Date of Award

Summer 8-2011

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Chair

Dr. Fei Xue

Committee Chair Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 2

Dr. David Davies

Committee Member 2 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 3

Dr. Mary Lou Sheffer

Committee Member 3 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of 280 online videos that appeared on the Advertising Age weekly chart of the top ten viral videos of the week; the videos appeared on the chart from March 23rd 2009 to March 9th 2011. The videos were analyzed along four areas of observation including the advertiser characteristics, the formatting characteristics of the video, the messaging strategies of each video, and the level of involvement the product would require for a consumer to make a purchase. Through examining the components of each video, a thread of commonality was revealed. Cumulatively, the dominant themes and characteristics within each video provide identifying characteristics, much like a fingerprint, that when utilized together, provide the greatest potential for the marketing video to become a viral experience.