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Buzz Marketing: Types and Examples

  • Aadithya Athreya
  • Dec 13, 2021
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Olden days cricket stars singing in a boy band, Kapil Dev dressed as Ranveer Singh, Rahul Dravid showing road rage and Kumar Sanu selling insurance. What do all these events have in common? They are all advertisements for a fintech company called CRED. What makes these ads special? A concept called Buzz Marketing.


(Read more on CRED)



What is Buzz Marketing?


Buzz Marketing refers to the process where the aim of the ads or other promotions is to get people talking. It stems from word of mouth and plays a massive role in a company’s marketing campaigns, but what does it entail?


Buzz marketing often involves companies creating usual content in an effort to grab people’s attention. The point of a Buzz marketing campaign is to get people talking about something your enterprise is doing. 


The old adage “all publicity is good publicity” finds special relevance in Buzz Marketing as it thrives on publicity and whether or not people are talking about it.

The image depicts Buzz Marketing. Since bees emit a buzz like sound,  the group of people can be considered as “vectors” who generate the buzz regarding the brand or company.

Buzz Marketing


Types of Buzz Marketing


Buzz marketing generally begins with a thought or idea that excites, intrigues, or excites people about your company. Many businesses utilize this tactic, and while it isn't always effective, a Digital Marketing campaign that incorporates a Buzz Marketing plan is a low-cost way to get people to notice your company. 


There are six main approaches to develop Buzz Marketing campaigns, according to Mark Hughes, the man who coined the phrase. To become widely recognised on the internet, a smart campaign must rely on one of these "wow" elements as a building component.


  1. Taboo marketing: Taboos are triggers in our brains that are readily activated when we hear messages that are out of the ordinary and into the prohibited. 


Consider your reaction anytime someone brings up the subject of cannibalism or any other similar issue. Whether appalled or shocked, we all have an opinion (and frequently a strong one) on such matters.

Taboo marketing is an easy way for companies to generate buzz around their enterprise. By causing controversy, companies can easily get people talking about them.

However, Taboo marketing is a double edged sword. It is possible that companies may overstep in their attempt to address taboo topics and end up the victims of a boycott. However, with taboo marketing, it is guaranteed to garner attention from a public so devoid of stimulation.

Case in point Burger King. For the 2021 women’s day, the burger king marketing team posted a tweet saying “women belong in the kitchen”.  They attempted to address a taboo topic and proceeded to write a threat highlighting gender disparities in the fast food industry.  It resulted in a largely negative reaction with several twitter users suggesting a boycott of Burger King.

(Read more on Affiliate Marketing)

  1. Story marketing: When we witness something that goes above and beyond what brands are used to providing for their clients, the amazing trigger gets triggered.


For example, when a company surprises a loyal customer or shares a compelling narrative to illustrate its beliefs.


The amazing is simple to recognise since it relies on the consumer's happiness to occur - humans, on the whole, are ready to hear happy ending stories.

Companies that share customer testimonials attempt to do this but not in a way to generate buzz but more appeal to a consumer which is a form of relationship marketing. Cases where a customer is invited to offer a story of their experience is often a way companies use consumer sentiment to generate buzz. 


  1. Secretive marketing: A play on human psychology, secretive marketing sounds like two words that contradict each other. It plays on the element of human curiosity. 


Enterprises which require you to invite your friends or send invites are the chief proponents of this strategy. Taking the case of Clubhouse, the app gained such a large following simply by its feature that you must invite a person for them to use it.

The fact that humans are often innately curious combined with people’s obsession to have something their peers don't drove the number of clubhouse users to high numbers.

The same philosophy is there for invite only events where only a select group is invited. This creates an artificial scarcity and is a case of veblen goods. Veblen goods are those goods that hold value simply because of their scarcity. A case of Veblen goods would be diamonds or luxury items that people only demand due to the implication that they are reflections of status.

If a particular event organizer wishes to tap into this by using secretive marketing, he or she would promote their event using the idea of guestlist only or limited passes only. 


This plays on people’s fear of missing out as well as encourages a competition for tickets to the same, allowing the organizer to inflate the prices as and when required generating significantly more revenue than initially expected.


(Recommended blog - Inflation)

Apart from these three, companies use stories of remarkable people and celebrities to generate buzz around their product. Furthermore, using Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, they can create advertisements centering on the idea of them being a responsible company and generate buzz by doing the same.

A case in point would be music artist Drake’s music video for his song “god’s plan”. The video consisted of Drake giving away money to various people and generated quite a lot of buzz in the United States further pushing his views and thus making more money. 


Another case would be Youtube personality Mr Beast whose entire channel is based around him giving away ludicrous amounts of money. The mere charitable factor can quite often get people talking about the advertisement.

While Buzz marketing does not necessarily suggest an increase in sales and such, it captures people’s attention and this plays in ways that most don't even realize. By creating a catchy jingle for a candy, children may not rush to stores to buy it immediately, but will remember it the next time they are at a store.

Just like all forms of marketing, it does not guarantee any sales but does guarantee that people will know the company. It results in a subconscious bias favoring the company thus in effect promoting the company.


(Recommended blog - Content Marketing Strategies)



Examples of Buzz marketing


Buzz Marketing has seen some extremely famous examples. It’s guaranteed success has attracted the attention of many corporate entities and presents an ideal method of garnering attention while simultaneously improving customer outreach. 


Considering marketing has historically been extremely expensive, it presents a system that does not involve a poor return on investment.


The following are some cases where Buzz marketing has been extremely successful:


  1. Starbucks: Starbucks is an example of Buzz marketing in action.Starbucks admits that word-of-mouth marketing is their key marketing strategy. 


However, the corporation also guaranteed that each of its products was of the highest quality. Offering tailored services in a welcoming environment has also contributed to the brand's excellent reputation. 


Overall, the concept of drinking a cup of coffee can be made into an event because of Starbucks' amazing experience. This lays the groundwork for buzz marketing. Starbucks' one-of-a-kind experience encourages customers to share images of themselves with their happy drink on social media. The company's branding is effective as a result of this.

(Read more on Starbucks)

  1. Apple: The fact that a company can continue to sell products by simply releasing a new one with the slightest differences is a testament to their marketing department. Apple is one of the most successful buzz marketing case studies of all time.

After the initial burst of innovation died out, Apple's word of mouth marketing and its unique position as a creator of its own operating system allowed it to begin charging higher prices. 


This resulted in people beginning to compare apple products and their prices to that of a kidney. Soon enough, it became a niche product only for the so called high class and was marketed into benign such a product.

Now, iPhone demand increased to such an extent that Apple was able to become the world’s first trillion dollar company.

(Read more on Apple)


Ultimately, Buzz marketing presents a new facet to the concept of marketing at large.  Buzz marketing is a sales approach aimed at building a healthy degree of trust, hype, and loyalty among consumers in order to broaden the reach, optimize lead generation, and increase conversions.


Businesses and brands all around the world must generate a positive and constructive buzz around their products and services. The aforementioned pointers will undoubtedly assist you in operating a successful buzz marketing campaign.


Buzz marketing also seeks to generate conversations about a company, its goods, or services within the target client groups. As a result, buzz marketing offers considerable benefits to firms preparing to introduce a new product.

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