Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Jonah Berger. Simon & Schuster, $26 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4516-8657-9
Faster-spreading than the flu are the ordinary conversations people have about products and ideas, according to this infectious treatise on viral marketing. Drawing on his own nifty research, Wharton marketing professor Berger investigates all manner of phenomena—surging name brands, chic restaurants, YouTube hits, most–e-mailed articles—that catch on through word-of-mouth popularity. There are discernible dynamics behind the apparent chaos of trendiness, he argues: we naturally want to talk about things that seem fashionable, secretive, useful, or remarkable, that arouse our emotions, that come to mind frequently in mundane settings, and that wrap themselves in compelling stories. He applies these principles to illuminate a slew of marketing and PR conundrums, explaining why a Philadelphia restaurant prospered by charging $100 for a cheese steak, why “Just Say No” ads may make kids say yes, why people sometimes pay more to get a discount, and why that Budweiser commercial featuring dudes saying “Wassup?” was a stroke of genius. Berger writes in a sprightly, charming style that deftly delineates the intersection of cognitive psychology and social behavior with an eye toward helping businesspeople and others spread their messages. The result is a useful and entertaining primer that diagnoses countless baffling pop culture epidemics. Agent: James Levine, Levine/Greenberg Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2012
Release date: 03/05/2013
Show other formats
FORMATS
Book - 978-1-4423-5938-3
Compact Disc - 6 pages - 978-1-4423-5937-6
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4516-8659-3
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4711-1171-6
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.