Brands Embrace Facebook ‘Look Back’ Parodies

For Facebook, what started as a thank-you note turned out to be branding gold. As a sign of gratitude to its more than 1 billion users, Facebook recently launched the Look Back video app on its 10-year anniversary. Nearly 200 million members watched their personalized videos, and 100 million users shared them with their friends on their timelines, according to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, as reported by Hallmark should watch its back.

Beyond statistics, a true sign of viral marketing success comes when others create parodies based on your content. Facebook decided not to give brands Look Back videos, instead offering photo collages, but that didn’t stop people from making their own trips down memory lane. From the savvy brands that capitalized on the movement to the just-for-fun parodies, here are a few of our favorites…

The return of Flo, the Progressive Girl

Airy music, check. Unicorns, check. More unicorns, double check. And in case you had any doubts about this being a parody, Progressive’s silly take on Flo’s Look Back video even replaces the Facebook logo with a unicorn head at the end. As AdWeek explains, “Flo’s whole video is about unicorns, which she’s been associated with ever since a 2010 ad, when she exclaimed that homeowners and auto insurance, bundled together, is like ‘unicorns and glitter.'” We’ll defer to Flo’s judgment when it comes to unicorns and glitter, but for Progressive, the move is a clever way to recycle old material.

The Pedigree Adoption Drive

If you’re a pooch lover, this video sure is touching. Cute-animal territory is prime real estate for viral videos, but this one also spreads awareness for a wonderful cause. The closing slide reminds fans the company will donate one bowl of food to a shelter dog for every fan who types #dogtales. The site calls the Pedigree video a great example of fan engagement. There have already been 2,300+ shares of the post. And thanks to paid promotion, the video was able to reach about 4.5 million Facebook users.

Other Cool Parodies

· Walter White, the fictional star of Breaking Bad played by Bryan Cranston, has given over 2 million fans the chance to relive his transformation from simpleton teacher to criminal mastermind in his Look Back spoof. Spoiler alert: If you haven’t finished the series, watch with caution.

· Doctor Who has a legion of devoted followers, one of whom made this clever Look Back in honor of the many actors who have played the lead role. The intro says the Doctor joined Facebook in “another time, another world,” nicely riffing on the time-traveling theme of the show.

· With over 300K views on YouTube, we learned that “a long time ago in a galaxy far away” Darth Vader joined Facebook. His video shares his “best” moments, from his Tatooine days as little Anakin to his famous choke-outs.

· The Honest Facebook Movie, from comedy duo Tripp and Tyler, helped put their names on the viral map. This hilarious parody has generated 5.5 million YouTube views thus far. Our favorite moment? The “500th picture of someone’s latte foam to show up in my feed.” sums up Facebook’s endeavor as “marketing in disguise” designed to normalize the idea that consuming their product is a part of everyday life. With over 200 million Look Back videos created, along with the parodies that followed, there’s no denying that even though this campaign was meant as a thank-you to its users, Facebook may ultimately wind up patting itself on the back.

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