According to Milan Petrovich, Academic Director for Digital Media Production at The Art Institute of Las Vegas, viral videos break into several distinct categories, including commercials, self-conscious virals, comedy skits, hidden camera, and video pratfalls.
Distribution channels for virals vary, but the most common ways to see viral videos is through email; IRC; P2P sharing networks; collector web sites and most recently bloggers.
"If you want to check out the latest viral videos, your best bet is to visit collector sites like YouTube.com; ifilm.com; atomfilms.com; download.com; funnyplace.org or etvlog.com," says Petrovich
Viral videos are not just about product buzz.Petrovich
says they have been used most effectively in recent political campaigns, by both the Republican and Democratic national parties, "not to mention just about every major political action committee -- just check out MoveOn.org."Petrovich
says the spots are "usually comedic or ironic and sometimes in bad taste -- the kind of thing they could never get away with through regular broadcast channels."