Just Another Hollywood Gossip

I saw this picture appear on my Facebook news feed this afternoon:

Is Beyonce really preggy?

My initial reaction was, “REALLY? Why the hell does she have to fake a pregnancy bump?” But then, I realized that this is nonsensical and decided to just ignore the whole idea. Less than an hour later, I heard the radio DJ talk about the same gossip. So, I realized that there may be some hint of truth in it. So I Googled it and found that yes, it was a fake pregnancy bump, BUT, Beyonce really is pregnant. Artists need to exaggerate some things when they are on screen, right?

Now we know that it was a fake bump and that Beyonce is pregnant. SO WHAT?

This, my friends, is what we call the Tragedy of Shock.

This is where most advertisements, music videos, and promotional messages fail. They put much effort on the visuals. They invest on shock value, but  forget the real reason why they are doing it in the first place. Thus, they end up receiving awards for creativity, but fail in raising the sales of the product/company. Yes, people will get stunned, surprised and overwhelmed. They will talk about it for a while, but soon, the buzz will be over.


In Em Rosen’s Anatomy of Buzz Revisited, he discussed the importance of BUZZ or word-of-mouth (WOM) in marketing. The basic principle here is: Delight your customers and they will talk about you.  But of course, they will eventually forget about it. The primary challenge here is to generate buzz that will trigger new conversations. Although WOM marketing is more communicated face-to-face, the internet and social media can help in generating buzz. One way of doing this is through viral videos.

One of our requirements for our OrCom 152 (Communication Trends and Styles) class was to make a video viral. After intense and crazy brainstorming sessions, my team came up with this video:

5 of the 7 traits of highly effective viral videos by Tamar Weinberg are inherent in this video.

  1. Identifiable – The video must be about something they can relate to. If the topic revolves only around an issue at your school, many of the viewers will not be able to relate, right? The concept of happiness is universal, thus, the video is identifiable to anyone in the world.
  2. Spontaneous – Don’t be a control freak. Spontaneity encourages surprises and reduces predictability.
  3. Funny – Didn’t you just enjoy watching the victims’ reactions to the pranks in this video?
  4. Creative – Think out of the box, do the unusual. But be cautious in choosing the content of your message. Some things that look creative aren’t always acceptable.
  5. Inspiring – The video promotes an advocacy: spreading happiness! Who wouldn’t smile at the thought of it?

The video has a potential to be viral, but it doesn’t mean that it will be viral. It will still depend on how you market it.

However, the story doesn’t end there. A viral video will generate buzz about your product or company for a week, a month or longer, maybe. Rosen reminds everyone that

The best buzz comes not from clever PR or advertising but rather from attributes inherent in the product or service itself.”

Glitz, shock and glamour can only take you so far as generating buzz. At the end of the day, what matters most is the quality of your products or services and its relevance in your consumers lives.


2 thoughts on “Just Another Hollywood Gossip

  1. Hello Erica!
    It was just surprising for me to see the first picture that you have posted. I think the formula for a rumor to be spread applies to this (rumor=relevance x ambiguity). That photo of beyonce deserves an A for ambiguity. LOL
    Funny and creative videos really seem to have a great possibility of being viral because this is what the audience wants in watching videos. For a different perspective on making viral videos, you may want to read http://hishotness.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/viral-video-101/ since it is very hard to make a formula for making a viral video. 🙂

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