Book Reviews

Book Review: Contagious


Advertising represents a huge segment of the American economy. Millions make a livelihood from copywriting, photography, graphics, layout, printing, magazines, newspapers, TV, marketing, and a host of other industries that contribute to the creation, production, and distribution of medium.

Today, millions listen to their peers, friends, acquaintances and social media more than advertising and other distribution channels.

Assistant professor J. Berger has managed to write a useful book of marketing, packed with examples of campaigns that went viral and backed them by his analysis. He sites the famous cheesesteak of the Barclay Prime restaurant in Philadelphia as a very effective advertising tool that generated something for millions of people to talk about, and thousands to visit the restaurant even if they did not order the famous dish.

He writes about the six important elements of advertising – social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical and stories (STEPPS).

In his belief, these represent the framework of successful and inexpensive publicity.

It also explains why some ideas work, while others don’t.

The entire book is based on the North American way of thinking and consuming, and may not work in other cultures.

Advertisers and marketing specialists are certain to pick up many useful ideas from the advice of the good educator.

His ideas represent a workable model, which must be reworked to fit your business.

If you are trying to increase the effectiveness of your small advertising budget, this book provides many ideas that will help you achieve your objective.

The writing is entertaining, educational, and charming, and clearly demonstrates the boundaries of social behaviour and psychology.

This book should be a must read for all marketing students, marketing professionals, marketing professors, business owners, and managers.

Highly recommended.

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