Monday, July 03, 2006

Buzz marketing is evil

Just a short note to tell you I have find a new thing to hate... I guess this is an old thing for most of you but it is just coming to my part of the world. Companies that "hire" (except they do not pay them) ordinary people to give away free samples to their friends of new products. Evil Evil Evil. Using the most valuable thing in life, love, to sell stuff. EVIL.

Interestingly, searching the blogosphere on "buzz marketing" or "word of mouth marketing" gives plenty of results, 100 % positive. People feel it's cool to "know about stuff" before their friends. We really have stoped being humans and become 100% consumers.

Some critical articles can be found here.


Clare said...

Actually Patrik, this kind of thing has existed for years, in the form of 'pyramid selling' - companies like Mary Kay, Tupperware, Weekenders, Amway, etc, all rely on selling to your mates. You get to host the party and take a commission from the sales. Then you get recruited as an agent and get your friends to host the parties for you. I lived in the USA for four years where this kind of selling is very commonplace, but never felt at all good about it, for the reasons you give. I really hate the idea of making money from, or via, my friends.

Patrik said...

While related the kind of pyramid selling is not the same thing. In those situations ou at least know it is a commercial situation going in.

This is far more sinister. This is about your "friend" offering you candy after you lunch together. We all know how much we are influenced by friends when it come to making choices about products. This is a way for big companies to make money out of that. A person will register as a "BzzAgent" or something similiar, and receve free samples of some new product, which they are to spread to their friends. The companies are specifically looking for "cool" people, that influence their friends already.

Clare said...

Ewwww, agreed, this is disgusting. I have not come across it. Will warn my kids (all students).

Congratulations of winning Eurovision, by the way ;)!

byron said...

I agree. It is not simply love, but trust that is being sold. It is taking advantage of social capital without re-investing.