Viral Marketing: Also known as Word of Mouth Advertising. Any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, thus creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Just like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, even to millions.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a viral campaign has gone horribly wrong, or just right. That’s certainly the case with Crystal Head Vodka. With spokesperson Dan Aykroyd starring in an eight minute long video discussing the mysteries of crystal skulls, the secrets of Roswell and ghosts, and the benefits of distilling vodka with diamonds, the campaign has earned a lot of attention and discussion on blogs and forums. But no one is quite sure what they’re looking at. Is it a sly viral ad for the DVD release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? Or perhaps a lead up to the highly anticipated Ghostbusters III?

It could be. But with reports of the product showing up on store shelves (and flying off them, too), it’s also possible that this campaign is doing a great job of bringing attention to the thing it’s actually trying to sell – Crystal Head Vodka. This may be a case of a straightforward, if unusual, ad campaign going viral, simply because its viewers have grown to expect viral twists around every advertising corner.

What do you think is going on here?

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