We all talk (duhh), but do we really take note of what we say? Or do we just want to continue that conversation at break time coffee?
What we say might really affect who we are speaking to without our full consciousness. And a good example of that is when one would be telling their friend about how work is so audurous and at that instant when the other participant of this conversation is attached emotionally “I had to take a panadol” The speaker said… Now, that is a word of mouth advertisers want you to say without noticing.
I have read an article about teenagers blogging for milk, and started to have mixed emotions about the topic in general.
Every brand tries to make people talk about their products and services to create “conversational capital”, and I do think it is a smart way to create your own “self-branding”, but does that mean companies leave ethics and moral behind to achieve “success”?.
In the article, it is mentioned that Dr Pepper/ 7up were launching a drinking flavoured milk product and it seemed like they were targeting the youth, since they have only used teenage bloggers to share the word of mouth through their personal blogs.
The bloggers did not get paid to do this job, but they would get samples and so on.
I personally feel that it is quite unethical from companies to use teenagers that have not made it big yet and make them write and share what they think about the milk. Because, making kids with relatively big blogs share a personal story about the milk from 7up will have a lot more benefit for 7up compared to the benefits the kids get. And to solve such issues, a part time job with a fair pay for the bloggers would not harm anyone.
Now, switching out from my advocacy mind and back to the business oriented mind… I think making bloggers write personal indirect stories about a certain product is a very smart idea, as it is a stage of advertising that acts like a bridge between the advertiser and the consumers.
if the company only has ads. on TV there are no emotions attached to it, but when a friend tells you they had a new favorite ‘Strawberry milk’ you will check that out, and by that 7up would have created the viral marketing they planned.
To conclude, there pros and cons to every aspect of life and it is all about balancing them out.
The word of mouth is a very powerful advertising strategy that has worked for many brands before and is still going strong, that is why it needs to be used carefully because of the effects it has on consumers and how they create a shift in human behaviour throughout longer times.
Also, every brand has to look to the ethical side of the word of mouth because McDonald’s is not healthy and no one should ever say “I felt like eating healthy; I went to McDonald’s”… so, take care of your word of mouth.
Almustafa M. Khalid
Founder & Editor in chief
Independent Skies Magazine