Thursday, May 25, 2006

Brains on Fire Reflection

--> As we all know, our class recently finished our first major WOM marketing project. My group analyzed Brains on Fire's Rage Against the Haze anti-teen smoking campaign. I think everyone in the group took away different things from the campaign that they considered to be the most important. We all learned a lot about creating effective and successful WOM and viral marketing campaigns.

In our group papers, we had to identify what our company had learned from the campaign. Then we had to apply what they learned to our own group's hypothetical future design of a word of mouth project. Well I would like to share what I learned from, and consider to be the most important aspect of, Brains of Fire's RAGE program.

Brains on Fire approached the project with a specific vision. The vision was to have the teens of South Carolina to spread the word against smoking to the other teens. Because as we all know, if an adult says it's uncool, it's cool. If a peer says it's uncool, then it becomes uncool. Brains on Fire identified and recruited RAGE candidates to assist the movement. By doing this, Brains on Fire identified and engaged their movement Influencers. Now here comes what I consider to be the ingenious part of the plan. Brains on Fire took their teen influencers and created a program that would teach them to become even better influencers. They taught the teens (through a top secret program) how to effectively utilize the WOM tools provided. They taught the teens how to generate buzz and increase RAGE awareness. By doing this, Brains on Fire created the necessary RAGE influencers and program environment. They took the tools they had to create a more sustainable movement. They did not just locate influencers, they made more effective ones. This is what ultimately led to the success of the movement. Their teens were pros at recruiting new members and spreading the RAGE word. Brains on Fire didn't just take what they could get, they designed a program to make what they needed.

This lesson is what I learned from Brains on Fire. Think outside the box. There are tools staring you in the face, you just have to cultivate the idea. Of course the situation changes, and the application can not always be to just train your influencers (because as we learned in class, this is not always considered ethical). However, find an aspect of the program that you can manipulate to increase your WOM program's success.

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