how viral marketing works in today’s world.

Viral marketing in today’s world?

In today’s world, most things that happen on social media platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., are shared like wildfire. This is because social media platforms allow users to share content easily with friends and family.

Viral marketing in today’s world works in the following ways.

  • Step 1: Brainstorming content ideas for your target audience
  • Step 2: Have a clear goal in mind about the outcome of your advertisement
  • Step 3: Creating Content
  • Step 4: Publishing

It is also important to note that not all your marketing advertisements may hit the bull’s eye. Creating a viral marketing advertisement requires creativity, thinking out of the box, and sometimes, even challenging social and cultural norms.

When done right, viral marketing is the most cost-effective form of marketing. Having any one of the following appeals in your advertisements can help you brainstorm some ideas for viral marketing.

  • Emotional: 🥰
  • Musical: 🎶
  • Humor: 😂
  • Fear: 😱
  • Rational: 💡
  • Scarcity: ⌛

How to do Viral Marketing in India?

Nostalgia is always for the win in India.

Above all forms of marketing, advertisements with an emotional appeal are the most successful form of marketing in India. Indians love nostalgic advertisements; and brands like Dunzo are leveraging this to the maximum.

The Following are six points to keep in mind for creating viral marketing in India.

  1. Having emotional appeal
  2. Creating easily shareable content
  3. Getting the timing right
  4. You do not need a hefty budget
  5. Leveraging social media
  6. Thinking out of the box

It all comes down to how different your advertisement stands out from the crowd.

Why Website Plays a Crucial Role in Viral Marketing

Websites, unlike social media, give your audience one place to learn all your brand offers without losing their attention during a viral marketing campaign.

The following are nine advantages of having a website during a viral marketing campaign.

  1. Increased brand awareness
  2. One place to educate your target audience about your brand
  3. Acts as social proof
  4. Maximises ROI
  5. It helps you track website visitors and action takers
  6. You control how your customers perceive your brand
  7. It gives your brand an edge compared to competitors
  8. You have control over your website, unlike social media
  9. Allows you to be at your customer’s service 24 hours

Websites decrease the chances of losing a customer’s attention to your brand compared to social media platforms.

Social media has ten different things going on simultaneously, making it easier to lose a customer’s attention in the blink of an eye. Unlike a website with one sole purpose, to keep your customer engaged and educate them about your brand.

Best Use of Viral Marketing (WDC’s pick)

Following are some of our favorite brand’s marketing we cannot stop thinking about.

1. Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew took #DarrKeAageJeetHai to another level this year. Mountain Dew made the most of real-time technology to celebrate heroes of everyday life.

Source: allrajasthannew

In its recent campaign to celebrate bravery, Mountain dew created a towering 25ft 3D holographic statue of every individual with the help of real-time 3D rendering. This tribute is for the courage and determination that often goes unnoticed. This campaign was also a change from its celebrity-centric approach.

Mountain Dew set the bar way too high for its competition.


Image Source: ScrollDroll

If there is one brand that showed us another side to Rahul Dravid, CRED gets the credit. If you are a fan of the famous retired sportsman, you’ll know Rahul Dravid is often known for his calm and composure during tough times. By taking Dravid in an ad where he is everything but calm, the advertisement got everyone on social media talking about it for days. Way to go, CRED!

3. Reliance Digital

Through this brilliant advertisement, Reliance Digital shows how technology is a friend and not foe.

Source: Reliance Digital

Often those who are not well-versed with technology find it skeptical to try new gadgets. But that is what tech is here for right? To play with and experiment? Reliance shows us we need to embrace technology.

4. Dream 11

Dream 11 pulled out the big guns by getting the Instagram sensation Kaby Lame onboard.

Source: Exchange4Media

Kaby has the most rational answers for irrational people and ideas; Dream 11 made the most of this. Pretty Impressive!

5. Mama Earth

To celebrate its success at planting more than 3 lakh trees, Mama Earth focused on two different types of people – the ones who complain about change and those who make a change.

Source: Mad Over Marketing

In this campaign, a man planted a sapling only to wake up to see the pot fallen beside the road. While he complains that nobody crossing it bothered putting it back, a little girl puts the plant back and waters it. Seeing this, the man realizes he could have done the same instead of complaining.

6. McDonald’s

Source: McDonald’s Blog

Keeping in mind everybody, Mcdonald’s came up with a campaign called #EatEqual. The brand created a burger holder for those with limb disabilities to enjoy the Happy Meal.

7. 5 Star

Speaking about thinking out of the box, 5 Star decided to keep its packaging simple and marketing… well, extraordinary.

Source: Cadbury 5 Star India

5 Star marketed itself by showing the audience where it is actively marketed over the internet. This includes the five-star rating logos on google, five-star logos on the reviews section of eCommerce websites, etc. – almost cross-marketing itself through other brands.

Hats off to the marketing team!

8. Surf Excel

Surf Excel’s #DaagAccheHain campaign has always been a hit across India.

Source: Mad Over Marketing

9. Swiggy

The ‘Why is This a Swiggy Ad’ was the only thing the internet talked about in October 2022. 

Source: Money Control

Swiggy created a picture with many different details and asked the audience to guess why the image is a Swiggy ad. The winners of the campaign won 1 lakh each. 

10. Spotify Wrapped

If there is one brand that has got its audience hooked on its campaign year after year, that’s Spotify.

Source: Northeast Now

Spotify Wrapped is a year-round collection of the music you’ve been listening to the whole year. Spotify also allows users to easily share their yearly music roundup on social media by having shareable links and images.

Estimates Per Campaign

Following are the estimated cost and revenue per advertisement, reach and appeal used.

Advertisement Est. Cost Incurred (₹)Est. Audience Reach (people)Est. Revenue (₹)Appeal
Mountain Dew80 lakhs – 1 Cr1 lakh30 croreEmotional
CRED1 crore 10 lakh10 croresHumor
Reliance Digital80 lakhs10 lakh1 croreEmotional
Dream 1150 lakhs10 lakh1 croreHumor
Mama Earth8 – 10 lakhs3 lakh1 – 2 croresRational
McDonalds10 lakhs50 lakhs10 crores +Emotional
5 Star8 – 10 lakhs70 lakhs10 crores +Rational
Surf Excel8 – 10 lakhs80 lakhs10 crores +Emotional
Swiggy10 – 15 lakhs10 lakh10 crores +Rational
Spotify Wrapped10 lakhs6 crores10 crores +Fear of Missing Out

The brands above can be categorized in two part:

  1. Brands that invested in high-end resources (celebrities and advanced technology)
  2. Brands that made most of minimal cost

While it is not convenient to give you an approximate cost spent and the revenue made through each campaign based on their reach and resources invested we present to you an estimated cost incurred by the brands mentioned above.

Brands like Mountain Dew, CRED, Reliance, Dream 11 spent anywhere between 80 lakhs to 1 crore on creating their advertisements with an ROI (Return on Investment) of 1 crores to 30 crores from the advertisement.

On the other hand, the estimated marketing cost of brands like Mama Earth, McDonald’s, 5 Star, Surf Excel, Swiggy, Spotify Wrapped can be anywhere in between 8 lakhs to 10 lakhs with an ROI of 1 crore to 10 crores from the advertisement.

Our Take:

Viral Marketing is one of the most profitable forms of marketing when done right. This means keeping your word if you’ve made your audience a promise, staying true to your brand and finally creating something your audience can connect with.

While there is no fixed path or formula to create viral marketing, creativity is vital. Not all your ideas will be the best, but there is nothing that a good brainstorming session with your marketing team won’t solve. Let the concepts pour in (even if absurd).