Viral Ad Campaign of the Week: Peugeot “The Legend”

peugeot the legend feature

Some weeks here on Viral Tactic during the ongoing “Viral Ad Campaign of the Week” segments I can be very critical. This is not one of those weeks. The new campaign by Peugeot, the French car manufacturer for those Americans who don’t know the makers of the hottest hatchback, is simply called “The Legend.”

The Legend campaign follows up on an older TV ad of theirs from the 1980s. They pay homage to this commercial, and then amp it up to the type of content we expect in 2014! They planned for this to go viral, and it has. You need to learn from them, or you’ll fail to capitalize on the success of a viral ad campaign.

Viral Ad Campaign of the Week: Peugeot “The Legend”

The video start out taking footage directly from the old commercial. The square frame shape immediately lets you know that we’re watching old footage. To be fair, the old commercial does feature a parachuting car having a missile shot at it that blows up the parachute.

But then the AWESOME happens:

Was that a fun ride or what? This is the exact kind of marketing that succeeds in a viral environment. The product being marketed, the car, is a participant in the story. It is not thrown in your face with big cuts of the logo. It exists as an element of the ad, but doesn’t overwhelm it.

Peugeot had to know that this was going to be a hit, and their planning made it happen.

Other aspects of the Peugeot “The Legend” viral ad

The first thing Peugeot did was give viewers a good excuse to watch the viral ad again. Here’s a screenshot from the end where they let you know why their ad is worth a second view:

peugeot the legend end

A secret easter egg bonus is worth a second viewing for me. So I took the liberty/pleasure of watching the ad a second time for you. Here’s the wolf:

peugeot the legend wolf

Where the link takes you is pretty interesting. You’re linked to Peugeot’s official tumblr where you can learn more about “The Legend.” There are many “Making of” features, and they social media the h-e-double French bread sticks out of it with links to their other platforms, and use hashtags galore.

These extras are the exact bonuses that you want to give your fans when you plan for a viral video. Take the time to figure out where you want people to go once they’ve watched your video, then plan from there. Using our video promotion service is a great idea, but a bunch of views with no goal won’t result in much really happening for your brand.

Problems with the Peugeot “The Legend” viral ad

*Looks left, looks right. Shrugs shoulders.* Peugeot have executed this flawlessly, as far as I can tell. Here’s a point form summary so that you can look it over and use it in your own viral ad campaign:

  • They created a great piece of content that is very watchable, shareable, and on target with their brand message.
  • They created an incentive to watch it again.
  • For those who wanted to learn more, they gave it to them and created a funnel towards their website in a creative way.
  • Fans were rewarded for watching it again by spotting the wolf, and being given behind the scenes footage.
  • They used hashtags on social media to connect discussions about the video together.

You can learn so much from Peugeot’s The Legend viral ad, keep exploring it and keep using it as a template for your successful viral marketing ad.

Now, if I had to pick on one aspect of the Peugeot The Legend viral ad that I didn’t like, I’d say it is with their official website. They have a highly interactive and very well designed website. Perhaps there was room to embed it, but a little sidebar or pop-up “Watch the new Legend Return” feature would have added to the excitement of the website.

There you have it! My main complaint about the Peugeot The Legend viral ad is that there isn’t enough of it. I wanted it to be longer. I wanted him to be chased by bad guys on snowmobiles with machine guns. I wanted him to do a 360 degree spin off a ski jump. I wanted him to race away with his lady firing guns out the window as they jumped onto a boat and sailed off into the sunset together. I wanted this viral ad to be a series of ads where we follow a 2-minute James Bond.

I will end this using my bad high school level understanding of French: S’il vous plaît, Peugeot, donnez-nous plus de La Légende!

by Ernest Thompson

Ernest is an online marketing user and abuser with a keen eye for the latest viral trends. His years of experience in the online marketing industry are presented here on Viral Tactics for you to learn from, and to offer you a chance to add your opinions.