Seth Godin points us to a recently released Jupiter report that suggests that
marketers are failing at viral campaigns because it only works 15% of the time, and that the most popular technique was "targeting influentials."
I've always been skeptical of courting influencers and so-called "tastemakers" because they're so fickle. Particularly when it comes to media and entertainment, they themselves don't buy anything. In the case of celebrities, they expect to be given things for free because of their celebrity. I don't know, but just because I see a Lindsay Lohan or George Clooney with a certain product, I'm not sure I'm moved to want it.
As Seth points out, it's important to create something that's worthy of being discussed. That's more likely the reason for the 85% failure rate of viral campaigns. But, hey, it's hard to create something truly unique when you're being rewarded and incented on quarterly P&L management.