Case Study: How we ran a viral campaign that became the #1 trending topic in the county

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

How we ran a viral campaign for a small town business that got national and international media coverage, was the #1 trending topic in the county, increased website traffic by 800%, and introduced our clients as the new business owners to the entire town overnight.


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Our clients recently purchased an auto repair shop. Since the shop location had no visibility from the highway, they needed help getting the word out about the auto repair shop and set a goal of getting enough new business to fill up their mechanics' schedules to full-time.


What Was Achieved


  • Our clients reported that they were constantly approached everywhere they go-- restaurants, grocery stores, running errands to regularly ask about the marketing campaign or to tel them they were following the stories on social media

  • Local news coverage

  • National news coverage

  • International news coverage

  • Was the #1 trending topic in the county for 2 days before falling to #3 for the remainder of the week

  • They needed to hire more mechanics to keep up with the increased business

  • Their auto repair shop remains consistently busy. Their competitors have a consistently empty shop despite having highway frontage and more upgraded amenities for their customers

Here's How We Did It

The Big Problem: No Visibility

The shop is surrounded by tall buildings that block the garage from view and only has 2 private driveways as entry points. Unless someone was a direct referral or customer of the previous owner, few people really knew where the auto repair shop was located. Very few people knew that ownership had changed and that our clients bought the shop.


The Auto Shop is located behind the trees in that red circle. It has a red roof. The yellow arrows show how to get to the shop from the main highway. As you can see, it is almost impossible to see the shop from the road.


Usually, businesses with no street visibility have 2 main problems:

  • Little to no foot traffic/ no walk-ins

  • Few people know the business exists

Without foot traffic, visibility, or public knowledge about a business' existence, businesses need to rely heavily on utilizing the internet for marketing.

Business Goals: Get more customers to fill up their mechanics' schedules

Our client's goals

  • Get locals to know the shop was there

  • Get more customers to fill up their time slots

Things they tried

Without foot traffic and without the town knowing they existed, they had to get creative to draw in customers, so they tried the following solutions:

  • Referred customers from their other business

  • Formed referral partnerships with other business owners

  • Hired a marketing agency

  • Made a few Facebook posts

The marketing tactic that worked the best: They referred customers from their other business, which was the oil change company next door. It still wasn’t enough to fill up their client roster, so they hired a Marketing Agency.

The Other Marketing Agency: Marketing Agency in a Can

The Marketing Agency our clients hired before us was the kind of agency that produced a generic website from a template, and serviced a large number of clients with very little marketing depth.


The Marketing Agency set up their:

  • Website

  • Content Creation

  • Google My Business

  • Lead Generation

Their former Marketing Agency produced:

  • A canned website

  • Canned content

  • Leads through GMB


They delivered everything they said they would, so our clients were satisfied with what the agency produced for them, even if their goal of giving their mechanics a full schedule was not achieved yet.


They did have a few technical questions about their website and GMB profile that we were able to explain to them.


Although the other Marketing Agency technically gave them all the deliverables, it produced no results and they missed out on a huge marketing opportunity that we identified and capitalized on.


Interested in finding out if we can help your business run a viral campaign? Call us for a free 15 min discovery marketing consultation! (406) 402-8404

When We Met Our Clients: Their Business Already Had All the Perfect Elements in Place to Win

When we met our clients, they had all the elements we needed to help them craft a winning marketing strategy. Our clients already did a great job with:

  • Developing local partnerships and referrals

  • Provided an excellent service

  • Were trustworthy and knowledgable in their profession

  • Had a great reputation with current customers

  • Had great customer service

It was our job to analyze their strengths, identify the clients' winning elements and figure out how to use them to achieve their goals. Here is the winning strategy we came up with.

Identifying the Client's Unbeatable, Winning Element: Their Dad Jokes

One of the first things we did was get to know the business owners. The entire family really impressed us with their integrity, work ethic, love for one another, care for their customers, and their jokes had us rolling on the floor. It didn't take us long to realize that their family identity was incredibly strong and that was one of the elements that needed to be highlighted.


As we do with all our clients, we spent a lot of time gathering data and understanding:

  • Their personalities

  • Their goals

  • The target audience's mindset

  • Their other assets that could be leveraged for marketing

  • Their business location: including layout, traffic pattern, weather patterns, competitors

  • Their value proposition

  • The heartbeat of the town

After our second or third meeting, we realized the family's humor was such an integral part of who they were that we had to figure out a way to incorporate their humor into their campaign and in their website copywriting.


Interested in finding out if we can help your business run a viral campaign? Call us for a free 15 min discovery marketing consultation! (406) 402-8404


While we were brainstorming on what to do, we tried to mind the marketing goals that HAD to be accomplished:

  • Establish their reputation as the #1 auto repair shop in the area

  • Emphasize how trustworthy they are

  • Announce to the town that they exist

  • Get them enough customers that their mechanics' schedules got filled

The Results: Fun Town Engagement & More Becky Jokes


What Was Achieved

  • Our clients reported that they were constantly approached everywhere they go-- restaurants, grocery stores, running errands to regularly ask about the marketing campaign or to tel them they were following the stories on social media

  • Local news coverage

  • National news coverage

  • International news coverage

  • Was the #1 trending topic in the county for 2 days before falling to #3 for the remainder of the week

  • They needed to hire more mechanics to keep up with the increased business

  • Their auto repair shop remains consistently busy. Their competitors have a consistently empty shop despite having highway frontage and more upgraded amenities for their customers



Our clients' marketing campaign was the #1 trending topic in the county for 2 days before falling to #3 for a few days

Our Strategy


Since it is human nature for us to remain pretty loyal to our mechanics once we find a great one, we predicted that if we were able to get an influx of customers to the shop, it wouldn't take long for their affordable rates, excellent work, and trustworthy customer service to naturally build an excellent reputation that would lead to repeat business and referrals.


Since their location had zero visibility, we began to develop a marketing plan that relied heavily on creating an internet presence that would get them virtual visibility.


We wanted to create a viral campaign online until it hit us...... why don't we run a viral campaign in real life?

We knew that if we were going to do this, we would need to ensure the messaging, value proposition and offer was done correctly to preserve our clients' reputation.



Interested in finding out if we can help your business run a viral campaign? Call us for a free 15 min discovery marketing consultation! (406) 402-8404


Who Is Becky: The Ultimate Dad Joke Turned Viral Marketing Goldmine

Our clients own the adjacent Oil Change business location that is right alongside Hwy 93, the main road in town. They have a marquee sign that has displayed a joke about Becky, one of the owners, every day for the past 5 years.



Everyone in town has seen the Becky sign, but if they didn't frequent the business, they didn't know anything about Becky, if she is real or fiction, or anything about the sign. Their former Marketing Agency didn't discuss the sign on their website, so, even though everyone has always seen the sign, no one actually what it was about.


We turned the Becky joke into a T-shirt, developed a contest, selected a day, coordinated everything, and introduced the entire town to Becky


Who is Becky T-Shirt Blitz

The day the Who is Becky marketing campaign ran, our Who is Becky T-shirt wearers flooded the town. Other local businesses wore the Who is Becky T-shirts, joggers wore the t-shirt while exercising, and random citizens wore the t-shirt to run errands to maximize exposure to the community as possible.




Interested in finding out if we can help your business run a viral campaign? Call us for a free 15 min discovery marketing consultation! (406) 402-8404



Media Attention: Our campaign caught the attention of other news outlets nationally and internationally!