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Does successful viral marketing lead to a successful product?

Jean Claude Van Damme in a commercial for Volvo.
Jean Claude Van Damme in a commercial for Volvo.

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It's the holiday season, which means companies are putting some heavy weight into advertisements. Some recent commercial gems include this KMart ad for Joe Boxer:


And this one for Volvo (which has almost 50 million views on YouTube right now):


And this one for the toy Goldiblox: 


From Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits to one promoting a line of engineering toys targeted at girl, clearly, we are doing the ad companies' work for them. Passing around the surprising, the clever, the funny, the inspiring.

But does all that sharing lead to caring about the brand and buying it? Thales Texeira, who teaches marketing at Harvard Business School, joins the show to explain.