Blog: WOM - there it is!
Olly Wehring | 30 March 2007
Word of mouth (WOM) marketing, the hot trend in North American advertising, is apparently preparing to hit the UK.
As consumers switch off to ads - literally, in an increasing number of cases with the spread of digital boxes (I haven’t sat through a single commercial break since Sky+ made its way into our living room) - advertisers are being forced to constantly invent new ways of connecting with their audience.
Positive WOM product endorsement has always been a veritable advertising Holy Grail. But US advertising agencies have taken things one step further by giving volunteers freebies in exchange for them casually slipping product endorsements into conversations with friends and family.
Now, I’m certainly not one to knock getting free stuff. And if I like something, I may well share this info with my nearest and dearest. But does combining the two smack of selling out? Is this commercialisation of our personal relationships an invasion of privacy and a betrayal of trust?
Advertisers say not. Because there is no regulation over what people say, the endorsement is presented as genuine. Moreover, the volunteers must state that they are part of an advertising campaign at the outset.
So will it work?
I can pinpoint the single one thing that annoys me most about advertising on TV. My biggest gripe is that the sound dramatically increases during the commercial break. Presumably, this is to attract your attention – but if this is the case it is so clumsily executed that, for me, it is simply a signal to switch off.
WOM advertising is certainly a lot more subtle than this. If a friend were to recommend a product, I would initially take them seriously. But then, as soon as they told me they were part of an ad campaign I think my suspicions would be aroused. No longer is this person acting in my interests, they are acting in the interests of the company that is bribing them with free goodies.
Is there a way that companies can tap into positive word of mouth without drawing the legitimacy of the messenger into question?
It would appear that the folk at the UK arm of Carlsberg have this year found the 'gimmicky' drawer in the marketing office....
It's a popular grizzle and one I'll admit to having on at least one or two occasions… a day. Why do people post photos of their food and/or drink on to my social media feed?...
After a 2014 it'll want to forget, Treasury Wine Estates has some good news....
The garden shed is usually home to some spiders, a lawnmower and a few half-empty paint tins. ...
- Is Diageo approaching its "Et tu, Brute" Moment?
- Diageo Q4 & FY - Preview
- SABMiller, Carlsberg, Heineken: Poland's beer itch
- Has Diageo added Beer to its 'Non-Core' List?
- SABMiller's Q1 Sales Performance by Region
- NPD: Tomatin Contrast, Cù Bòcan
- Diageo comm's director latest to leave
- Diageo hit by SEC investigation in US
- Global business development head to quit Diageo
- just the Winners - IWSC Spirits Trophy Winners
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global gin insights - market data, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global cachaca insights - market data, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global liqueurs insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global Tequila insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research