For marketers and advertisers aiming to create the next viral sensation, Bud Light’s silly catchphrase, “Dilly Dilly,” is worth a closer examination. How exactly did the brand manage to put the words on the lips of everyone from NFL players to college students? Is there some kind of a secret formula?
In a recent interview with the creative team behind the ad, the New York Times attributed the success of the campaign largely to Bud Light’s partnership with the NFL. And while the NFL partnership certainly provided the platform for Dilly Dilly to become a success, the talk-ability of that particular ad provided something special. After all, Bud Light is not only facing a highly fragmented beverage market, in which new craft beers appear on shelves every day, but also a highly fragmented media market as it’s tougher than ever for brands to cut through the noise.
So, what does Bud Light know about creating viral ads that other brands may not? We’ve been tracking consumer conversations about the brand for the last several years, and as a result, we can pinpoint exactly what Bud Light did, and when, to turn this into a cultural phenomenon. Here are a few of the factors we uncovered during our research that make this ad especially talk-worthy:
Although consumer conversations about the “Dilly Dilly” commercial have increased steadily over the last several months, the biggest impact has been not in social media, as one might expect, but in offline, face-to-face, conversations. But as the brand drives toward the Super Bowl, there’s enormous opportunity for it improve its performance by developing creative that sparks social engagement online.
Last month, Bud Light showed what was possible when it issued a comical “Cease and Desist” letter to a Minneapolis brewery, requesting that it stop brewing “Dilly Dilly” beer. This effort created the largest spike in online conversations about “Dilly Dilly.” During that week, the catchphrase appeared in nearly a third of social media conversations about the brand.
Clearly, there’s more at play here for Bud Light than simply a major partnership. Both talk-worthy creative and timing are also key elements, as well as an understanding of what motivates consumers to talk about brands. This formula worked well for Bud Light, and it’s one that other brands looking to create their own viral sensation can and should replicate.