Beyond Video Storytelling: 3 Ways Marketers Can Learn from Viral ‘First Kiss’ Clothing Ad

By: Sofie De Beule

March 12, 2014

between two ferns
emotional branding
first kiss
melissa coker
positive advertising
tatia pilieva
viral video

If you haven’t watched the “First Kiss” viral video ad in the last couple of days or hours, you’re obviously living somewhere else online too caught up in Obama’s Between Two Ferns appearance. The 20 strangers kissing for the first time, dressed up in L.A. fashion label Wren’s fall 2014 clothing collection, seem to gladly overcome the awkwardness and touch everyone’s hearts.

“First Kiss” obviously is a huge hit, and there are many reasons why. Ads like these are rare and even unprecedented for a short film about fashion. Wren’s founder and creative director, Melissa Coker, launched the film as part of’s video fashion week and was caught off guard by the film’s success. In less than 2 days now, the video has racked up more than 20,000,000 hits.

What can this viral success actually teach marketers beyond video storytelling? Let’s take a look at 5 ways marketers can draw inspiration from the “First Kiss” viral success.

1. Emotional Branding

Do you still remember the emotions you went through during the video? That’s because honest, real emotions like these in ads are rare. Although it’s not entirely a spontaneous act and the video was staged as they had to cast people who were willing to kiss strangers, the emotions portrayed certainly weren’t fake.

With this type of brand marketing through social networks, it’s important to add emotional triggers to any campaign that directly affect how people feel about your brand. Any personalized marketing approach that evokes emotional reaction in customers will form a strong bond.

2. The Power of Positive Advertising

We all had the ‘awwwww’ moment while watching the film as it puts a smile on everyone’s faces reminiscent of the positive messaging by Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches. The disarming, intimate moment between two people who happen to be strangers just minutes ago leaves no one untouched. At the end, we all get the feeling the strangers made that rare, real connection.

Bottom line of the power of positive advertising? Commercials that actually make us more optimistic about life in general make us more likely to fall in love with the brand regardless of the product that’s featured. Take a big step back from downbeat campaigns, and integrate a positive twist into your brand.

3. Keep it Simple

It’s as simple as this: put two strangers in front of the camera and make them “kiss”. The filmmaker, Tatia Pilieva, actually didn’t shout the famous ‘action’ words but let the “actors” do their thing without forcing them into anything. The video is extremely compelling, although it just features a campaign with ordinary people (although some are models and singers) who indulge in something really simple like kissing.

The uncut feel of the video leaves any marketer with the same feeling: ‘why haven’t we thought of this before?’. A simple, yet powerful campaign that, although it’s an ad created to please a large audience, feels like an unprecedented random act of sweetness.