Ask your boss if he has teenage kids. If so, ask him to text them and ask if they’ve heard of BuzzFeed.
As Jon Steinberg, BuzzFeed’s former COO, recalls, this trick has an almost 100% success rate—there’s nothing parents want more than to seem cool to their kids.
Addendum (11/10/2014) And from Bake Boznanski, BuzzFeed’s sales director:
“When I talk to somebody who does the traditional online advertising, I ask them, ‘When was the last time you personally clicked on an ad banner?’ It’s usually crickets, so that’s kind of a telltale sign right there. Then I ask, ‘What’s the last advertisement you were so passionate about that you shared with a friend?’ And a lot of times people respond, ‘Well, I don’t really do that.’ That’s where I say, ‘That’s what we do—we want people to not just see an ad but engage with it and share it with their friends and colleagues.’
“We also have a very in-depth dashboard that shows the results of the branded content we work on, so we can show how many engagements a [piece] got, and how many times it was shared and from where. Once you see the data, then you can really tell the story because I think with content in general people are a little skeptical. We have a lot of case stories that show that if you create great content people are going to be more likely to want to work with your brand and buy your product.