As friend of mine recently pointed out that the oldest viral marketing meme was a “yawn”. A yawn is an expression, transmitting itself, that is contagious in spreading and does so with great rapidity.
Marketers true to their profession immediately caught on to this “virus” … and thus emerged “viral marketing”. In the marketing world we therefore speak of ideas “going viral”, infecting a host, or many hosts and then being transmitted to others. Viral marketing is a strategy by which a marketer creates a campaign focused around the goal of causing viewers of that promotion to spontaneously spread it by sending it to friends. Some examples of viral marketing include: chain letters, viral video campaigns (the popularity of YouTube is incredible), and on line opinion polls.
All the above examples of viral marketing are quite simple and relatively easy to understand. People not only participate in the above but also talk about it to others urging them, and influencing them to participate which is the success of viral marketing.
While the original marketer has sent forth the virus of the idea or the theme, the spreading really begins when unrelated people across the globe, start talking about it and using this theme for coffee conversations.