Josh Berg from Hedgehog agency loves Uber eats. So much so that using his clever marketing skills, he was able to turn $1.24 into $1000 worth of credit. Genius right, the next part is even more.
After publishing his article to medium, which was read over 27,000 times and gathered 650+ likes on Facebook, it was picked up by publications around the globe; from The Herald Sun to The Daily Mail and The American Genius. But there’s more to it than just free Uber eats, so we caught up with Josh to find out what it’s like to go viral.
- After initially posting it on medium, what were the early signs that you thought your article may be getting out of control?
Medium gave it a good start but it really started to go off when I posted it to Facebook. The first 30 minutes were somewhat slow, but as soon as people started tagging friends I knew I was in for something exciting. The tags quickly jumped from my friends tagging my friends, to friends of friends, to people I did not know. That night someone from UberEATS was tagged and I got a little scared, then happy when I found out Uber made a positive statement about me to news.com.au.
- What was the most surprising part about going viral?
Hmm, definitely being recognized at a bar! I was standing there having a little boogie and I got a tap on the shoulder – “Are you the UberEATS guy?” – I was shocked that someone actually recognized me.
- How did you best get on top of everything and use it to your advantage?
I let my Facebook post run wild until it started to slow down – That took 3 days. After that, I shot out a couple emails to some publications in Australia that I thought may be interested – pedestrian.tv picked it up almost immediately. That afternoon I got a call from news.com.au wanting to interview me. Next thing I knew Fitzy & Wippa were speaking about me on Nova the next morning.
I quickly turned the whole experiment into a publicity stunt for my marketing agency, Hedgehog Agency.
There’s also another element to the story which I’ve kept a secret. It’ll have to stay a secret until I figure out how effective it was. Stay tuned by following me on Medium.
- From being posted on the Herald Sun to Pedestrian, what has been the funniest questions you’ve been asked about your article?
I’d have to say the most regular question was, “So, what does Uber think?” I then spent the next couple of hours scraping through Uber’s Terms and Conditions to make sure it was all gravy. I am no lawyer but it looked like I was in the clear. Then Uber popped up with a positive statement and all was well and truly gravy.
People often ask me what I’m spending my money on. Most days I order a delicious Big Veg Sandwich (made vegan) from Smooth-E on Chapel St, Prahran. I also get a lot of soy flat whites delivered and Spud Bars. Sometimes I’m at a bar and the food offering just doesn’t cut it so I get a mini burger from Lord of the Fries delivered.
- Did you ever come across your article being published somewhere where you’d never thought would?
Definitely! At first, I thought that it was more of a fun, sensationalist style post. For the likes of pedestrian.tv. As soon as the larger publishers took my story up I changed the angle to be more of a publicity stunt to capitalize on business for Hedgehog.
I sent an email to Daily Mail showing them the traction I was getting. The next day an article about it popped up on their site. At the bottom, they said they’d reached out to me for comment, though I hadn’t heard anything – even in response to my email. I was most surprised when The American Genius posted a story about it, and then even more so when I found out that Nova had a 2-minute section on the morning radio about it.
- For those that want to go viral themselves, what’s the best piece of advice you have for them?
Don’t try too hard to go viral. Just try something fun/that you believe in and see how it goes. This didn’t start as a ploy to go viral but it very quickly turned that way. In all honesty, I was at dinner and my friend was telling me how they love to refer friends. Something clicked in my head and the whole idea was born. After a few days, I could see how quickly I was racking up the referral bonuses and decided to pivot my plan. At $50 in I knew I was going to write up a piece at $1000.
Going viral needs to appease just a couple of groups of people. People reading the story want something to relate to. Publishers want an angle they can take a story and confidence that it will get them some of those juicy clicks/engagement. It was imperative to show the publishers I emailed that my story and post were kicking off well, so they could expect a similar response when running the story on their pages.
- And lastly, they say if you can’t beat them, join them. So where can people sign up for Hedgehog agency and what can they expect from your own digital media agency?
Glad you asked! We’re always looking for talented people to come join us on the ride. It’s safe to say we’ve secured a lot of business off the back of this experiment, so things are getting quite busy. We currently work remotely at
We currently work remotely at Hedgehog, so you’ll have the comfort of working from home (if that’s what you’re into). Shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll be in touch. If you’re wondering who Hilda is … Well, she’s our Hedgehog boss who runs the agency.