Donate Life Campaign Featured on Forbes CMO Network
September 27, 2016
In Viral Campaign, A Lesson For CMOs: Make The Unpopular Choice For The Sake Of Reaching Your Target
In early August, a promotional video called “World’s Biggest Asshole” quietly launched on YouTube. The nearly three-minute-long video from organ-donation nonprofit Donate Life America features Coleman Sweeney, a fictional jerk of a character who goes through life bound and determined to treat others badly and otherwise bestow bad days on the world.
He’s infinitely disgusting, repugnant. He’s someone you’d never wish to run into, a nightmare of a neighbor. And yet, at the abrupt end of his life, he is a hero. One act—registering to be an organ donor—enabled him to save others’ lives.
The video, launched only online, with only a press release and little fanfare, caught the attention of ad-industry trades Creativity and Adweek, among others. Forbes blogger Will Burns wrote a review of the ad—and its impact. The video went viral, earning 60 million global views within two weeks. In its first six days alone, it garnered more than 50 million views. It now is at 65 million.
It was shared and talked about. People hated it. And people loved it.