The Stinky Fish Challenge Is Viral Marketing At It’s Best

By mike | Digital Marketing

Jul 25

Last night I saw one of the funniest videos I’ve seen in a while after seeing it on Facebook. One of my friends had shared it. I watched it last night a few times, and I even shared it. It was a family from Colorado Springs doing the “Stinky Fish Challenge”.

According to the man in the video, it’s the “stinkiest food in the whole wide world”. The fish is a fermented Baltic Sea Herring called Surströmming.

You have to watch the video because it’s hard to explain:

The Stinky Fish Challenge

As of right now, this video was watched over 5 million times on Facebook and the YouTube Video was watched over 422,000 times. The YouTube video was published on June 14, 2017 so it’s only a month old. I would bet that this is just the beginning. Reddit hasn’t even seen this video yet.

This morning I was watching it again and I noticed the phone number on his shirt. It says “Call Me For A Quote”. Then I noticed he had a Farmer’s Insurance hat on, and his wife had a Farmer’s insurance T-Shirt on. In fact, both of his daughters also have Farmer’s Insurance shirts on.

To me this video conveyed a family man with your typical American Poster Family. I think it was awesome.

I Googled the phone number and it turns out he is in fact an insurance agent. His name is Joseph McCloskey.

Google Searches For “Surströmming” and “Stinky Fish Challenge”

As you can see, there was a huge spike in Google searches for the kind of fish and the challenge itself in the United States.


Stinky Fish Challenge Data

Data From Google Trends

Surströmming stinky fish

Photo By Lapplaender – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,


    About the Author

    I’ve been working in digital marketing since 1994. I’m the original founder of Showroom Logic based out of Miami Florida. I moved back to Carver Massachusetts to be closer to my family. After my second winter back, I am questioning my sanity.