Viral commercials: the consumer as marketeer

P.E. Ketelaar, P. Lucassen, G.H.J. Kregting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Research into the reasons why consumers pass along viral commercials: their motives, the content characteristics of viral commercials and the medium context in which viral commercials appear. Based on the uses and gratifications perspective this study has determined which motives of consumers, content characteristics of viral commercials and medium context explain the passing along of viral commercials. Diffusion theory has been used to determine if viral mavens and infrequent senders differ regarding their reasons to pass along viral commercials and their demographic characteristics. An online survey was held among 510 youngsters. After viewing four viral commercials, they answered questions about passing along viral commercials (motives, content characteristics and medium context) and demographic variables. The study shows that youngsters pass along surprising and entertaining viral commercials more often than viral commercials that are sexually oriented and shocking. Possibly they do not want to be associated with these controversial virals. Youngsters pass along viral commercials through e-mail and in a lesser extend by social networks. Males pass along viral commercials more often than females
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-48
JournalTijdschrift voor Communicatiewetenschap
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • word-of-mouth
  • internet
  • involvement
  • responses

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Viral commercials: the consumer as marketeer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Ketelaar, P. E., Lucassen, P., & Kregting, G. H. J. (2010). Viral commercials: the consumer as marketeer. Tijdschrift voor Communicatiewetenschap, 38(1), 22-48.