From Harvard to Hollywood - Buzz is the answer to 'American Idol' sized Ratings and increased sales!

In addition to the millions generated from product placement fees, the producers of the Fox hit American Idol have followed the 'insider' Hollywood formula for increasing box office sales.

They've got their Internet Buzz machine in gear.

Buzz, word of mouth, viral, guerilla. Call it what you will but it is all really the same thing and it has been around to a long time.

It has been proven to be the most trusted form of marketing and advertising. Who are you going to trust more, an ad or a recommendation from a friend?  

Movie studios have long recognized the value of Internet Buzz Building for that opening box office number.  Over the last 3 years, studios and other savvy clients have been budgeting more towards online buzz marketing .

“Not only is it cost-effective, but since the success of the ‘sleeper hit’ Blair Witch Project, which was launched exclusively through online buzz marketing, it provides an immediate response – which is unheard of in a traditional campaign.”

But ... How Do You Measure Buzz?

Unlike a traditional CPM campaign, determining what effect word of mouth plays in a marketing campaign can be elusive. 

Enter David Godes and Dina Mayzlin,  assistant professors at Harvard Business School and the Yale School of Management, respectively, who have published a 44-page study of the word-of-mouth phenomenon, how to measure it and specifically how it relates to television ratings.

Among their findings:  early conversations are the most important in creating buzz and breadth is more important than volume.

"It may not matter if the new version of Hollywood Squares is enthusiastically discussed among Hollywood Squares viewers, but when discussion moves to the viewers of ER and American Idol, that's buzz."

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