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Top 15 YouTube Challenges and How They Can Benefit Your Brand

By Renu Sharma Posted November 15, 2018

These YouTube challenges have our favorite influencers competing for good ol' braggin' rights and brands connecting with fans. 

Challenges have been a part of YouTube culture for a long time. The saltine cracker challenge, which requires participants to eat six saltine crackers in a minute without drinking anything, was probably one of the earliest challenges that went viral online in 2001. The challenge, which was also featured in tv shows like “The Early Show” and “Good Morning America,” started a trend which is still going strong.

YouTube challenges generate entertainment value for many influencer's audiences. The gamification of them pique people’s interest and dare them to win. Due to this gamification, challenges are often featured as small sections in TV shows. For example, the “Whisper Challenge” has been featured in several episodes of the Jimmy Fallon show.

What Can Challenges Do For Your Brand?

Challenges that go viral garner millions of likes and have the ability to reach a mass audience and create buzz. Brands can leverage this trend to reach a broader audience and get user-generated content. There are two ways in which brands can leverage this trend.

The first way is to start a brand-specific challenge, such as the one created by Kellogg’s Krave cereals. Krave sent unique challenge kits for each influencer they collaborated with. The influencers participated in the challenges and also encouraged their subscribers to participate in daily Krave Challenges.

The second way is to piggyback on the popularity of an already viral challenge. The Ice Bucket challenge, which went viral in 2013, started as a way to raise money for charity but became an internet sensation. Several brands—such as McDonald's, Macy’s, and Old Spice—piggybacked on its popularity and participated in the challenge, with videos garnering millions of likes.

Now that you know how brands can leverage YouTube challenges, let’s take a look at some of the most popular YouTube challenges right now:

1. Bean Boozled Challenge

This challenge is inspired by the bizarre flavors of multi-flavored beans in Harry Potter. The idea is to try out same-colored beans with your friends and compare flavors. Every colored bean has one tasty and one wacky flavor.

The first edition of these jelly beans started in 2008 and since then has become a global phenomenon, owing to the YouTube challenge videos that garner millions of likes.

In the below example, YouTube influencer, Viy Cortez, known for her challenge and prank videos, posted a video undertaking this challenge with her friend and got 494k views.




#2. Try Not to Laugh Challenge

This challenge requires people to watch funny videos and try not to laugh. This is one of the most popular challenges currently and has been done by several YouTube vloggers and influencers.

In the below example, YouTuber, Funny Land, posted a video undertaking this challenge and the video garnered 4.7M views.  




#3. The 100,000 Calorie Challenge

People who do this challenge need to eat food worth 100,000 calories, usually in one sitting. Some variations of this challenge exist wherein people complete this challenge within a day.

This challenge has been accepted by several YouTube food vloggers and other influencers and has even raised the popularity of their channels.

YouTuber, ErikTheElectric, has a YouTube channel dedicated specifically to eating stunts and challenges. His video of the 100,000 calorie challenge garnered 3.7M views and is one of his most popular videos till date.




#4. Korean Spicy Noodle Challenge

In this challenge, people try out extremely spicy Korean noodles and share their reactions. This challenge was first started in 2016, but is still popular today, especially among food vloggers.

In the below example, YouTuber, SniperWolf, tried this challenge and posted a YouTube video that was viewed a whopping 5.8M times.




#5. The Whisper Challenge

In this challenge, people put on loud music and then try to guess what the other person is whispering, by looking at their lip movement. This challenge has been around for over three years. During this time, it became popular among both celebrity and non-celebrity influencers and was even featured on “The Jimmy Fallon Show.”




#6. Smoothie Challenge

For this challenge, you need 20 random ingredients, with ten tasty and ten gross ones. The participants pick ingredients from numbered bags, without knowing what’s in them, and add them to a mixer to make a smoothie.

The participants must drink the resulting smoothie, regardless of the taste. Some people make it more fun by listing the ingredients in a spinning wheel and then deciding which ingredients to add, like in the example below.




#7. Pancake Art Challenge

In this challenge, the participants make pancakes resembling various people or objects. This challenge requires participants to use all of the ingredients required for making a pancake. They can also use some decorative items and food coloring.

This challenge is a huge hit among food vloggers and other creators on YouTube, as they can make pancakes in any shape or size, resembling anything.

In the example below, YouTuber Collins Key made pancakes shaped like Star Wars Jedi and got 69M views on his video.




#8. My Boyfriend Does My Makeup Challenge

Started over three years ago, this challenge has been popular among various beauty vloggers and influencers, including leading influencers like Zoella. In this challenge, the participants ask their boyfriends to do their makeup, which usually results in a funny makeup disaster.

In the video below, beauty vlogger, Barbie Forteza, did this challenge with her boyfriend and got 2.8M views.




#9. Blindfolded Drawing Challenge

This challenge requires participants to draw something, but with a blindfold on. The other person has to guess what the first person has drawn.

One YouTuber, in the example below, used this challenge as a means to promote the movie release of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” This is a fun and interesting way in which brands can collaborate with YouTube influencers to promote their products using a fun challenge.




#10. Eat It or Wear It Challenge

In this challenge, the participants are presented with closed bags filled with usually gross food items and they have to either eat or wear the items inside.

The person who wears the least number of items wins. This was one of the most popular challenges last year and is equally popular among kids and adults.




#11. Nintendo Switch Challenge

This challenge requires the participants to play video games on Nintendo Switch and post a video of their best performance. There are several variations of this challenge, with people playing the same game and competing head to head, and another which involves one person playing blindfolded and other guiding them.

This challenge was a promotional strategy from Nintendo and GameStop to promote the sales of the Nintendo Switch game box. They gave prizes for winners of these challenges and GameStop also provided Nintendo Switch consoles to people to participate in this challenge.

In the below example, a family gives another twist to the challenge and uses spinning wheels to pick who plays which game.




#12. Oreo Challenge

In this challenge, the participants try different flavors of Oreo cookies blindfolded and then guess the flavor. It is a fun challenge that can be done anywhere with any number of people.

Since the challenge requires people to try different flavors and was widely popular, it also benefited the Oreo brand and drove their cookie sales. The challenge also benefited the Oreo brand because it generated non-sponsored social media content for the brand.

Professional baker and YouTuber, Rosanna Pansino, posted a video in which she and her two guests tried the Oreo Challenge.




#13. Brand Vs. Generic Food Challenge

This is a fun food-tasting challenge in which the participants try branded and generic versions of different food items and then guess which is which. This is an easy to perform challenge that can be also be used by packaged food brands to promote their products and differentiate themselves from generic versions of those products.

When popular YouTubers, the Merrell Twins, who have an entertainment and lifestyle videos channel, uploaded a video of this channel, it got 1.4M views. The video got over 3,100 comments and was really appreciated by the viewers.




#14. Yoga Challenge

This challenge requires the participants to perform yoga poses that need two people. In other variations of this challenge, people also go head to head on single yoga poses.This challenge was undertaken by several health and fitness vloggers, fun and entertainment vloggers, and other YouTube creators.

In the below video, professional acrobats and dancers, the Rybka Twins, accepted the challenge and performed several yoga poses. The video was well-liked by their followers, with several even asking for yoga tutorial videos.

[See LA fitness influencers here.]




#15. 7 Seconds Challenge

In this challenge, people are required to perform several funny tasks, where each task has to be completed within seven seconds. This is a versatile challenge as the tasks can be anything under the sun, and hence, the challenge can be tailored according to the people performing it.



Are you a YouTube dancer or want to work with on? See our work with Chachi Gonzales and Jamba Juice.


Challenges are a fun and entertaining way to engage your audience and expand your reach. While we do not condone partaking in dangerous challenges, there are still a lot of fun and easy challenges that you can leverage to promote your brand.

If you have any more fun YouTube challenge ideas that can benefit brands, please share them in the comments below.


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