jonah berger viral contagious

In boardrooms across the country, advertising execs are scratching their heads as they try to figure out exactly how to make something “go viral.” They know what it means, they know it has potential — but they can’t quite figure out how to make it happen.

Author and marketing specialist Jonah Berger has the answer — and it’s a lot simpler (and more scientific!)  than anyone thinks. In his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Jonah breaks down the key aspects that make something shareable. During SXSW, he shared some of the tips with CreativeLive co-founder Chase Jarvis.

“The more something is top-of-mind, the more it’s tip-of-tongue,” Jonah explains, using the Geico “Hump Day” advertisement as an example — which focuses on Wednesdays, and thus, was shared dramatically more on Wednesdays. The video didn’t have to be funnier or more innovating that any other video — it just had to have a memory trigger than ensured people would be reminded of it every time someone said “hump day.”

“One thing reminds us of something else — this is just one of the scientific principles that drives sharing. Something doesn’t have to be the most remarkable thing thing ever.”

Learn more about the science of social sharing with Chase and Jonah here.