From How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck, Page 189:
Viral videos can be total luck or part of an intentional, well orchestrated push. What you don’t want is to have neither.
One kind of viral video happens when people accidentally stumble on “lightning in a bottle.” For that, you’ll need the luck to have captured Charlie Bit My Finger–Again! and the luck that others find it as funny as you do. Like lightning, you can’t make it strike when and where you want it to.
The pros do things differently– they put together a top creative team, aim to do something controversial/quirky/fascinating, and then cause a huge web PR machine to hustle as many cross-links as possible. You can’t, as they say, shine shit– if the piece doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But if it does, an orchestrated push boosts the views up there.
For example, this viral video I co-wrote for Microsoft and director Keith Rivers topped a million views in just a few weeks: