There was a slight kerfuffle recently over the fact that some Mad Men fans had started Twitter profiles in the name of characters on the show.
At first, AMC (the network who airs Mad Men) did the predictable bozo thing and shut it down. However, they then did something surprising: they allowed the fictitious fan-created Twitter feeds to continue.
Sort of pleasing that the people behind a show about advertising/marketing actually practiced some sound marketing strategy, and realized that when you have a situation where your fans are actively building the brand, and expertly leveraging the idea of social objects to do so, you not only let them do it, you encourage them.
All of this is preamble to say that I was dee-lighted to get an email today notifying me that Peggy Olson was now following my Twitter feed. Guess what, I’m following her now too. Behold! An actual example of viral marketing (Dear Lord, someone please come up with another term for this).