Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Bottom-line social media is social interaction enhanced by web-based technologies. Furthermore, social media facilities buzz marketing. Hundreds of years ago, the first evidence of buzz marketing was people who were paid to stand up at designated passages of the opera to applaud/yell “Bravo!” These people were known as a claque.

Read On:
I learned this tidbit of information in a great book, Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand written by Marian Salzman, Ira Matathia and Ann O’Reilly. By means of anecdotes and case studies, the authors explored the subject of buzz marketing, a topic about which I am extremely passionate. P.T. Barnum was a pioneer of buzz marketing. Ford Motor Company was an early adopter of buzz marketing when they introduced the Mustang back in 1964; first at the New York World’s Fair and then by providing free cars to select BMOC (Big Men On Campuses – jocks, DJs, etc.). Fast forward to the digital world of 2010, buzz marketing movements are being executed daily, thanks to the advent of social media platforms.

This past weekend I needed to take a break from my digital cocoon and decided to go see
Waste Land (http://www.wastelandmovie.com/) a documentary for the second time. That is correct, a second time. The film follows contemporary artist Vik Muniz's journey back to his native Brazil for a good deeds art project. He recreated out of garbage, photographic images of catadores (people that work picking out recyclable materials at Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest garbage dump). He then sold his art and gave all the proceeds back to the catadores for equipment and education. Before entering the theater, I slyly suggested to my Mother that we were going to test being a claque and applaud at the end of the film. I am proud to report, we were a successful claque. More importantly, by writing this blog, I hope to further spread the buzz about Vik Muniz, artist, social activist who continues giving back to the impoverished people of Brazil.



  1. Great post - thanks for the insightfulness and the documentary recommendation!

    That said, I'd like to point out quality versus quantity. There can be lots of buzz but if there's nothing to back it up, the buzz will go bust.

    Also, the celebrity digital deaths to raise $1MM for World Aids Day was a bust. After one week, they had only raised 450K which questioned the influencer power of celebrities in social media. Stewart Rahr made up the difference and now Usher is back to tweeting as much as he wishes.

    I love buzz but let's make sure it's not smoke and mirrors.

  2. Parissa:

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, thanks to the numerous platforms there is so much noise out there. In addition, as we have discussed before, what is authentic and what is staged (e.g., Wheat Thins). For me good buzz is a movement, a movement that transcends many different forms of word of mouth. I posted Bravo, because I hope someone left the movie after we all applauded and told a friend, texted a friend, posted a blog like I did, talks about it in their film group, etc. Waste Land, Vik Muniz deserve the buzz.

  3. The sound of one hand claquing...

  4. Bravo! I'll help you claque for Muniz.

  5. Thank you everyone. Our claque is growing as we wait for the fat lady to come out and sing.

  6. Wow, I haven't heard of this movie before. But, I am a fan of the Sundance channel, and I think I might like this. Thanks Jim!