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101 Times Brands Went Viral in 2019

We used Iris, Brandwatch's AI assistant, to find 101 times brands went viral this year.

See Iris in action
REPORT101 Times Brands Went Viral in 2019

Brands go viral all the time, for good reasons and for bad.

Virality is as coveted as it is feared. The right moment can transform an unknown brand into a household name, keep an established brand in the spotlight, humanize the brand, and generate positive public opinion for the brand. The wrong moment can sink a brand’s reputation, lead to calls for boycott, and potentially cause people to get fired. Meanwhile, some viral moments are neither positive or negative – they might not have any effect on the brand in question.

In this report we used Brandwatch’s AI assistant Iris to search through nearly a billion brand-related posts, identifying the conversation drivers behind the most talked about moments.

You’ll find out how both polished marketing campaigns and unexpected crises have created huge spikes in conversation about some of the world’s biggest brands.

You can find the methodology here.

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

101 times brands went viral in 2019


Adidas Adidas signs Beyoncé for a sneaker deal

55817 mentions, 4 April 2019


Adidas Arsenal footbal club's home jersey reveal (sponsored by Adidas)

57225 mentions, 1 July 2019


Kool Aid Kool Aid cracking jokes

58584 mentions, 12 June 2019


Patron A comedy tweet does the rounds, referring to the disorientating effects of too many shots of Patron

58688 mentions, 13 September 2019


Honda Honda is mentioned in a joke about not knowing what different cars look like

59748 mentions, 24 March 2019


Target Target wins favor from BTS fans

59963 mentions, 13 March 2019


Apple Not everyone is a fan of how the Apple Watch looks when it comes to formal occasions

61126 mentions, 10 September 2019


Maserati An Old Town Road joke gets a lot of laughs

62895 mentions, 5 April 2019


Tesla Elon Musk tweets about an upcoming shipment

63368 mentions, 20 February 2019


Budweiser Budweiser's emotional tribute video to Dwyane Wade proves popular on social media

63577 mentions, 9 April 2019


Aeromexico Aeromexico's humorous campaign around Americans travelling to the US proves popular

64499 mentions, 18 January 2019


Tesla Tesla introduces 'Dog Mode'

64570 mentions, 14 February 2019


Wells Fargo Senator Elizabeth Warren goes in on Wells Fargo

65150 mentions, 8 February 2019


Shell Many tweeted #boycottshell after workers were allegedly told they would not be paid if they did not show up to a Trump speech at a plant in Beaver County

65204 mentions, 17 August 2019


Burberry Burberry's Spring-Summer 2020 show at London Fashion Week. Blackpink's Jisoo made quite the splash within the conversation

67003 mentions, 16 September 2019


Rolls-Royce Meek Mill's tribute to rapper Nipsey Hustle references the convoy of Rolls-Royces at his funeral

67587 mentions, 12 April 2019


Chanel Chanel launches the Chanel Pharrell collection. Mentions are boosted by an appearance from Blackpink's Jennie

68662 mentions, 28 March 2019


Wells Fargo AOC vs Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan

69443 mentions, 13 March 2019


Honda Honda is mentioned in another joke about not knowing what different cars look like

69947 mentions, 6 March 2019

The tweet has since been deleted


Louis Vuitton South Korean rapper Mino hits the runway for Louis Vuitton in Paris

70669 mentions, 20 June 2019


Metlife Metlife stadium announces BTS tickets are sold out

70796 mentions, 1 March 2019


Adidas Blackpink spark conversation in shoot for Adidas

72517 mentions, 9 October 2019


Nike The Wall Street Journal reports 'Nike Nixes ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker After Colin Kaepernick Intervenes'

72818 mentions, 1 July 2019


Pantene Pantene's sponsorship of the BBMAs is a hit on social

74729 mentions, 23 April 2019


Bentley A Bentley fan shares what they'd do with an $80/h shift. Even if it was at a graveyard...

75075 mentions, 5 July 2019


Nike A journalist shares the story of a store that pulled Nike products

76208 mentions, 14 February 2019


Tesla Tesla tweets about Model Y

76308 mentions, 15 March 2019


Chick-fil-A A video of a dancing Chick-fil-A employee does the rounds

76625 mentions, 1 October 2019


Louis Vitton K-pop group Itzy attend a Louis Vitton show in NYC

76886 mentions, 10 May 2019


Gucci Kai from Exo at Gucci's Spring-Summer 2019 show in Paris

78043 mentions, 21 March 2019


Nike A celebratory tweet from Nike for the US Women's soccer team

79249 mentions, 7 July 2019


SAINT LAURENT Blackpink's Rosé attends YSL's Paris Fashion Week show

81332 mentions, 25 September 2019


Nike An older Nike ad is reshared tens of thousands of times – it's evergreen content

81438 mentions, 3 May 2019


Staples The Staples Center is the venue for a high profile basketball game

81601 mentions, 6 July 2019


Adidas Willow Smith teams up with Adidas, promoting a 100% recycled shoe

82998 mentions, 18 April 2019


McDonald's A video circulates in which a McDonald's employee uses a racial slur to describe a customer

84869 mentions, 12 January 2019


Gucci Many wonder what Gucci were thinking when they created this sweater

85854 mentions, 7 February 2019


Gucci Harry Styles is the face of the new Gucci Tailoring campaign

88660 mentions, 21 May 2019


Versace Exo member Chanyeol makes an appearance at a Versace event in Hong Kong

88771 mentions, 26 April 2019


Pizza Hut Pizza Hut UK snaps back at Leeds United Football Club

90035 mentions, 17 January 2019


Tesla Bill Pulte offers to buy one of his followers a Tesla

91617 mentions, 3 August 2019


McDonald's Vintage Hercules McDonald's plates hit a nostalgic nerve

91662 mentions, 20 January 2019


Tesla Tesla shares an update on Model 3s

91749 mentions, 1 March 2019


PayPal Ex-UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown calls Nigel Farage "the man of the PayPal"

94513 mentions, 20 May 2019


Various restaurants A number of restaurant companies are called out for supporting Trump's re-election, with some people calling for boycott

95571 mentions, 9 August 2019


HBO HBO releases a trailer for the upcoming final season for Game of Thrones

96820 mentions, 13 January 2019


Versace J-Lo wears the dress that led to the creation of Google Images

98467 mentions, 21 September 2019


Gillette Gillette's #TheBestMenCanBe campaign is released

100421 mentions, 16 January 2019


Gucci Gucci release a new perfume

101996 mentions, 1 August 2019


ITV BTS appear on ITV show Britain's Got Talent

104733 mentions, 30 May 2019


Tesla Elon Musk posts an interesting tweet...

106652 mentions, 24 April 2019


Samsung Samsung's August event shares the latest innovations

109258 mentions, 7 August 2019


MTV MTV news tweets footage of Detective Pikachu dancing to BTS and of course it went crazy

112472 mentions, 11 May 2019


Comedy Central Comedy Central takes Donald Trump Jr's joke and turns it around on him

113512 mentions, 1 August 2019


Calvin Klein Shawn Mendes tweets about his partnership with Calvin Klein (this is not the only time this partnership makes the list)

114161 mentions, 9 May 2019


HBO The first episode of the final season of Game of Thrones airs

114915 mentions, 14 April 2019


Porsche Many, including Elon Musk, comment on the world premiere of Taycan, Porsche's first all-electric sports car

116544 mentions, 4 September 2019


Burger King Burger King makes a joke after President Trump spells 'hamburgers' wrong in a tweet

120764 mentions, 15 January 2019


Pacific Gas & Electric Pacific Gas & Electric at centre of social media storm as power outages affect many dissatisfied citizens

124499 mentions, 8 October 2019


Dior Dior announces it will be creating outfits for K-pop group BTS

129528 mentions, 5 May 2019


SAINT LAURENT Kpop group GOT7's JB attends YSL's Spring-Summer 2020 show

129993 mentions, 7 June 2019


Calvin Klein Shawn Mendes tweets about his upcoming #mycalvins Calvin Klein campaign

130386 mentions, 17 February 2019


HBO The Battle of Winterfell (in the final season of Game of Thrones)

134430 mentions, Sunday, 28 April 2019


Givenchy Givenchy hints at the new face of its brand (it's Ariana Grande, and people joked that the silhoutte they tweeted was a little bit obvious)

136708 mentions, 10 May 2019


MTV The MTV awards hit social, and Lizzo's a key topic of conversation

140215 mentions, 18 June 2019


Gucci Harry Styles photographed at the Met Gala wearing Gucci

143079 mentions, 7 May 2019


HBO The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones airs

147439 mentions, 12 May 2019


Apple Bug revealed in FaceTime app

147550 mentions, 29 January 2019


Adult Swim Adult Swim announces the launch date of the next season of Rick & Morty

154566 mentions, 15 May 2019


Chanel Tributes paid to Karl Lagerfeld

155322 mentions, 19 February 2019


Apple Revelations at Apple's WWDC, including upcoming Dark Mode

158379 mentions, 3 June 2019


EBay A family business gets a lot of interest after they shared their back story

160581 mentions, 10 April 2019


Chanel Jennie from Blackpink repping Chanel at Paris Fashion Week

163629 mentions, 1 October 2019


EBay A sweet story from a satisfied EBay customer is shared on Twitter

167743 mentions, 18 February 2019


Honda Honda is named in a number of Brexit-related tweets, after the announcement that it would close its Swindon plant

168930 mentions, 19 February 2019


Nike Zion Williamson injured after issue with Nike shoe

177712 mentions, 21 February 2019


Chick-fil-A An awkward prank goes down in Chick-fil-A

180504 mentions, 24 March 2019


Wendy's & Popeyes Chicken Popeyes takes on Wendy's on Twitter

190363 mentions, 20 August 2019


Gucci Kai from K-pop brand EXO becomes Gucci's first Korean Global Ambassador

190762 mentions, 16 September 2019


Nintendo The Nintendo Switch Lite is announced

191974 mentions, 10 July 2019


HBO The final episode of Game of Thrones airs

192962 mentions, 19 May 2019


Nike Nike's inspirational video proves popular on social media

199588 mentions, 25 February 2019


Metlife BTS at the Metlife stadium

199855 mentions, 19 May 2019


Deutsche Bank A New York Times story around Trump and Deutsche Bank goes wild on social

204204 mentions, 20 May 2019


Nintendo February's Nintendo Direct gets fans excited

207652 mentions, 13 February 2019


Taco Bell Taco Bell's sponsorship of this Best Fan Army award pays off with a big mention from BTS

219382 mentions, 21 February 2019


Gucci Kai from K-pop brand EXO appears at Gucci's Cruise 2020 show. #KAI_GUCCI20 was the most popular Gucci related hashtag that day

228850 mentions, 28 May 2019


Nintendo Reggie Fils-Aimé retires from Nintendo

235456 mentions, 21 February 2019


Chick-fil-A & Popeyes Chicken Popeyes Chicken gets sassy with Chick-fil-A

265662 mentions, 20 August 2019


Deutsche Bank News spreads about Trump's dealings with Deutsche Bank

271970 mentions, 28 August 2019


Samsung #SamsungEvent trends on social in February, with the next Galaxy smartphone being revealed

287731 mentions, 20 February 2019


Wendy's Wendy's do what they do best on Twitter – generating unreal levels of engagement

291351 mentions, 5 May 2019


Nintendo A big Nintendo Direct broadcast gathers quite the audience

299544 mentions, 5 September 2019


MTV MTV's coverage of the GRAMMYs, especially around BTS, goes wild on Twitter

331637 mentions, 11 February 2019


Amazon Online personality Mr Beast offers to transfer a $1,000 Amazon gift card to one of his fans

483495 mentions, 16 March 2019


Amazon BTS share an Amazon promotion in Time Square, igniting interest from fans

493341 mentions, 12 April 2019


MTV The MTV VMAs go big on social

574930 mentions, 27 August 2019


Nintendo Nintendo's E3 presence makes for a big social splash once again

576621 mentions, 11 June 2019


Amazon Amazon Prime Day

632080 mentions, 15 July 2019


Amazon AOC and others are not happy about Amazon's tax contributions

658253 mentions, 15 February 2019


Apple Apple's latest #AppleEvent, which included the reveal of the iPhone 11 Pro, trends on social media

983862 mentions, 10 September 2019


We used Brandwatch Consumer Research to track conversation around hundreds of top brands. We then visualized that data over a year, and used Brandwatch’s AI assistant Iris to identify what was driving the peaks in conversation.

The number of mentions you see next to the above moments represent mentions of a brand on that particular date. This means some mentions won’t refer directly to the trend we’re talking about. Instead, the trend talk about is the main driver of conversation on that day.

The only exception is when brands were involved multiple big trends in a single day (in which case we split out the volume numbers by the individual trends). is now part of Brandwatch.
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