Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Management and Marketing

First Advisor

Ms. Rose Leahy


The research examines the concept of viral marketing and in particular, its application to the Irish film industry. It explores the merits of viral marketing as a promotional technique for Irish film and the associated online social media channels through which viral messages are disseminated. Further to this, the study identifies the extent to which viral marketing and online social media have been adopted by Irish consumers and enterprise. Given that viral marketing is still in its relative infancy, the research also takes a conceptual approach so that it contributes to the continued understanding of the practice in general.

A number of findings are derived from the depth interviews which took place with industry experts. While viral marketing is growing in popularity and prominence, the research concludes that ambiguity and a general lack of knowledge still surrounds many aspects of the concept. Further academic research is needed in the area to resolve these issues so that viral marketing can overcome its apparent stigma, which has thus far stunted its universal adoption. Despite these discrepancies, however, respondents to the research enthusiastically discussed the merits of viral marketing when used properly. In an Irish context, there was unanimity in the belief that Irish commercial entities are collectively far behind Irish consumers in terms of their adoption of online social media, and in their receptiveness to viral marketing campaigns. Research on the Irish film industry concludes that filmmakers should explore these avenues of promotion, indicated by a number of findings. Film as a medium is found to be naturally suited to viral promotion; furthermore, the research finds that Irish consumers are enthusiastic adopters of online media in general, relevant to research on the indigenous film industry. Finally, the pioneering Storyland initiative by national broadcaster Raidio Teilifis Eireann is discussed as a significant development in the area, as it demonstrates the receptiveness of the Irish public to promotion via online media.

The research contributes to the growing body of literature on the area of viral marketing, which strives to further develop and understand this enigmatic concept. Moreover, it helps to bridge the gap in literature that exists which examines the concept in an Irish context.

Access Level


Included in

Marketing Commons