Bruce DeBoer from Synthesis provides an overview of viral marketing. It’s simple: package a brand message into an extremely compelling short film or interactive game that entices your target market to do the distribution for you. They aren’t simply recycled TV commercials because we’d too rarely view them voluntarily. Advertisers [attempt to] create little gems […]
What makes something go viral is hard to pin down, but controversy is a good place to start. Straddle the line of good taste and you may get a response. How about being shocking? Yup, that may work. Political parodies are always workable because they touch that visceral partisan knee jerk. A good sex or fart joke works every time doesn’t it? Maybe try embarrassing someone by convincing them to do an over-the-top sexual promotion for a burger. Naaaaaah, who’d be stupid enough to do that?
Wikipedia definition: Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that seek to exploit pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness, through viral processes similar to the spread of an epidemic. It is word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it harnesses the network effect of the Internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly.
I’ve rounded up some samples that range from clever to boring and from juvenile to down right gross.