The success behind Artlist commercials


Viral marketing campaigns are essential to selling products or services, but what are they?
There are some key hallmarks you can identify in any viral ad, including an emotional appeal, a clear target audience and shareability.
Using Artlist viral ads as case studies, learn and understand what makes a great viral ad.
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What are viral marketing campaigns?

Viral advertising campaigns are a type of marketing that relies on an audience to organically generate excitement and chatter about the product or service that’s being advertised. For example, if Nike releases a new running shoe, the marketing for it might be considered viral when it’s being shared rapidly across social media sites by the general public. Most likely, this marketing takes the form of a video.

What are some of the hallmarks of successful viral ad campaigns?

Viral ad campaigns are all different (they have to be, in order to stand out), but there are some similarities and hallmarks that you can identify throughout successful viral marketing.

Emotional appeal

The masters of viral advertising campaigns understand that ultimately, we make our decisions to purchase or use something based on our emotions. Emotions push people towards action – when we feel something, we’re compelled to act. We will buy things based on how they make us feel. So any great viral marketing video has to trigger and tap into the audience’s emotions.

Clear target audience in mind

Of course, in order to tap into an audience’s emotions, you need to clearly understand who your audience is. All successful viral ad campaigns do this well – they know exactly who they’re targeting and talking to with their marketing material.

Capture attention fast

Successful viral social media campaigns have to capture attention fast. In an age when we’re all bombarded with an unlimited supply of things to look at on our mobile phone screens, you have to be able to grab your audience within the first second and then hold that attention. As soon as they scroll on, you’ve lost them.

Fits the platform it’s being shared on

All the great viral social media campaigns intricately understand the platform they’re being shared on. Just because a video performs well on Facebook, does not mean it will perform well on Instagram. Videos need to be tailored to each site, otherwise they’ll fall well short of targets and goals.

Taps into existing trends

To increase the likelihood of going viral, any great marketing campaign should look at tapping into existing trends. What’s happening online right now? What are people talking about, and how can your video be relevant to that? When an ad contributes to or acknowledges a trend, more people may share and talk about it.


If the whole aim of the marketing campaign is to go viral, then you have to ensure that the video you’re creating is one that gets people talking and sharing rapidly. In that first 24 hours of being uploaded, you want that traction to build organically, growing like a snowball. Pulling something like a publicity stunt may be a great way to achieve this.

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Analyzing Artlist commercials

So, with these hallmarks in mind, let’s take a look at a few Artlist ads and why they went viral.

We know our target audience

First and foremost, watch this.

Immediately, we ask a very specific question here. Are you “searching for music for your video?” This is a video that’s talking directly to filmmakers and video editors – it’s a video tailored to them, emphasizing how Artlist is the music licensing platform for ”all creators”.

When you identify your target audience, you can then look at all the elements that are needed in your own marketing campaign in order to appeal to that audience.

Enticing the audience

Another thing you may notice in an Artlist commercial is how we often ask a question at the start.

As a creator, the question “what does your video sound like?” immediately draws you in and gets you thinking. Obviously, any filmmaker wants to ensure that their video sounds the best it possibly can, and in this ad we’re making it clear that Artlist is how you achieve that. The creative assets used to make this video are amazing, and they can be your creative assets too.

Attention grab

Remember how you’re competing for people’s attention with a million other pieces of content? We talked about how you need to catch people within the first second and the use of vibrant graphics and color can be the perfect way to do that.

In this Artlist ad, we have an initial shot with a camera movement that quite literally draws you in. Bursting with all kinds of color (faithful to the Artlist brand aesthetic) and visually appealing graphics, it’s a video you can’t take your eyes off.

The tone

The message and language of an ad is really important. The message is effectively your brand promise, and you need to drive that promise home to viewers.

In this video, we’re presenting you with a clean-cut, calming vision. We’re communicating that Artlist is the future and that it’s a straightforward, simple service to use, making your job that much easier. The visuals are clean and the graphics impressive, showcasing that we’re the premium service of choice. If we can put this much care and effort into our viral advertising campaigns, you know there’s a lot of great care and attention to detail in the actual product.

Music choice

Anyone in the advertising industry will tell you straight up, when it comes to video, your music choice is everything. Sometimes you need a catchy hook that’s going to embed itself in the minds of the audience, while other times the music choice just needs to fit in, reflecting your tone and messaging.

In this Artlist commercial, we’re using “Diary of Ideas” by VESHZA. It’s an uplifting and groovy beat, but remains subtle and lowkey. That’s what we wanted for this video – it’s the narration that needs to take center stage, delivering the vital information. The beat and drops are perfectly synchronized with the on-screen action which showcases all of our assets, including the fact that we have great royalty-free music for commercial use, like this exact song.

Celebrity endorsers and influencers

Having celebrities or influencers endorse your product is always a win. In this video, we asked some of our favorite creators what it is they love most about using Artlist. The testimonial video is a simple concept, but it’s really powerful. For our audience of creators who will see this video, they’ll connect to it immediately when they see some of their favorite creators on screen. Our audience and the audience’s of YouTubers like Chris Hau value his opinion and input on filmmaking – so, if Artlist is good enough for him, then they know it’s good enough for them too.

Wrapping up

So, that’s a look at some of Artlist’s most viral campaigns, revealing the hallmarks that made them such viral achievements. Whether you’re working on brand storytelling or video marketing B2B, there are common traits that you can identify and emulate, in order to give your marketing campaign the very best chance of going viral.

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Josh Edwards is an accomplished filmmaker, industry writing veteran, storyteller based in Indonesia (by way of the UK), and industry writer in the Blade Ronner Media Writing Collective. He's passionate about travel and documents adventures and stories through his films.

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