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Contagious: Why Things Catch On

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  16,564 ratings  ·  1,424 reviews
New York Times bestseller and named Best Marketing Book of 2014 by the American Marketing Association

What makes things popular? 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?

If you said advertising, think again. People don't listen to advertisements, they listen
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Simon Schuster (first published March 1st 2013)
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Dirk Vanbeveren I read some in "Thinking Fast and Slow" And some conclusions i got out of is that people are just more likely to go with what they're used to. Like…moreI read some in "Thinking Fast and Slow" And some conclusions i got out of is that people are just more likely to go with what they're used to. Like how Trump did it. Everyone hear of him all the time, so even if he was good or bad, people voted for him. Others were more forgotten.

A variation of this technique is also used in radio stations. "the sandich". Where a new song is put between 2 good songs, over and over. That way people link the "good" also to the new song. I read this in a book about habits.

So basically if you apply this to how people think the way they do, it is what they hear and see all the time which makes them think the way they do. Maybe you've already heard the sayings "you are the average of the 5 people that surround you", well it explains that you become like the people around you and will be thinking like them.
Now, in the recent world we also have movies and series that people look at. So this makes people also influenced by that. This means that people will also be thinking like everything they watch, inclusing youtube.
This could be why advertisements could be so effective..(less)

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3.92  · 
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Jan 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
If this material is enough to cover an entire Wharton MBA course, then I'm not sure what that says about Wharton's program. There is just not that much information in this book far beyond common sense most people already intuitively know. I had been looking forward to this book release as the topic is interesting and even possesses its own themed six characteristics, conveniently ascribed the acronym STEPPS, which the author Jonah Berger explains contributes to why products or ideas become conta ...more
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Animated Book Review

Contagious is a well-written book for marketers, full of interesting stories. If you are interested why people talk about certain things more than about others this book can explain it perfectly.

Here is a link to the animated summary:
Sporting a business degree (advertising/PR/Marketing) under my belt means that I view the world, consumer and otherwise, in a marketing sense. Although I can predict trends and see market value; I was very curious about why ideas and brands affect us. That is where Jonah Berger’s “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” came into the picture.

“Contagious” begins with an almost 30-page introduction which appears to summarize the book instead of provoking interest, causing some trepidation. However, movi
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a fun book, full of ideas for advertising new ideas or products. It contains many good anecdotes about promotions that worked and didn't work. For example, there is a description of a youtube video that went viral, that advertised a blender--and boosted sales enormously. Then there is a video that went viral, and advertised a casino--but didn't boost sales at all. Why not? The video had absolutely nothing to do with the casino--it was just a catchy video!

The author, Jonah Berger, is a pr
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up in my local library, only intending to flick through a few pages. Some 50 pages later, I realised I couldn’t put the book down! I think that is testament alone to author Jonah Berger knowing what he’s talking about in regards to making something viral or “contagious”.

This book is really a study of human behaviour and psychology more than anything else, which is why I found it so interesting. I soon began to look at advertisements and social media from an entirely new perspe
Olga Pogynaiko
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Думаю, що не скажу нічого нового, означивши "Заразливого" як дуже прикольну книжку. І дуже корисну. Особливо якщо ви працюєте, приміром, у книжковому бізнесі і ваше маленьке (ба навіть середнячкове) видавництво не має окремого маркетолога в штаті. Ну або ви маєте свій маленький бізнес - мрію життя і теж не маєте "спеціально навченої людини", а продавати ж треба... У сучасному світі взагалі ВСЕ треба продавати, що цукерки, що книжки, що свої фантастичні ідеї або чудові вміння.
Що робить у своїй к
Atila Iamarino
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Um livro com ótimas ideias, recomendado para criadores, que é longo demais para o que precisa transmitir. Jonah Berger trabalhou com quais tipos de notícias do NYTimes mais foram compartilhadas (trabalho que citei no Nerdologia, inclusive) e pode falar como poucos sobre o que é mais compartilhado na internet. E dá ótimos insights sobre como informação útil, que desperta emoções motivadoras e boas histórias são compartilhadas.

Isso tudo poderia ser resumido em muito menos páginas. Boas ideias, com
Paul Pessolano
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
“Contagious, Why Things Catch On” by Jonah Berger, published by Simon and Schuster.

Category – Business

I can’t remember the last time a business book had me up all night reading. Although I am retired I found this book fascinating on several levels.

Jonah Berger is a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has studied Marketing and has come up with six elements that will make a product “Contagious”. The basic idea is to make a product “viral”, that is, to have the pr
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great marketing book and a good way to see why some of the dollars you spend are not working. It's interesting to take the 6 factors discussed and review them against your corporate advertising. Does your company have any ideas that fit those factors that would make them great items to share and if not, how can you start too.

Also liked the discussion on vaccines where one physicians publication started tons of rumblings in the medical field around it being a cause of a neurodisorder. This was u
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Когато получиш такава сърдечна и откровена препоръка, каквато аз получих за тази книга, не ти остава нищо, освен да я потърсиш веднага и да я прочетеш.
"Заразително" е книга за стъпките, които една идея извървява, за да стане вайръл. Защо и как се случва това? Всъщност нещата звучат очевидно, но се оказва, че не са. Механизмите за въздействие са уникално интересни и лесни за изпълнение. Разбира се, има променливи в уравненията, но тук вече идват личната креативност и находчивост.
Надявам се, че ск
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Умно и стегнато написана книга за механизмите, които могат да помогнат на дадено съдържание или идея да станат популярни (или вирусни, ако следваме онлайн терминологията). В нея няма да се натъкнете на излишни приказки и преповтаряне на очевидни неща, нито на готови рецепти за мигновен успех, защото такива няма. Ако някой твърди обратното, значи е откровен лъжец или най-малкото манипулатор.

Джона Бъргър представя конкретни примери от практиката, които са разгледани детайлно и техният успех е анал
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Sock puppets move on......

Contagious: Why Things Catch On  
So I won this in a goodreads give away. 

It was an interesting book, if only because it solidified the fact that I would never want to work within any profession where this book is applicable.
It serves its purposes (FOR ME) in  explaining in a very, very basic manner the tactics used to establish the worthiness/useability of a product.
I assume it's very practical for any business person, and I assume it will be picked up and use in n
Srikanth Krishnamurthy
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent and Informative Book with many examples to explain the concept of “Contagious” and how many things become viral and are spreaded. Of the six wonderful principles (STEPPS) explained i believe that word of mouth is most effective. Everyday interactions we have with other people in life are definitely contagious in some way or the other. Also there are many day to day activities such as knowledge , laughter , passion and so forth are already contagious in our life. The best part of our kn ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book about marketing and how it works on people. Of course not all advertising works and there are examples of some of those. I did not know most of the references that the author mentioned. His book is for the world of the materialistic and I am not one of them. I was hoping for more of a book to understand "why" people fall for the gimmicks, want status symbols, and buy what they buy. I don't get trends/fads or why so many people buy the things they do. I wanted to get inside their heads ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
It's not particularly well written, nor is it (despite its claims) in the least scientific, but this book offers lots of cute stories and plenty of click-bait YouTube fodder. It's an extremely lightweight read. In a few years it will seem fiercely dated, but at least the advertising principles won't stop working, whatever the medium.
Jay Connor
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jonah Berger has given us a very good read that builds on "Switch" and "The Tipping Point." In essence we are introduced to a means to put into practice what were simply observations in the Heath's and Gladwell's separate takes on how to influence others. Those of us who work across sectors in community are always trying to find the magic formula for engaging and moving our respective audiences to action.

For Berger, there are six essential factors that contribute to contagious ideas: think of th
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Contagious is one of those books that is destined to become essential business reading, especially for the marketer. In some ways, it reminded me of "Made to Stick" and the Tipping Point, but it did have it's own messaging. (By the way, the author Jonah Berger was mentored by Chip Heath, the author of Made to Stick)

The book focuses on the reasons why things stick through the six elements of the STEPPS model presented in the book:

Social Currency - we share things that make us look good
Triggers -
Renee Dechert
Mar 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
You'd think a book that explores the mechanics of going viral would be, well, interesting -- that it would embody the concept it was exploring. I found this dull and not terribly informative. I noticed that a number of reviewers received free copies -- I assume the publisher was attempting to generate some buzz. I paid for my copy and wish I'd spent the money on something more, well, buzz-worthy.
Guilherme De Azevedo
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very useful book for anyone wishing to have an impact with ideas.
You can have a pretty good overview of the book in this 4 minute video I made with a summary on it.
Hope you enjoy:
Aaron Thibeault
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
*A full executive summary of this book is available here:

It is only recently, with the rise of the internet, that the term ‘viral’ has gone, well, viral. But the phenomenon of social pandemics—ideas, products and behaviors, that catch on and spread quickly and widely—has been around presumably as long as sociality itself. The phenomenon is interesting in its own right, for it says something meaningful about our psychology and how we interact. However, und
Cara Putman
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The content was good, but I would have loved more depth on how to apply the author’s ideas and research. The anecdotes were helpful, but more would have helped. It was an approachable read on how ideas take off and become contagious.
Bibash Sapkota
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
तपाईँको लयापटपमाथि हेरनुस त ! कमपनीको लोगो किन तयता पटटि फरकिएको छ ?
चाउचाउहरूले किन आशचरयजनक तथय लेखेको कुपन राखछन ?
Ncell लाई Paisa Back अफरबाट के फाइदा हुनछ ?
MRRमा Group मेमबर बनन राखिएको Restrictionले गरुपको लोकपरियतामा कसतो असर पारेको होला ?
तपाईलाई यसता परशनहरूको उततर जानन मन छ भने "Contagious: why things catch on" नामक पुसतक उपयोगी हुन सकछ ।
कुनै कुरा किन भाइरल बनछन, अरू किन बनदैनन भनने विषयबसतु समेटिएर लेखिएको किताब हो । तर यसले भाइरल भइसकेका कुराहरूको विशलेषण गरछ । कुनै कुरा भाइरल बनछ कि बन
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is useful for presenting a framework for how to think about making an idea, product or service contagious. While the contents of the book are nothing truly radical (after all marketing, in some form or the other, has existed for millennia), it is helpful to break down some of the art into easy-to-follow guidelines. Most of the examples provided are quite good, however, the book itself could have been more concise and organised. The basic STEPPS framework is as follows:

* Social Currency
Saleh MoonWalker
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
کتاب تقریبا کوتاهیه و با توجه با تاریخ نگارش این کتاب، میشه گفت که کتاب بروزی در این زمینه هستش. دسته بندی موضوعی کتاب خوب صورت گرفته. نویسنده تاپیک اصلی رو به شش بخش مختلف تقسیم کرده و هر بخش رو به صورت جدا توضیح داده، مثال زده و داستان هایی که در اون زمینه وجود داره رو بیان کرده. همچنین نویسنده در متن اصلی، از منابعی که برای نوشتن متنش استفاده کرده نام برده و بخشی از اون متن رو هم ذکر کرده. البته تنها نکته ای که به نظرم جالب نبود در این اثر، این بود که سبک نوشتاری این کتاب مثل کتاب های آموزش م ...more
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
We've all looked at our computer screens and wondered, sometimes with disgust, how the latest viral video got so popular. Why are people sharing something that seems so useless over and over? Why do I keep seeing the same story from multiple people? What is making me want to click that share button?

Jonah Berger ventures into answering those questions in his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On. After identifying six elements that help ideas stick, Berger walks through examples of each element, g
Йона Бергер вивів дуже чіткі і легкі до запам’ятовування принципи віральності (вірусного поширення інформації). Резюме цієї книжки можна розмістити на кількох сторінках, а самі принципи вписуються у виведену автором формулу "STEPPS". все інше - тільки ілюстрації прикладами з реклами та маркетингу, що є впізнаваними більше за кордоном, ніж у нас. Проте висновки, до яких прийшов автор, хоч і не багаточисельні, зате не голослівні - вони підкріплені дослідженнями і масштабним аналізом віральних мате ...more
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book is perfect for anyone getting into marketing for this first time, and wants a 101 on Content and 'Viral' marketing

The examples used are from viral videos in the late 2000's and very early 2010's. It's hard to take a book seriously when what is written in this book is now commonplace through the internet.

A 2-page TL;DR or 20-slide presentation, would have been a perfect way to digest this instead of reading the entire book. The introduction actually does a pretty good job of doing that
Relax, you're doing fine
Một quyển sách ổn. Nó cho mình một vài ý tưởng khá hay ho.

Mình thích phần cảm xúc. Tác giả chứng minh được con người lan truyền thông tin không phải chỉ vì cảm xúc tích cực hay hài hước, mà còn vì cảm xúc tức giận. Điều này giải thích được vì sao những tin tiêu cực có thể lan truyền chóng mặt, dù rằng tất cả chúng ta thích mọi người nhìn nhận bản thân là một người tốt. Khi cảm thấy tức giận vì có cảm giác bị đối xử bất công như khi thấy các quan chức hối lộ, trong khi mình vất vả với cuộc sống
Mirek Jasinski
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marketing, psychology
Berger introduces a nice model - STEPPS:
- Social Currency;
- Triggers;
- Emotion;
- Public;
- Practical Value;
- Stories
But even after reading it a number of times, I still do not know how to make things viral. :)
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
First, I want to disclose that I received this book for free.

Secondly, I think it's definitely worth picking up. I enjoyed a lot of the references the book makes to social currency and things that have been viral hits in the marketing world. It makes the book feel very current. That being said, I'm not sure if this book would age very well. Although the author breaks things down (almost to too much of an extent for my liking) the examples are ones that are only relevant to people who have spent
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FULL Creative Lib...: Contagious 1 11 Mar 05, 2014 10:56AM  
Goodreads All Sorts: This topic has been closed to new comments. Contagious Book Giveaway! 115 127 Apr 01, 2013 10:51AM  
To November 2nd Winners: Anyone got copy of book? 1 21 Nov 30, 2012 07:49PM  
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Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior.

Dr. Berger has spent over 15 years studying how social influence works and how it drives products and ideas to catch on. He’s published dozens of articles in top-tier academic journals,
“People don't think in terms of information. They think in terms of narratives. But while people focus on the story itself, information comes along for the ride.” 17 likes
“Virality isn’t born, it’s made.” 10 likes
More quotes…