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.
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.