Facebook’s recent #10YearChallenge became a viral trend in a short span of time and drew a massive response from users of Facebook who posted their ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures on their account to participate in the challenge. While a certain faction of people smelled a conspiracy behind this challenge (They believe Facebook will use these pictures to train its facial recognition algorithm), the people at large had a great time sharing their pictures and reminiscing old memories.

However, what surprised a lot of people was how reputed brands also participated in this challenge. The quirky tweets and tongue-in-cheek humour they used to show the change they went through over the past decade impressed many users of social media and they drew hoards of responses on their posts. In a short span of time, a number of brands such as Dominos, Pizza Hut, Zomato, Swiggy and Airtel joined the challenge by posting their own versions of the challenge. Such activities managed to create a lot of buzz and got people talking about these brands. Amongst all these McDonald’s managed to stand out as they decided to slash their menu prices to what they were a decade ago as part of their participation in the viral challenge.

This proved to be a master-stroke as it got people talking about these brands on social media, praising their creativity and wit. It spread a lot of brand awareness and they got global attention.

The important lesson here is that brands can utilize a variety of mediums to fuel engagement and something as simple as a tweet could garner an enormous amount of attention and could get people talking about them. In the era of enormous competition where brands struggle to stay relevant, using such viral trends to their advantage proves to be a massive plus, if done right. This also enables brands to remain in people’s memory for a long time.

Who knows when another global viral online trends take over social media, however, it will be interesting to see how brands participate in those challenges, whatever they might be.