Why Things Catch On

This week, I read an article on Social Media Examiner’s website that caught my eye. Coming from a Psychology background, I like to try and understand how people think and what motivates them, so I was drawn to an article about why things catch on.

The article references Jonah Berger’s book, Contagious, and the six principles that drive people to share: social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value and stories. After considering all of these concepts, triggering struck me as the principle with the most potential. A trigger is anything that causes a brand, company, product, etc. to come to top-of-mind.  That said, anything that lies in the forefront of the mind is likely to be shared with those around you.

kitkatIn advertising, triggers are based on context.  More specifically, advertising triggers acknowledge and integrate the customer’s environment. For example, the Social Media Examiner’s article refers to an old Kit Kat campaign that paired Kit Kats with coffee. The goal of the campaign was to increase sales by having consumers attribute the smell/taste of coffee with the desire for a Kit Kat.

While going through Lamar scheduling this week, I noticed that Target was doing something similar with their Digital OOH boards. Every morning at 6 am, Target has a digital board in Las Vegas that reads “Start your day out fresh” or “Good morning, fresh.” At 10 am, the board switches to “You’re in the lunch lane” or “Pack fresh for lunch,” and 5 pm reads  “Dinner just got fresher” or “Invite fresh for dinner.” The use of dayparting is a great example of a digital OOH trigger, since it pairs a consumer’s contextual environment with a relevant message.

The capabilities of digital boards allow advertisers to associate brands or companies with a variety of contextual elements.  For example, a brand can associate themselves with live scores of a game, the time or day or an upcoming event. These “triggers” certainly gain the attention of consumers make products top-of-mind.

Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/why-things-catch-on-the-science-of-why-people-share/