We see advertisement everywhere around us daily. Some people are not just laymen, they are professionals. Advertisement is an important part of marketing. It seems to us, that we have seen everything in ads and that all media are overloaded with commercials. It there a possibility to create something new and surprising? Yes, buzz marketing prove so. Buzz marketing uses creative and original ideas in advertisement. “Buzz” stands for stir, backwash, turmoil and gives impulse for discussions, conversations and contestation and gives reasons to spread it by mouth. It means that advertisement in buzz marketing must be clever, attractive, unusual, funny, catchy and remarkable (Hughes, 87).
According to Mark Hughes, buzz marketing and advertisement should use taboo (sex and lies), unusual, scandalous, humorous, remarkable, secretive (revealing secrets). The advantage of buzz marketing in advertisement is that people start to promote the brand, service or the person, about which is the advertisement. These ads should be resourceful and creative. It is not easy to evoke “buzz”, when we have heard and seen everything, and at the same time do not break any laws or rules there might be for advertisement.
But what is buzz marketing in practice? Take American Idol in USA or Superstar in Czech and Slovak Republic. This program was watched by millions of viewers (abcmedianet.com) and then people shared their opinion with others, discussed details with friends, at work, school. This popularity was used by telecommunication companies, which enabled people to change these shows how they wished. This is how these companies gained their customers, not only during the airing, but also permanent customers and big amount of money. Isn’t it a manipulation from telecommunication companies? How many times did we become customers of some company thanks to the buzz marketing without realizing so? (Hughes, 63)
Another disputable issue in advertising and buzz marketing is contestation. If we take again as a example, American Idol, have you ever liked Simon Cowell and the way he treats the contestants? As a judge he is abrasive, insensitive and rough. It is clear that intention of the creators of American Idol is to create deliberately contestation, which creates intensity and drama. This makes the show exciting, full of emotions and that is what created publicity for this show. Could this approach be considered manipulative as well? Or are we used to drama in the news that we do not like programs without drama and tension? Are we able to watch shows that do not create intense emotions in us?
Another method that advertising is using are celebrities and authorities to promote a product. It is very common is Czech Republic and worldwide. It became so common, that nowadays we know that most of the celebrities did not choose to use this product because of its quality, but thanks to the big amount of money. Despite this, we can still see celebrity endorsements and now it has become more of an image issue. For example, Silvester Stalone is creating a certain image for Storm Watches. This may evoke special feeling for the owner of the watch – that they are part of privileged group of people. This method depends to which extent is an individual influenceable. This method could be still successful in the future, because majority of people like to reach or get near for some time to shiny world of celebrities.
Methods of buzz marketing and advertising are really versatile, but the question is if what is successful in USA could be also successful in Europe or other parts of the world, which do not share the same culture and values as USA. Could the civilized world live without advertisement? Can we image how would our world look like without it? Would we be more satisfied and live a calm life or would we be stressed? Do we really need advertising?
Hughes, Mark. Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk about Your Stuff. New York: Portfolio, 2005. Print.
“Buzz Marketing.” Buzzmarketing.com — The Authority on Buzz Marketing. Web. 16 May 2010. <http://www.buzzmarketing.com/>.
“ABC Medianet.” Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. Web. 16 May 2010. <http://web.archive.org/web/20070208132303/http://www.abcmedianet.com/pressrel/dispDNR.html?id=060204_11>.