Synopses & Reviews
New York Times bestseller
What makes things popular?
If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?
Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He’s studied why New York Times articles make the paper’s own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.
Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.
"Before something can go viral, it must be contagious. Drawing upon his numerous academic publications and the work of others in a variety of fields, Berger explores the essential elements of how ideas, products, and organizations become very popular very quickly and unlike other authors, his answers don't necessarily point to social media. Keith Nobbs narrates in a youthful, slightly nasal voice and this makes his performance all the more effective, as a youthful voice, rather than an older one, is better suited to explain the dynamics of popularity. Nobbs's reading is nuanced and will help listeners navigate the author's anecdotes and research. On its own, the author's prose is engaging, but with Nobbs's narration, the audiobook feels almost conversational, making Berger's book even more accessible. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (March)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Why do some ideas seemingly spread overnight, while others disappear? How can some products become ubiquitous, while others never gain traction? Jonah Berger knows the answers, and, with Contagious, now we do, too." < b=""> Charles Duhigg <> , author of the bestselling < i=""> The Power of Habit <>
“If you are seeking a bigger impact, especially with a smaller budget, you need this book. Contagious will show you how to make your product spread like crazy.” < b=""> Chip Heath <> , co-author of < i=""> Made to Stick <> and < i=""> Decisive <>
“Jonah Berger knows more about what makes information ‘go viral’ than anyone in the world.” < b=""> Daniel Gilbert <> , Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of < i=""> Stumbling on Happiness <>
"A provocative shift in focus from the technology of online transmission to the human element and a bold claim to explain 'how word of mouth and social influence work . . . [to] make any product or idea contagious." < -="" i="" -=""> - < -="" b="" -=""> - Kirkus Reviews - < -="" -=""> - < -="" -="">
“An infectious treatise on viral marketing. . . . 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.” < -="" i="" -=""> - < -="" b="" -=""> - Publishers Weekly - < -="" -=""> - < -="" -="">
“Jonah Berger is as creative and thoughtful as he is spunky and playful. Looking at his research, much like studying a masterpiece in a museum, provides the observer with new insights about life and also makes one aware of the creator's ingenuity and creativity. It is hard to come up with a better example of using social science to illuminate the ordinary and extraordinary in our daily lives.” < b=""> Dan Ariely <> , James B. Duke professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and bestselling author of < i=""> Predictably Irrational < p=""> <>
Why do certain products and ideas go viral? Dynamic young Wharton professor Jonah Berger draws on his research to explain the six steps that make products or ideas contagious.
Why do some products get more word of mouth than others? Why does some online content go viral? Word of mouth makes products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. It’s more influential than advertising and far more effective.
Can you create word of mouth for your product or idea? According to Berger, you can. Whether you operate a neighborhood restaurant, a corporation with hundreds of employees, or are running for a local office for the first time, the steps that can help your product or idea become viral are the same.
Contagious is filled with fascinating information drawn from Berger’s research. You will be surprised to learn, for example, just how little word of mouth is generated online versus elsewhere. Already praised by Dan Ariely and Dan Gilbert, and sold in nine countries, this book is a must-read for people who want their projects and ideas to succeed.
About the Author
Jonah Berger is Associate Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His research has been published in top-tier academic journals, and popular accounts of his work have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Science, Harvard Business Review, and more. His research has also been featured in the New York Times Magazine’s “Year in Ideas.” Berger has been recognized with a number of awards for both scholarship and teaching. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Keith Nobbs has appeared on Broadway in The Lion In Winter and off-Broadway in Dog Sees God, Romance, The Hasty Heart, Bye Bye Birdie, Dublin Carol, and Four (Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk Nomination). His film credits include Phone Booth, Double Whammy, and 25th Hour. Television credits include The Black Donnellys (series regular), Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and The Sopranos.