According to a survey by MediaPost, 50% of 1,100 business respondents feel that viral marketing is a fad. From the article: “A lot of people are asking for viral campaigns because they see a lot of free reach and the creators getting a lot of PR. There’s a lot of desire to do it, but viral is dependent on something big, outrageous or new… It’s hard for everybody to be outrageous, new and funny. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, but it’s not appropriate for many marketers.”
It’s not a fad, it’s just severely misunderstood. Virality is indirect marketing (which most marketers don’t like and largely don’t understand how to execute), and its success is almost entirely dependent on consumers and consumers alone. That makes for a tricky and unpredictable result.