DOVER -- The Delaware Tourism Office launched its new “Talking Tourism” workshop series Wednesday with a presentation by social media marketing expert Tod Maffin, who told attendees at the Dover Sheraton that they held the keys to creating the next Internet sensation.

“Viral videos” and other fast-spreading Web phenomena can actually be created and launched by businesses that hope to tap into this distinctly modern marketing platform, according to Maffin, chief strategist at Engage-Q Digital in Canada.

Maffin said he has worked to uncover the secret ingredients behind some of the world’s most talked-about campaigns. By “deconstructing,” or reverse engineering, these campaigns, even marketing teams with relatively small budgets can equip their own campaigns with the key markers that will help them turn viral, Maffin told participants from the tourism industry and other professions.

“So much of what Tod suggests is within reach of us all,” said Linda Parkowski, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “In today’s world, it’s hard to overestimate the impact a successful viral campaign can have on the bottom line. This is a case where the potential rewards of a minimal investment are huge.”

For viral marketing efforts that do succeed, the reach can be truly global, and the potential impact staggering, according to Delaware Tourism Department research. More than a billion unique users visit YouTube each month, and they watch a total of 4 billion hours of dancing babies, talking dogs and falling goats. In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views, or around 140 for every person on Earth.

But it’s also clearly a challenge to stand out among the noise.  72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute of the day. When Ad Age launched its “Viral Video Chart” a few years ago, about 220,000 views would get your video on the list. Today, it takes 1.5 million views to be considered a viral video -- a 600 percent increase in the threshold.

At the same time, more and more people are choosing to watch online ads -- in 2011, audiences actively chose to watch ads 2.7 billion times. In 2012, that number grew to 4.6 billion, a 70 perfect increase over a one year period.

Maffin’s presentation was the first in a continuing series that will address topics of interest to tourism industry professionals. For more information on the Delaware Tourism Office’s “Talking Tourism” series, stay tuned to

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware.  For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.


Media Contact:
Eric Ruth
Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator State of Delaware
302-672-6813 (office)
302-943-9508 (cell)