Opening the Black Box of Buzzing Bloggers: Understanding How Consumers Deal With the Tension Between Authenticity and Commercialism in Seeded Word of Mouth Campaigns

Robert Kozinets, York University, Canada
Kristine De Valck, HEC, France
Sarah Wilner, York University, Canada
Andrea Wojnicki, University of Toronto, Canada
Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing has gained ground as a powerful communication tool. One way in which marketers tap into consumers’ WOM potential is by seeding products to influencers. These consumers take on a dual role, being both target and agent in the WOM episode. Because of cultural contradictions between the roles of consumer (authenticity) and marketer (commercialism), this dual role is likely to cause tension. This paper examines how consumer-agents and final target consumers deal with this duality by means of a netnographic study and experiments.
[ to cite ]:
Robert Kozinets, Kristine De Valck, Sarah Wilner, and Andrea Wojnicki (2008) ,"Opening the Black Box of Buzzing Bloggers: Understanding How Consumers Deal With the Tension Between Authenticity and Commercialism in Seeded Word of Mouth Campaigns", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 49-51.