Skip to main content

Revlon Love Test: What Goes Viral, and Why?

Deconstructing Love (and Viral Videos)

I woke up this morning, checked something on YouTube and saw the big, bold red banner by Revlon the LOVE TEST:



Revlon Love Test: What Goes Viral and Why?


Watch the video - it's inspirational, moving, funny, provocative, and sexy. Read the comments on YouTube: the video is clearing touching people's hearts, not surprisingly as it speaks to the greatest enigma of the human experience: love.

Here it is:

Revlon Love Test: Choose Love




Deconstructing ~

"Revlon: Love Test: Choose Love"

OK, stop crying. 

Let's be cynical marketers and deconstruct the video (which as of 6 am Pacific time / October 22, 2015 has 467,440 views - yes, it's "going viral"). What's going on here in terms of marketing? 

What are Revlon's objectives? 
And what are Revlon's methods?

#1 - Revlon wants to sell more cosmetics. The subtext of the video is that if women take a little time each day, and use Revlon cosmetics, they will not only look better, they'll feel better. They'll have better self-esteem and (subtext), they'll be more loving, more sexy, and more sexual to their partners.


  • The video has a marketing purpose: build the Revlon brand. It links up to a special Revlon "love test" page at http://www.revlon.com/loveison. Guess what, the key "todo" relates to using cosmetics.
#2 - The subject (LOVE), or is it SEX? It's an emotional, hot-button issue. The "masses" love to talk about love (and sex), and the enigmatic relationship between men and women... this is a subject of never-ending speculation and interest.

  • The video is about a "hot topic," and it's an "emotional" topic (and therefore encourages social sharing).
#2b - The subject (SEX) is still somewhat forbidden, so the video is somewhat "titillating," a little "taboo"

  • A "forbidden" or "taboo" topic, creating a "gosh-they-can't-be-talking-about-that" lends some "shock" value to the video (and therefore encourages social sharing). 

#3 - People. The video is shot against a stark white background, making the people stand out, and most of the people are quite good-looking.

  • People like people, and even more so, people like to look at good-looking people talking about intimate (forbidden?) topics.
#4 - Promotion. The video has a massive advertising budget behind it! It's being promoted on the FRONT PAGE of YouTube.

  • "You can't start a fire without a spark" (Bruce Springsteen). To "go viral" a video needs fuel, and that initial fuel is advertising, influencer marketing, and other behind-the-scenes efforts to get it "going."
In addition, if you visit the "Love Test" page on Revlon, it asks you to share your results on Instagram and Twitter. So - 


Spark > Fuel > Fire > Spread
Advertising > Provocative, Emotional Content > Social Shares > Spread


Enjoy the video. Ponder what you might do that would have the same viral uptake. For extra credit, ponder how you might make some viral or heavily shared content without the big budget of Revlon.

Oh, and stop being so cynical. Love someone today. Be kind to each other.

~ Jason McDonald




Popular posts from this blog

How Customer Service Dies at USAA (and Other Places)

Oh, customer service. Of endangered species, you are perhaps the most endangered. Companies with formerly great customer service seem to be abandoning it in droves. Take USAA, the big insurer (of which I have been a member since about 2000). I had the misfortune of credit card fraud on my account, through no fault of my own, and after resetting my credit card with one division, the other division "didn't get the memo." 


Two late fees later, I got an envelope through SNAIL MAIL with an alert. So I call into the call center to reset the credit card and are first told that they'll waive the late fee, and then oops - that they can't. The computers are clearly in charge.

Next, after listening to platitudinous message after message from the Customer Service (SIC) rep, I ask how to file a complaint, and she says, "Oh, we don't have a Complaint Number or Department." We can't actually file a complaint.

So basically the bottom line message was, "Sorry …

How to Get a Negative Review on Yelp - the Chik-fil-A Way!

This is how companies get bad Yelp reviews. Step one. Offer breakfast (which, to be honest, is very good as "fast food" goes at Chick-fil-A), but only serve it to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Step two. Have an employee literally run out at 10:30 am and flip the signs to lunch. Step three. Be so popular with your breakfast that you have a pile up of cars in the drive thru. Step four. When a car pulls up at 10:32 a.m, having literally been the "next car in line," tell the occupants - Sorry! It's lunch time now (10:30 in the morning for LUNCH?), and that it's too bad. They can't get breakfast. Step five. Let said occupants sit in car for about 5 to 7 minutes while they wait for the other folks ahead of them to get their food, and let them listen to the cars behind them bark into the drive thru - WHAT? NO BREAKFAST? You're kidding me. Step six. Let said occupants, drive hurridly through the drive thru (without getting any food), and be starving while they g…

An Email Sign Up Should Convey the Value Proposition

An email sign up should convey the value proposition. One "easy" thing to do is to show past email newsletters or alerts, so users can see what they "get" by signing up.

Here's REI's email prop: