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How buzz marketing works for teens

Amy Henry (The Geppetto Group)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 1 June 2003



Explains the concept of buzz marketing ‐ roughly, creating a stir ‐ and how it can be successfully applied to the teen market: its drivers are truth distorted, bad behaviour, and reality romanticised. Takes the shock value for buzz of the “South Park” TV show as a case study of bad behaviour, while Pop Rocks is an example of a product for which truth distorted created a rumour buzz; reality romanticised represents the practical idealism of teenagers. Outlines the requirements of a buzzable brand: invasive but invited, individualised, experiential, provocative, conspiratorial, connective and creative. Points out that buzz can also live in the adult world, with examples like a Mojito, a PDA, “Sex and the City”, and Viagra, while alcoholic drinks prosper through buzz. Lists the benefits that buzz brings to teenagers: they feel disenfranchised, are a subculture, seek stimulation, are engaged in selective identity formation, and aspire to be passionate people. Concludes with how a marketer could develop the drivers for a brand by creating an “alter ego” of what is the edge of the acceptable, the flipside of the brand’s persona.



Henry, A. (2003), "How buzz marketing works for teens", Young Consumers, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 3-10.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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