Viral marketing is a method of promotion that involves the dissemination of messages from person-to-person without the involvement of the originator.
This is commonly achieved through the use of email, but web-based postcards and ‘recommend this site to a friend’ links are other means to the same end.
Viral marketing campaigns generally rely on the strength of the original proposition: be it a product, service or (increasingly) entertainment value.
One of the more successful New Zealand viral marketing campaigns was created for the launch of 42 Below Vodka (circa 2002). The Story of 42 Below, a stop-frame (Flash) animation was distributed via email and quickly reached cult status due to its tongue-in-cheek take on national stereotypes (New Zealand as an island off the coast of Australia, America’s Cup yachts sailing down the Shotover river and hobbits trading with the All Blacks to name a few).