While viral marketing has captured substantial academic and professional interest, the processes that underpin successful viral marketing campaigns remain poorly understood. High competition and pressure for successful campaigns lead to strategies based on persuasion, unsolicited messages, and other techniques that negatively affect brand perception. The need for more sustainable strategies with a limited negative impact on web users is observed. Therefore, the current study examines the effectiveness of viral marketing and a supporting campaign, where the main goal was to increase user engagement and overall campaign performance. Supporting campaigns were evaluated, to determine whether they enhanced viral activity, but without the need for high persuasion or intrusive techniques. Results showed that supporting actions could be integrated with lower performing campaigns to increase their effectiveness. Apart from the main scientific goal that is presented, the study demonstrates how virtual worlds can provide a laboratory-like environment for identifying the processes that underpin viral marketing.
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