The Effectiveness of a Buzz Marketing Approach Compared to Traditional Advertising: An Exploration

Document Type



Published by Taylor & Francis Ltd. in the Journal of Promotion Management, volume 15 issue 4, 2009. Bryant users may access this article here.


advertising; buzz marketing; group influence; nontraditional advertising; persuasion; promotion; word-of mouth


Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Publication Source

Journal of Promotion Management


Marketers are now willing to go anyplace they can find a captive audience to espouse the virtues of their products. The success of the “buzz” marketing approach is linked to the consumer being lured into doing the advertising by spreading the message to others. This study compares students’ responses to a traditional advertising and a buzz approach. Using a factor analysis to identify variables, the results show that subjects perceive a buzz approach to be more influential than a traditional advertising. However, they do not perceive a buzz approach to be authentic. This finding is consistent with practitioners’ argument that, although a buzz approach may be effective in the short-term, once consumers recognize its selling intent, the program may have a “boomerang effect.”