It’s been called the science of interest. Buzzology is the practice of raising awareness of a product, person or concept by whatever positive means necessary. It is buzzology at work when the target audience has to stop and ask, “What is this? Do I need this?” and then mentions it to someone they know. Some call this “going viral”, but we prefer to call it buzz.

Buzz is most readily obtained with earned media, special events, creative advertising or direct communication – but not always to the targeted audience of requested action. Buzz is a form of communications practiced by aggressive and creative practitioners. In the lab, we call ourselves buzzologists (ok, not really, but it has a nice ring to it).

The Super Buzz

A classic example of buzzology: The Super Bowl. For buzzologists, the real game happens at the commercial breaks.

It might be too early to predict the buzz longevity of this year’s clear winner for best Super Bowl ad, but perhaps mini Darth Vader would make a formidable opponent to the old spice man:

A naked man with chiseled muscles wrapped only in a towel asks you to compare your man to him. Your man cannot compare…but maybe he can smell as good if only he buys Old Spice. A sexy man is selling a men’s product to men by speaking to women and telling these men they are inferior. Results are a boom! A product favored by WWII veterans is now the topic of conversation in 20 something crowds and parodies abound in social media.

The Super Bowl might as well be the national convention of buzzology. But not everyone has $3 million to spend on a 30 second spot – and gadzooks what if someone misses your 30 seconds? Time to consider other channels for buzz…

We’ve Got Buzz Coming Out of Our….

In 2002, TODAY SHOW Host Katie Couric, grief-stricken by the loss of her husband to colon cancer at a young age, wanted to encourage people to get screened for this devastating disease. The problem is that screening involves a camera being threaded up an area of the anatomy most would like to keep private. Enter buzzology and a brilliant team of buzzologists.

Katie agreed to submit to a colonoscopy live on national TV. It was a toss up. People would either go out in droves for the procedure or recoil in horror. Colonoscopy rates spiked. Today the test is considered a part of life for men 50 and over. The diagnostic industry, 9 years later, continues to buzz to the tune of the ‘Katie Effect’ as less invasive but accurate diagnostics for colon cancer are being developed. The public is eager for this advancement.

Women Like to Buzz Too

Let’s look at the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Faced with the startling fact that heart disease, which has largely been perceived to be a male disease, is in fact the number one killer of women, the organizations turned to buzz to raise awareness. In 2002, the red dress initiative was launched and now every February we find that red dress on everything from soda cans to supermodels.

Heart disease remains the number one killer of American women. However, now 65 percent of women know the facts and cholesterol numbers are a national concern among women as well as men. The national red dress campaign has become such a sensation that Merck is the national AHA sponsor for the campaign, Pfizer sponsored the campaign in years prior, and Johnson & Johnson is a corporate sponsor for the NIH.

When Buzzing Saves a Life

Let us consider another product that has benefitted from buzz: the automatic external defibrillator (AED). Today, AEDs are found in airports and casinos across the nation. Not that long ago, an AED was only found in a hospital and could only be used by a trained medical professional. Finally, someone thought to put those life-saving medical devices in the public domain where they might actually… um… save lives. Engineers were able to engineer AEDs to be used by a layperson, but it was buzzology that helped spread the word. It started with airplanes and airports, then spread to government and municipal facilities. Today, AEDs are ubiquitous and lives are saved every day as a result.

Is it Buzz Worthy?
You may have a great company, product or concept – but is it buzzworthy? Good buzz doesn’t happen overnight and not everything is buzz worthy. But a buzzologist can find the buzz that will raise awareness and take you to the next level. It is important to know that choosing to engage in acceleration of buzz will require time, patience and faith, but the results can be priceless.

We’re buzzing with anticipation of our next project. So give us a buzz. 858-457-2436