The Influence Of Word Of Mouth Advertising

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Advertising has been around for many years, developing and ranging from announcements, art, and handwritten material, to print, radio, television, and online. Regardless of the medium though, there has always been a common goal— to sell a product or service. In recent years however, Williams (1980) points out that advertising has “passed the frontier of selling goods and services and has become involved with the teaching of social and personal values” (p. 421). This is done by brands creating a look of a certain lifestyle for themselves and selling that look to consumers in a magical way (Williams, 1980). Advertisements for brands make consumers feel that if they buy a certain product they will feel a certain way and when people identify with…show more content…
Advertisers have recognized this relationship between consumers and found a way to utilize it to their benefit. This way is called word of mouth advertising. Word of mouth advertising is a covert approach in which advertisers use consumers as the main vehicle to deliver their brand messages (Rotfeld, 2008, p.66). One way of word of mouth advertising is buzz advertising which is when companies leave it up to customers to promote messages (Shin, 2016a). For example, Facebook spends zero dollars on advertising and strictly relies on consumers to spread the word of how it works and why people should create an account. Facebook has proved that this way of advertising is successful as Facebook grew from a social networking site used by one university to a global form of communication (Vicky,…show more content…
An example of this is the Ice Bucket Challenge where people would dump a bucket of ice water over their head then donate money and nominate someone else to do it as a way to spread awareness of ALS and raise money for a cure (ALS Therapy Development Institute, n.d.). The Ice Bucket Challenge proved viral marketing to be a successful way of advertising as it went from a fundraising campaign to a viral video sensation that ended up raising $220 million globally (ALS Therapy Development Institute, n.d.). These two types of word of mouth advertising demonstrate covert approaches to advertising as conversation whether in person or online, is a natural occurrence between consumers and therefore when a brand or product is mentioned, it does not seem like a form of
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