Marketing 0001

Marketing 0001 (Viral Marketing) is one of the Wharton online for-credit courses offered within the Pre-baccalaureate Program.


Course Description

MKTG 0001: Viral Marketing

Why do some products catch on and become popular while others fail? Why do apps and services take off while others languish? And why do certain ads, messages, or ideas stick in memory while others disappear the minute you hear them? Diffusion, social media, word of mouth, and viral marketing have become important topics for companies, brands, and organizations. Marketers want their products to be popular, organizations want their social change initiative to catch on, and entrepreneurs want their ideas to stick. This course investigates these and other topics as it explains how things catch on and become popular. 

Learning Objectives

In this course, you'll learn:

  • Why things catch on, and how to make your own ideas more successful.
  • Characteristics of products, ideas, and behaviors that lead them to be successful.
  • How psychological processes shape social epidemics.
  • How interpersonal processes or interactions between individuals drive success.
  • Social networks, or how patterns of social ties influence success.

About the Wharton Pre-baccalaureate Program

The Wharton Pre-baccalaureate Program is an academically-intensive opportunity for exceptional high school juniors and seniors to enroll in Wharton online courses. Participants will learn from Wharton instructors, earn a Wharton transcript, and accrue college credit for each course completed. With six sessions to choose from and built-in academic support, students are encouraged to explore the depth and breadth of Wharton’s business education curriculum with maximum flexibility and the guidance and resources to succeed. 


Course Details

This course is delivered via video lectures, synchronous class sessions, and online assignments, discussions, and exercises. To be successful, you must actively engage with ideas presented in the course, and with those posed by your classmates.  

Assessment is based upon active course participation, course exercises, written response papers, and quizzes.  

Course Materials

  • Viral Marketing videos by Prof. Jonah Berger
  • Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
  • Optional:
    • Made to Stick
    • The Tipping Point
    • Diffusion of Innovations

Course Content

Course Topics: 

  • Social currency and triggers 
  • Emotions, public, and practical Values 
  • Influence 
  • Social Networks 
  • Conducting Research 

Video Content and Readings: 

Video content includes lectures recorded by Wharton Professor Jonah Berger. Each week’s lectures will guide course participants through marketing theory and practice, as well as related course readings. We would encourage you to take careful notes and review transcripts. 

Synchronous Classes: 

Synchronous classes offer the opportunity to explore questions about the course and materials beyond the lectures through live interactions—via videoconference—with course faculty and your classmates. Live class sessions will meet once weekly.

Course Materials Fee


See full tuition details here.



Course attendance and participation are expected on a regular basis.  

Technical Requirements:

In order to fully participate in this course, you will need a computer that meets minimum system requirements for both Canvas LMS and Zoom Videoconferencing. Refer to the following links:

All programming originates from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Eastern Daylight Time).

Instructional Team

Instructor: Jonah Berger 

Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and internationally bestselling author of Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst. He’s a world-renowned expert on social influence, word of mouth, and why products, ideas, and behaviors catch on and has published over 50 papers in top-tier academic journals. He has consulted for a range of Fortune 500 companies, keynoted hundreds of events, and popular accounts of his work often appear in places like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. His research has also been featured in the New York Times Magazine’s “Year in Ideas.” 

My favorite part of the Pre-bacc experience was being able to test my previous passions towards the marketing aspect of business in a challenging course. By allowing the students to...engage our creative minds to market products, apply strong frameworks and strategies, and evaluate why products that exist today go ‘viral’, the class became much more of a collaborative effort to evaluate companies that exist today, over a simple reading and annotation from a textbook.” - Riley C., California, USA


Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM)

Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM) is a creative, co-curricular community open to summer students as a way to connect to one another — and Wharton — before, during, and after their programs. Featuring both live and independent programming, the GYM is designed to ensure virtual participants don’t miss out on valuable community building and networking. 

*The GYM is included in all online summer programs, except Understanding Your Money.