If you haven’t already seen it, you really ought to catch US TV show The Wire which is currently running on the BBC.
Despite being relatively unknown in the UK, its fans are passionate enough to ensure it repeatedly appears in ‘Best TV show of all time’ polls.
A complex look at crime in Baltimore, the show takes a gritty look at life on the streets from a number of different perspectives.
Watching it the other night I was struck with a sudden realisation.
When the drug dealers and other ne'er-do-wells need to communicate with the wider world, they put a gun to someone’s head and tell them to put the word out.
Even the criminal underworld understands the power and authenticity of ‘word of mouth’ when it comes to communicating with a community.
OK, so maybe their activation platform needs a little work (I’m not advocating the loaded gun method), but at least they know that believability comes from personal recommendation.
Having spent years advocating the need to activate an audience of passionate believers, it’s nice to occasionally see a proof-point from the real world that supports the concept.
Although thankfully, firepower hardly ever figures in our repertoire.