Real-Life Viral

08/13/08 :: by allismarkham

Ever since the term “viral marketing” became common language, it doesn’t seem to have left the internet. Many people tend to forget that the original strategies came from real-world niche marketing and grassroots campaigns. 

The main difference in real-world viral marketing and online, is that it spreads much like a true virus: Real human viruses are limited to central “outbreak” locations and spread via human carriers. Computer viruses have no such local limitations and are transfered via computer-to-computer interaction. Viral marketing works the same way in either format. 

One real-world viral that has been making it’s way around Los Angeles is The Room. It’s a 2003 film that’s getting a lot of traction in the same way that Rocky Horror Picture Show did. It plays once a month at the Laemmle 5 Theater to a packed house who throw spoons, yell catch phrases and otherwise interact with the film. It’s truly viral and very funny. Only…well, the movie wasn’t supposed to be funny at all and it’s widely considered the worst film ever made.

One look this trailer will tell you why it has become the well-deserved victim of public mockery. 


The writer/director/producer/star, Tommy Wiseau has either taken the entire mishap in stride, or he simply doesn’t speak enough English to understand what’s going on. No one knows where Mr. Wiseau is from, much about his background or how he was able to afford the film’s estimated six million dollar budget. My theory? Romanian Arms Dealer.

If you want to see just how far this viral has reached since 2003, check out the LAist, NPR, the Wiki, The Hollywood Reporter, Mahalo, etc, etc- All this about a movie that plays in only one place!

Have there been any real-life virals in your area?

One Response to “Real-Life Viral”

  1. Patrick Says:

    Well, the only local real-life viral I can think of around here would be chain man.

Leave a Reply