Executives often misapply the concept of viral marketing. The concept that an inexpensive production would get such broad viewership with virtually free distribution appeals to the casino mentality in all of us. However, the pursuit of a viral marketing success is a greater gamble than the text book application of sound marketing principles.
Marketing planners must keep in mind that each day, roughly 200,000 videos are uploaded on YouTube alone. The odds of organic distribution of amounting to anything significant are roughly the equivalent of winning it big in the lottery. There's nothing wrong with a little gambling, but only if the majority of your marketing budget is invested more soundly.
One of the common elements in viral marketing successes is the soft sell. An overt marketing message throughout the production usually runs counter to the entertainment value or utilitarian value that makes people want to share the production.