Peer-to-peer marketing (sometimes called "buzz," "word-of-mouth," or "viral" marketing) has become a staple among youth advertisers.1 Market researchers target key influential young people who can serve as "brand sirens," promoting products to their peers through instant messaging, social networking sites, and blogs.2 Companies are creating elaborate viral campaigns, sometimes using "hidden messages" to lure youth into a series of games and other activities across different media, generating buzz within the online youth subculture, all under the public radar. This "360" marketing strategy engages with young people repeatedly wherever they are—in cyberspace, watching TV, or offline.
1 See Martin Lindstrom and individual contributors, BRANDchild (London: Kogan Page, 2003), 137-156. See also Mark Hughes, Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff (New York: Portfolio, 2005); Buzz Marketing, http://www.buzzmarketing.com/index.html (viewed 29 Mar. 2007); and Emanuel Rosen, The Anatomy of Buzz: How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
2 Starcom Mediavest Group, "Tapping into the Super Influencer: What You Need to Know to Engage the Elusive Young Consumer," 2006, http://www.brandsirens.com/presentation.pdf; Tobi Elkin, "Study: Some 13-34s Show High Brand Loyalty," Online Media Daily, 26 Sept. 2006, http://publications. mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.san&s=48721&Nid=2374 4&p=328566 (both viewed 29 Mar. 2007).
3 Nina M. Lentini, "KFC Airs Ring tone Ad Aimed At Those Who Can Hear It," Marketing Daily, 12 Apr. 2007, http://publications.mediapost.com/ index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=58606; KFC Corporation, "KFC Makes Noise with New Interactive TV Advertising," press release, 11 Apr. 2007, http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/ www/story/04-11-2007/0004563459 (both viewed 17 Apr. 2007).
4 Andy Sernovitz and Shannon Stairhime, "Chrysler, Coke: New Brand Buzz Leaders," iMedia Connection, 8 Feb. 2007, http://www.imediaconnection.com/ content/13526.asp (viewed 28 Mar. 2007); "Create a Viral Campaign," Word of Mouth Marketing Association, http://www.womma.org/casestudy/examples/ create-a-viral-campaign/ (viewed 29 Mar. 2007).