Buzz Loses Some Sting

Nielsen Buzz Metrics is stripping some of the gloss from the fledgling field of Viral and Buzz Marketing. According to their latest findings, high blog interest, or buzz, around new product launches is tightly linked to paid media spending.

“Splintering media sources along with emerging consumer-generated media are challenging one-way, mass-media advertising models,” said Robert Mooth, vice president of product development, for BASES, and an author of the study. “However, our analysis shows that traditional mass media continue to play a critical role for most CPG brands.”

While it would be unwise to suggest that buzz can, or should, replace traditional media placement, Catherine P. Taylor notes that this news, in addition to the Duncan Watts stories (which we shared earlier today), are two nails in the coffin for Buzz Marketing. “Once there’s a third example out there about why viral marketing isn’t so powerful after all, let’s call buzz a wrap.” She adds that she’s kidding, but I’m not sure how funny this is for the legions of brands and their helpers who are investing in buzz.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.