Sunday, November 9, 2008

Get Buzzed

Buzz marketing can be described in a variety of fashions. However, I like to put it simply as getting others to talk deliberately about your brand. Buzz marketing is the art of getting consumers to spread the word, without having the scent of marketing and being saturated in spontaneity.

Buzz marketing has exploded due to increased use of the Internet, it is relatively inexpensive and it is unique. The possibilities are endless and are at the mercy of the imagination. In buzz marketing there there are a few key players that we like to refer to as the ABCs; Alphas, Bees and Consumers

The Alphas are the individuals that are enthusiastic about spreading the message, they are the “prime influencers” (IMC, 2008) of a group, the people whom others are most likely to want to emulate. “Bees are the messengers” (IMC, 2008). They are the people who are knowledge seekers, are internet savvy, text message often and include a large range of demographics. Finally, the consumer is, well, the consumer. They “follow the bee in the quest for goods and services” (IMC, 2008).

I am an example person, so a couple of the greatest buzz campaigns include Burger King’s Whopper Freak Out and Converse.

Converse mastered the art of crowdsourcing, where, put simply, consumers play the role of marketer for a nominal fee. Converse held a contest in which they asked consumers to submit a new ad for their shoe known as Chuck Taylors. Filmmakers were also asked to submit a short video for the shoe.

The response was overwhelming and the result was free advertising, because for the consumer and filmmaker just the sight of their creation on national television or in print is good enough.

Burger King’s Whopper Freak Out Campaign started a buzz and became one of the best known viral marketing campaigns. The company video taped consumers’ reactions when the cashier informed them that they had discontinued the Whopper. After a good reaction was caught on tape, the “King” came out with a Whopper on a platter. Check out the web site of countless consumers reactions. This is where the viral campaign came into play, the video started consumers talking which prompted others to view the videos and ultimately brought consumers into the fast food joint.

The conclusion, embrace viral marketing, make it an integral part of your next marketing campaign and chase a good idea down with a stiff shot of creativity.


IMC 619 Lesson 3. (2008, August 18). Creating Buzz, Viral Marketing, Crowdsourcing and Blogs. P.I. Reed School of Journalism.

The Whopper Freakout: Burger King’s Latest Marketing Campaign. (2007, December 13).

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