Viral videos

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What are Viral Videos?

Viral videos are videos which are seen and distributed widely across the internet. The term viral refers to their spread which parallels the contagion process for viruses within a given species. The viral spread of videos is facilitated by the "friend-of-a-friend" phenomenon, where one person will pass a video to their friend (or a group of friends), and each person that is passed the video will subsequently pass the video on again to one friend (or a group of friends), and the process repeats itself, creating an exponential distribution and reach of the original video. The phenomenon has lead to an entirely new stream of marketing called Viral Marketing[1].

It is important to note that this type of phenomenon was not as prevalent, if even possible, before the advent of telecommunications technologies, and has been catalyzed by the internet in particular.

What is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing is using the phenomenon of friends passing videos to friends through social networks, email, instant messaging and other instantaneous communication media to the advantage of a particular company, brand, product or personna.

Related Concepts

A list of some similar phenomena include:

  • Me-too Marketing [2]
  • Personal Branding [3]
  • Scream Theory [4]
  • One-hit Wonders [5]
  • The "Wisdom" of Crowds [6]
  • Cyberculture [7]
  • Cultism [8]
  • Groupthink [9]
  • Mania [10]
  • Dystopia [11]

Who's Used/Benefited From Similar Phenomena?

The following list represents some prime examples of people, companies or brands that benefited from and/or exploited this type of phenomena:

  • many, MANY MORE...

Viral-like Cultural Fads

  • The Chicken Dance [23]
  • The Macarena [24]
  • Hippie Movement [25]
  • Anti-war rallies and movements [26]
  • Disco Fever [27]
  • Bboys [28]
  • Boy-bands [29]
  • Beat boxing [30]
  • Battle Rapping [31]
  • Flying Spaghetti Monster [32]
  • Pirates .vs. Ninjas [33]
  • Chuck Norris Jokes [34]
  • Scientology [35]
  • UFO Conspiracy Theory [36]
  • NWO Conspiracy Theory [37]
  • Second Life [38]

Viral Ad Campaigns

  • Molson's "I am Canadian" extended series[39], which eventually became one of the brand's key trademarks, started by the classic "Rant" ad[40]
  • Budweiser's "Waaaazzzuuup!" series[41]
  • Old Spice's "The Man That Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign[42][43]



External Links


  1. wikipedia:Viral Marketing
  2. wikipedia:Me too
  3. wikipedia:Personal Branding
  4. Gary North: "Guys Didn't Scream for Elvis" - [1]
  5. wikipedia: One-hit Wonders
  6. wikipedia: The Wisdom of Crowds
  7. wikipedia:Cyberculture
  8. wikipedia:Cultism
  9. wikipedia:Group think
  10. wikipedia:Mania
  11. wikipedia:Dystopia
  12. wikipedia:Elvis
  13. wikipedia:Beatles
  14. wikipedia:Beach Boys
  15. wikipedia:Hulkamania
  16. wikipedia:New Kids On The Block
  17. wikipedia:Vanilla Ice
  18. wikipedia:Backstreet Boys
  19. wikipedia:Eminem
  20. wikipedia:Ricky Martin
  21. wikipedia:Enrique Iglesias
  22. wikipedia:Hard Gay
  23. wikipedia:Chicken Dance
  24. wikipedia:Macarena (song)
  25. wikipedia:History of the hippie movement
  26. wikipedia: Anti-war movement
  27. wikipedia:Disco
  28. wikipedia:Bboy
  29. wikipedia:Boy bands
  30. wikipedia:Beat Boxing
  31. wikipedia:Freestyle rap#battles
  32. wikipedia:Flying Spaghetti Monster
  33. wikipedia:Pirates vs Ninjas
  34. wikipedia:Chuck Norris facts
  35. wikipedia:Scientology
  36. wikipedia:UFO conspiracy theory
  37. wikipedia:New World Order (conspiracy theory)
  38. wikipedia:Second Life
  39. wikipedia: I Am Canadian
  40. wikipedia:I_Am_Canadian#.22The_Rant.22
  41. wikipedia: Whassup?
  42. The Genius of Old Spice's Viral Marketing Campaign:
  43. Businesses can learn from the Old Spice Man viral marketing campaign:

See Also

Content | Advertising | Word Of Mouth | NFT