Advertising can be contagious

David Penn

Just as ideas that move or inspire people spread rapidly, contagious ad campaigns can reinvigorate brand engagement

Contagion in marketing is all around us and always has been – yet it's tempting to believe that it was born in the age of the internet and social media. It's true that Facebook, Twitter et al have facilitated a sharing of knowledge on a scale and at a rate hitherto undreamt-of in the pre-internet age, but that doesn't make social contagion and social media synonymous. Social media is a means by which information can be shared, rather than a reason for doing so. Thus 'social objects' – the ideas we talk about with others – tend to arise because of the intense emotional relationship we have with them.Why? Because we generally talk about the things and ideas we care about. Here are some examples: