Contagious, by Jonah Berger was all about how things catch on, or become “contagious”.   The book started out by talking about a popular restaurant, Barclay Prime.  When this restaurant came about, there was almost no advertising involved, but it still became a huge and famous place to eat.  Berger begins by talking about how this restaurant became “contagious” by only word of mouth.  This made him curious about how other ideas and products spread, and how advertising and word of mouth effects what people will do and buy.

His book was broken into six chapters which were his six principles throughout the book.

The first was social currency.  This was all about what makes someone talk about something more than another thing, and how it spreads.

The second was triggers.  He believes that people naturally want to keep a conversation going, so if there is a pause or break in the conversation people will be more likely to bring up an idea or product.

Emotion was his next principle.  He believes that if someone is passionate about something, then they will be more likely to talk about that thing.

Principle four was called public.  He states that if you see someone else doing something, you will be more likely to do that thing too.   If someone is talking about and idea or product, or doing something new, you will be more likely to want to try that idea or product for yourself.

Practical value and stories were the last two principles.  Practical value was more on the advertising side rather than the word of mouth side.  Berger believes that if a product saves money or improves your lifestyle you will be more likely to buy that product.  Stories was the last chapter and principle that Berger spoke about.  He said that ordinary stories we tell everyday get spread, and if an idea or product is in one of those stories, people will be more likely to buy that product.

This book was all about how ideas and products spread.  Berger did a fabulous job of incorporating his own stories and personal events in the book.  This book was a super easy and interesting read.  I would recommend it for anyone looking to spread an idea or product, or even just if you’re looking for a new book to read.

-Jennifer Howard

The Habit Cycle

Every single day a person goes through hundreds of routines. From tying your shoes in the morning, to putting on your pajamas at night, the human brain uses habits to save energy while completing mundane tasks. Habits are the routines your brain has deemed worth remembering. They are suspected to be stored in a place of your brain called the basal ganglia.

Habits are implanted in your brain, but that does not mean they can’t be changed. Habits can be rewritten and rebuilt. But, it takes a lot of work.

Breaking a habit is hard, but not impossible. It can be done by taking advantage of the cycle that created it. By keeping the same cue and reward, but changing the routine can rewrite the habit. A person that snacks constantly throughout the day may do so to satisfy the feelings of boredom. By keeping the same cue, being bored, and the reward, of finding something to do, but changing snacking to getting up and walking around, they can change that habit. Changes require consistency and time devotion. A relapse will only damage the process made.

Advertisers and Marketers use habits to draw in customers and encourage purchases. Large companies like Target will buy consumer demographic information, and then track purchase patterns to predict future buys. Toothpaste companies create a satisfying minty and tingling taste to convince you the toothpaste is working. This is all part of creating a reward worthy of habit.

The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, introduces these topics and explains the success of changing a habit. Through his book, he illustrates the steps a person needs to take to change a bad habit into something beneficial, and shows that one change can impact other habits in a positive way. We do what we do in life and business because of habits, so read this book.

-Eva Mewborn

Aerial Advertising: Benefits Versus Downsides

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Seeing as it is spring break, I thought this would be an appropriate time to talk about an advertising medium that does not get a lot of attention in the marketing world. Aerial advertising has been around since shortly after World War II when aerial advertising pioneer Arnold Sidney Butler first started attaching banners to his airplanes. Aerial advertising does not receive much attention when it comes to marketing because it is a bit antiquated and is very location specific. This however, does not mean that it does not fill a particular gap in the advertising world and because of this, should not be overlooked.

Unforeseen Benefits 

Aerial advertising allows brands to advertise not only where there is a large gathering of people, but also where there is usually no other means of advertising. These are both bull’s-eyes for anybody looking to expand brand awareness quickly. The most popular of these locations are normally outdoor sporting events, beaches, and even over highways where there is regularly heavy traffic.

These criteria mean that certain locations are going to allow the aerial advertising industry to thrive, while in other locations it is obsolete. 

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One of the locations where aerial advertising is more than thriving is South Beach, Miami. Here aerial advertising has become a primary method for brands to reach thousands of people at a time. The combination of beaches, youth, and plenty of sporting events, makes South Beach the number one location for aerial advertising companies. This can be seen by the fact that the two biggest aerial advertising companies in the country, Van Wagner Aerial Media and Aerial Banners Inc., are both located in Miami.

Dangerous Downsides

While aerial advertising may be relatively cheap in terms of cost versus amount of people reached, there are a few innate risks.

The more obvious risk involved with aerial advertising, just like any other business involving giant metal machines flying through the air, is how dangerous it can be. Think about it— airplanes are already a scary concept, now add large crowds of people to the mix with planes flying lower than normal, and it becomes a dangerous situation. The process of getting banners attached to planes is no easy feat either. It requires a low-flying plane moving at full speed to carefully drag a hook through a loop. While there have only been a few aerial advertising related crashes, the potential for disaster is clear.

In addition to the physical risk that comes with aerial advertising, there are plenty of lawsuits to go with it. This is because the Federal Communications Commission does not have control over what is said during aerial advertising. Aerial Banners Inc. has experienced lawsuits when they were sued for slander after flying a banner that read, “Club Space — Please Pay Your Banner Bill!”. This is just one example of how lawsuits can pile up if you are not careful about what banners you agree to fly.

Parting Thought

Besides the dead of summer, spring break is the prime time for aerial advertising. Millions of college students flock to destinations where all the criteria for aerial advertising are met. South Beach may be the number one spot for the aerial advertising industry, but no matter where you go this spring break you are sure to see plenty of aerial advertising.

How do you feel about aerial advertising when you see it? Is it worth the risk?


Pfeffer, Ryan (2016, May). In Miami, Aerial Advertising Is the Wild West of the Marketing World. Miami New Times. Retrieved from

Yes, I saved $5!

Why do stores have discount cards? Is it because they want to be nice? Hook you up with some great deals?

Not really. You might think that you are winning because you are saving two dollars on a loaf of bread or three dollars because you bought two boxes of cereal instead of one. However, you are not the real champion; the store is.

By using a store discount card, you are giving away very valuable information. Information about you, what you buy, when you buy it and how often you do so. The store is now able to track your purchases and your spending’s, something that is in their favor. If they can see what you buy and how often, they can specifically target you. When you swipe your loyalty card, the store obtains valued information that they can use to get you back in their store to spend more money.

Of course, the stores won’t tell you this. They want you to think that you are being rewarded for being a loyal customer, and sure, you are, since the word loyal translates to profit in their ears. Because the cost of obtaining a new customer is around five times as high, stores always try to find ways to get you back in the door.


Just think about it, by looking at what you are buying stores know that you prefer a certain brand of soy milk over another, or a certain kind of chips for example. It is not a coincidence that you are getting coupons and offers for items that you frequently purchase. Once you swipe that “loyalty” card your purchase history goes straight into the stores computer system and they can start analyzing it. Your buying habits are being compared to other customers to figure out patterns, trends and other valuable information that can benefit the store.

I do have a Harris Teeter Vic (Yes, I’m a very important customer) card myself and I do get excited when I save 4 dollars on ice-cream. However, I do understand the idea behind a store card and that every time I swipe that Vic card my shopping spree is being analyzed into a statistic that is used to target shoppers.

How do you feel about store cards? Do you have a Harris Teeter card, or any other customer loyalty card?

–  Olivia Nilsson

The Age of Social Media Advertising

Do you ever wonder why your Instagram is magically filled with advertisements of all the things you love and want? Well, Instagram has launched a new targeting tool which allows brands to reach consumers who are highly engaged in their brand.


Amy Cole, head of brand development for EMEA at Instagram says “Advertisers are shifting their focus this from people’s mailbox to their mobile phones and Instagram has become brands’ shop window”. Many marketers are hesitant to use Instagram in their marketing strategies despite its growing popularity and usage. According to Greenlight, the digital agency behind the new targeting tool, of the 100 senior marketers they surveyed only 60% of them are not currently using Instagram as a marketing tool. Even after 30% of Instagram users admit to buying items after seeing them in photos or videos on the application.


We are starting to see more of our favorite brands pop up on our social media for this exact purpose. Companies are playing off of Instagram, the highly visual social media platform, to show a more personal side of their brands. Instagram provides more than just visual content, it shares a story. With this highly intimate interaction with consumers, companies are able to connect on a different level and increase sales and brand awareness. Along with intimacy, a study done by Visual Teaching Alliance says that 90% of the information transmitted to our brain are visual. This means that we mainly interact with our world through visual contexts! When we see something we are more likely to remember it and therefore buy it.


Forward thinking marketers would benefit from investing in marketing tools such as this one for successful campaigns and advertisements. In a techno savvy world where we are in constant contact with our cellphones and social media platforms it is unwise for any company not to invest more time and money into visual social media marketing.


Do you think its necessary for brands to start engaging more with their social media following?

-Isabella Martinez

Showing the Human Side of Businesses

Whether you are an individual about to speak to a crowd or an organization trying to increase brand awareness, connecting to your audience is essential. Knowing your audience, what message you are trying to send, and the most effective channel to send your message, are all critical components when trying to achieve this connection. The various channels that organizations can communicate through is always increasing as technology advances and right now social media platforms are the latest and greatest among these channels. 56732301









While Mr. Burgundy is right, simply creating social media accounts is not enough. The most successful companies use social media to show a more human side of their organization. People are bombarded with thousands of advertisements daily and smart consumers block out these traditional advertisements. What social media allows is for companies to reach potential consumers in a different way and engage with their audience more than ever.

img_2612The challenge becomes knowing how to properly use this new-found channel of communication. Companies who treat their audience as individuals, and therefore treat their organization as an individual, have the most success establishing a connection through social media. Instead of focusing on purely sales related messages, social media platforms should be used to communicate any information that is relevant to a given audience, messages should sound natural, and be current in order to really show off that human side.

Denny’s is a company that is a great example of this and has been gaining recognition as one of the funnier and more engaging companies on social media.

This tweet of a viral video and catchphrase, with Denny’s’ personal touch, shows the company’s ability to take something that is relevant to their target audience and apply it to their brand. Denny’s goes even further when it comes to engaging with their audience and actually responds to some of their audience.


While these tweets may be on the more extreme and silly side for many companies, it is perfect for Denny’s and what they are trying to communicate.

There is a fine line between showing the more human side of an organization and being inappropriate, as many companies have found out when there has been significant backlash after an inappropriate post. However, with a properly run social media account, the benefits of using social media to gain new customers and maintain an image of being a thoughtful and relevant organization, vastly outweigh the potential downside.

-Brian Clifford



The phenomena of advertisement on YouTube

I don’t know about you all but I love YouTube! I subscribe to a couple of different channels mostly related to beauty, fashion and traveling; but also, channels such as BuzzFeed and VEVO. I have the attention span of a five year old, so watching 10-20 minute long videos is perfect for me to keep my full attention and not get bored or drift off into distractions such as my phone.


YouTube has grown tremendously in the past couple of years, and from what experts are saying it will continue to do so. Did you know that over ONE BILLION unique users visit the site each month? How crazy is that!? Additionally, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, only trailing behind Google! Seeing these statistics, it becomes clear that YouTube not only has a massive audience, but an extremely diverse one as well.

In our modern world, digital marketing is more important than ever and advertisers are realizing that they need to be utilizing numerous different outlets. YouTube has become a fresh new marketing tool which can help advertisers and companies reach their specified target audiences. The success behind YouTube is the interaction and engagement is provides. Users often share, like, and comment content; creating an extremely close knit community among users.


There are many ways to advertise on YouTube, product placement being one. One new trend among YouTube users is video blogging, also known as vlogging. Video Bloggers often rack up millions of views, and have quite the influence to their fan base. A study from Variety asserts that “teenagers’ emotional attachment to YouTube stars is as much as seven times greater than that toward a traditional celebrity”. For this very reason, advertisers are choosing to showcase themselves before, during and in videos which generates a large-scale audience. Sometimes it can be a placement ad that plays before the video (we have all seen the “Skip ad in 5”), but can also come in form of sponsored mentions, gift merchandising, or even partnership reviews.


YouTube has been around for a long time but it is rapidly becoming more and more influential. With 300 hours of video uploaded per minute, the site gives advertisers a wide variety of advertising opportunities which reaches people all over the world in a constant and visually appealing manner.

Do you watch YouTube? And if so, what are some of your favorite channels?

– Olivia Nilsson