This is a must-read for anyone professionally involved in the creation of advertising. It's written for people without background on the subject, but does such a good job in organizing and clarifying the principles that it's a good read for even marketing veterans.
Berger does an excellent job exploring and detailing the message elements that cause people to remember advertising messages and stories, and to want to pass around those stories (with or without embedded ad messages). The book explores 6 principles involved in why things catch on:
* social currency
* practical value
These principles serve as a checklist for the creation of advertising, especially any advertising that attempts to be viral.
I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.
This book is a great one-- I think it has more content than "The Tipping Point" from Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm's explanation why things become popular or viral is because of weak ties... But Contagious goes deeper-- Jonah Berger finds 6 reasons. And it all makes sense.
Very well written and with a great performance by Keith Nobbs.
I bought this book to my father and brother and they are liking it.
Read it, and you will like it too.
The six principles in making ideas contagious are:
1. Social currency (is it cool to know and spread the idea)
2. Triggers (is the idea associated with something that comes up often so it triggers people to talk about the idea)
3. Emotion (do people care about the idea; people share what they care about)
4. Publicity (is the idea or product out in the public)
5. Practical Value (are people eager to share the idea with friends)
6. Stories (is it delivered in a compelling story, not in a boring message)
The author gives many examples of how each of these principles can make an idea contagious. A supermarket tested playing different types of music and measured the sales of wine. When French music was played, more French wines were purchased. When German music was played, more German wines were purchased. Remember the Kit Kat "Gimme a Break" campaign? As people were taking a break and having a cup of coffee (trigger), the thought of a tasty snack popped into their head (emotion). Or what about the Budweiser's "Wassup" commercials? A bunch of Budweiser drinkers were saying "wassup," which then reinforced the behavior of hanging out with friends and drinking Budweiser. The Movember Foundation made charity giving for men's health (normally private information) into an annual conversation topic as men sported moustaches in November (public).
I read a lot...
I find that some of the case studies that were reffered to as evidence for his points were effective but at times lend themselves to other intrepretations from a marketing perspective which leaves doubt as to what really causes something to be contagious.
Taking on this question, whethere or not he is right or wrong is what makes it interesting. there isn`t much solid evidence or a clear reasoning for why something becomes contagious so it is a brave effort on his part to theorize in a book.
No. I feel like there are little nuggets of information which are useful but nothing mindblowing enough to make me incorporate it into my work and daily life as a marketer.
Berger does a great job of breaking down the various elements that when working together, create a contagious effect. He then provides a recipe for maximizing the chance that your initiative will be contagious. Super narration and fast listen.
I work in the area of creative commerce and nearly all of the points made in this book about stickiness and compelling content on the internet were true 20 years ago in other media. The rules of engagement with consumers and audiences have not changed. Just the battlefield has. This alone is good to know, but does not justify the time one must dedicate to listening to this piece — a mixed bag, from which I'm not sure I gleaned many points that I can use in my daily work. It's just more of the same old pseudo-experts attempting to write "rules" on how creative people catch lightning in a bottle. Creative people, on the other hand, do not need those rules, as they know innately how to compel.
It's in the same catagory that I put Malcolm Gladwell.
This book has helped me in business and social circles and explains the psychology behind the connections.
He held my attention with his narrative
The creative type.
This is everything I hoped it would be. The information is solid and the presentation is very well done. If I have any issues it's that I didn't finish the book feeling like I had a great grasp on the techniques he talks about in the book. I'd love to see a PDF with some of it outlined like they have for other books. Just some cheat sheets and bullet points would be fine.
The Tipping Point. It's like the sequel to the Tipping Point, which I also enjoyed.
Social Currency. I love that expression.
The narration blends very well with the content to the point the narrator sounds like he is the author. The book is a collection of lessons framed in stories that have practical application for just about any business. This is the first book that anyone of ambition should read or listen to. I've listened to it twice and will listen to it again in the future I'm sure.
...while Berger does a godly job of outlining what I'm sure are some -- certainly not all -- of the finer points of "Why Things Catch On," I have a couple of gripes.
First, the book is too short. In the end, I felt like I'd just read a long essay rather than a book of substance. Sure the content gave me something to chew on but would it have killed the author to include more real world cases?
Did Keith Nobbs, the narrator, have a cold while reading this? Did he mispronounce some words? I can't be 100% sure until I read the text myself, but it seemed that way. Hey, nobody's perfect but I did rate the performance 4/5 stars. Overall, Nobbs did well.
Other than that, great book. It almost didn't feel like I was reading something from the self help section!