Kevin Nalts, a marketing director who produces hi-lar-ious videos on YouTube under the handle nalts, once joked that after cutting a bazillion notches into his belt, he still has no idea what makes a viral hit with users. And that's the accepted wisdom: Creating a truly viral video—something people want to share, and share, and share some more—is more alchemy than science.

On the one hand, that's true: Human beings are pretty good at sensing something fishy, like a marketing campaign posing as a user-generated video, or a slapstick scenario that feels forced.

On the other hand, that shouldn't discourage you from expanding your brand persona into the medium where appropriate, whether in the form of how-to's, like what American Apparel did with Le Sac Dress, or pure comedy, like BlendTec's popular and charming Will It Blend? effort.

The question is, will it seed?

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