Generating viral attention for a marketing stunt requires a mix of elements - a great concept, thorough planning and preparation, and a little bit of luck. Whilst we're proud of how many of our videos go viral and gather millions of views, some of our launches really do capture lightning in a bottle in a way that's hard to predict. You wouldn’t think a meat and potato pie would generate over 100 million views, would you?
In late 2016, we were approached by the organisers of the World Pie Eating Championships. Based in Wigan, the event is a fun promotional exercise for a national pie manufacturer and year on year they’ve conducted a different stunt to generate some press coverage for the event. This year, they wanted to launch a meat and potato pie into space.
Part of the success of this campaign was the simplicity of the idea at its heart. Without any branding in shot, the surreal image of a pie in space spoke for itself, managing to seem both unexpected – “who would send a pie into space?” – and completely typical – “only in Wigan!” in a way that provoked the vital mix of responses, jokes and commentary on social media that lead to a piece of content going viral.
The other big factor was preparedness. We invited local press to the launch, including BBC local news, relayed the footage back to head office for a rapid production turnaround minutes after our craft landed and had a press release ready to go out to carefully selected media contacts as soon as possible, all to capitalise on the initial buzz around the launch.
The video rapidly caught attention online and spread like wildfire, being picked up by digital media giants like LadBible and Ars Technica before hitting traditional media outlets including BBC News, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Metro and many, many more. Across different distribution channels, the pie has been seen by well over 100 million people and is probably the most successful ROI anyone has had for a promotional stunt ever!