Can this pickle get more fans than 90% of Big Brands?

Can a pickle beat big brands at social media marketing?  Yes…I said pickle.  It wasn’t a typo.

I recently posed the question on my blog…”Can A Brand Create a Viral Campaign?“.  I had the same debate on Twitter.  A few folks said that yes, big brands were capable of creating viral campaigns.  Most, including me, said that they cannot.

Well, here’s the latest viral superstar.  A pickle on Facebook with a page titled Can This Pickle Get More Fans Than Nickleback.

This pickle is kicking the tails of multimillion-dollar budgets and the brains of multibillion-dollar agencies and corporations.

In 21 days (the Facebook page was created on Feb 02, 2010) this Facebook group reached 1.47 million fans.  Yes, I said million.  That my friends are the very definition of “Viral”.

Now let’s compare over 1 million Facebook fans for a pickle to other marketing campaign’s Facebook pages that have television, radio, and print campaigns to boost awareness of their pages.

Hot Tub Time Machine – (Movie) 25,262 fans

This movie has been advertising across movie theatres and on Television.  On their advertisements, they are touting their Facebook page.

Sears – 159,037 fans

Television advertisements, including the Super Bowl, have been showcasing their Facebook Page at the end of the ads.

Kenneth Cole – 35,705 fans

Print advertisements have included both their Facebook and Twitter addresses.

Papa Johns – 808,674 fans

This pizza giant has been successful with social media marketing, and even after their campaigns they still fall to the pickle.

So with millions of dollars in these brands marketing budgets and billion-dollar PR and marketing agencies creating campaigns, they could still not beat a pickle and the infectious activity and following of what happens when some things go viral.

Brands will continue to try and create a campaign that mimics viral activity…but in most cases a big board room full of marketing veterans can never compete with a random thought that pops into someone’s head and the web that catapults that thought to the moon.