Humour Goes Viral

Humour Turns E-Mail Viral

A study by Sharpe Partners, an interactive marketing agency, revealed that 89% of adult Internet users in America share content with others via e-mail. This is excellent news for those companies who use self-propelling word-of-mouse” e-mail techniques to sell their products.

The study generated some interesting results regarding the type of content that is most often forwarded, as well. The most popular content is humorous material.

The second most popular category is news, followed by healthcare and medical information, religious and spiritual material, games, business and personal finance information and sports/hobbies. in that order. So it is easy to see that humour is the best content for your viral e-mail campaign.

Cartoons, jokes and funny video clips are among the things that can be added to an e-mail to insure that it will go viral. People will want to pass along something that makes them laugh.

They are a lot more likely to hit the forward button and send your email to their friends and relatives if it is an “advertainment” rather than an advertisement.

Not long ago, about 35 million people got an e-mail containing a picture taken in Disneyland. It took a minute to see it but there was Donald Duck lying prone in front of the famous Cinderella Castle. The title of the picture was “Bird Flu has hit Disneyland”. It was a viral e-mail advertising Disneyland and used the edgy strategy of making light of what’s serious. and it works.

I’d guess that most people who own a computer have seen that picture. and thus the advertisement for Disneyland. The bird flu epidemic is newsworthy and has the potential to attract an enormous amount of attention to any brand that might, for whatever reason, associate itself with it.

Remember Humour Goes Viral

Xmas special: gift psychology and psychology gifts

Psychology-themed gifts:

Inception DVD – Jungian symbolism, action adventure and Leonardo DiCaprio!

A subscription to Scientific American Mind magazine.

“I’m statistically significant” and other stats-themed t-shirts.

Memento DVD – the best amnesia movie that we can remember.

The Force Trainer – Become a Jedi: wireless headset interprets your brainwaves and moves an object.

“Connect it” brain/usb t-shirt.

Mindflex brainwave game – go head to head with a friend.

A subscription to The Psychologist magazine.

Serotonin necklace.

Freudian slippers.

Dopamine t-shirt.

Inflatable brain.

Ramon y Cajal t-shirt.

Make a donation to Mind – the UK’s leading mental health charity.

The best psychology books of 2011 (and there’s always the new Rough Guide to Psychology by the editor of the Research Digest!)

Gift-giving research

If in doubt, give them what they want. A study published this year suggested people prefer receiving what they asked for, rather than a surprise gift.

Don’t bundle your gifts. Gift receivers rate a single high-value gift more positively than a big gift bundled with a stocking filler.

This study, from 2002, found that money was a poor gift because it doesn’t convey meaningful information about intimacy and can send the wrong message about the relative status between gift giver and receiver.

Be careful when buying a gift for your man. A study from 2008 found that men responded to dud gifts more negatively than women.

Given the choice, people seem to prefer receiving gifts of plenty and practicality over exclusivity.

Finally, don’t forget to say thank you, even if you don’t like the gift you’ve been given.

Merry Christmas! —Post compiled by Christian Jarrett for the BPS Research Digest. Many of the gift Xmas special: gift psychology and psychology gifts