Monday, March 30, 2009

Motivation to Share

The "Elaboration Likelihood Model" has become a popular psychological perspective on the processes of persuasion. The model focuses on "motivation to process" the information in persuasive messages. "Strong verbal arguments" are said to be the source of the strongest persuasive effects.

This recent viral commercial for Samsung suggests "motivation to share" may be a more promising concept these days. Persuasion is not so much about making "strong arguments" as it is about making a human connection.

This work was done by the:viral:factory, the agency based in London and Santa Monica.

That was a nice touch dotting the "i" in "fin" at the very end.

Copyright © 2009 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Petty was talking about the recipient's motivation to process the message, whereas the "motivation to share" indicates the intention of the sender instead. Correct?

    That's a significant (and in the case of viral videos, a necessary) shift. Because with viral videos, most of the senders were first recipients. "Motivation to share" becomes critical when the video isn't backed by a multi-million dollar ad buy.

  2. Jonathan...excellent point to raise. Ultimately both concepts reside in the minds of message recipients. However, both motivation to elaborate and to share are also of critical interest in the development of messages by the sender.

    "Motivation to share" arises from the fundamental need to maintain or increase social currency within primary and secondary groups. And so the concept is key, as you indicate, to the self-generating audience on the Web.

    Thanks for your comment!