Forest fires start and stop all the time. There are thousands of forest fires every year. Only a few of them become the monster forest fires we see on TV consuming homes and acreage in vast quantities. How are these few mega-fires different from the thousands of small ones? Is it because they started from a really “special” tree? (An influential tree perhaps??)
No. The mega-fires started in a place and at a time where fuel, weather and other conditions were precisely right, and continued to be precisely right to grow into a TV-worthy blaze.
What does that have to do with viral marketing? Well, do you think the Coke-Mentos phenomenon was planned by an agency? Do you think the Blend-Tec videos were planned by an agency? NO, they just happened to appear in the right place at the right time with the right content. And they took off.
Viral marketing is like a baseball team trying to win all their games with home runs.