Nobody can predict what will go viral, but there’s no denying the power of content that manages to achieve that status.
American Greetings and Mullen set out to honor the hard work of everyday mothers by catching jobseekers by surprise. “Candidates” for a fake job advertised online and in newspapers were interviewed via webcam. They became increasingly incredulous at the work they were told the job entailed—no rest, no breaks, physical work, negotiation skills—and even more surprised when they were informed that the job paid nothing. Only when informed that millions of people do such work every day—mothers—did the interviewees realize what was going on and expressed their own authentic and deeply felt feelings for their own mothers.
The goal was simple: Get people to send a Mother’s Day card through the American Greetings online store, and 17 percent more than the previous year did just that, with organic visits to the site rising by more than 150 percent. The campaign earned coverage in some of the nation’s most prestigious news outlets. Impressions were even more impressive, with 733 million PR and social impressions gathered in just the first week—and that was with no paid advertising to support the release. By its end, this viral campaign had achieved 1.8 billion impressions, including nearly 309 million impressions on Twitter alone.
This winning campaign takes top honors in the Best Viral Campaign category of PR Daily’s 2014 Digital Awards. We congratulate the team from Mullen that worked on the project: Jaclyn Ruelle, Christina Orlansky, Caroline Trainor, Lauren Brennan, Dave Weist, Tim Vaccarino, Jon Ruby, Andrea Mileskiewicz, Blake Winfree, Vera Everson, Zeke Bowman, Rebekah Pagis, Jessica Zdenek, Laila Lynch, Rebecca Wojicki, Eric Williamson, and Ryan Houts. Our congratulations also go out to the American Greetings team: Alex Ho, Dawn Wayt, Patrice Saad, Megan Baucco, Meghan Olmstead, Danielle Krouse, and Leah Lange.