Crowdsourced advertising – the reality behind famous examples.

The Superbowl has yet again been a large show off for TV ads. Even though some argue that the quality of ads has been lower than the previous years, one thing stuck out again: the spots not produced by a typical „Madison Avenue Agency“. Two Doritos spots, allegedly created by consumers, a Google ad produced internally,

NY Times hence wrote an article with the catchy title „Do-it-yourself super ads„, subtitle: „be afraid, Madison Avenue. Very afraid“. The article mentions the user generated spots and their „ranking“ on hulu.com and twitter, deducting that consumer know best what consumers want to see.

Well, that’s only one part of the story. And shall we say: the badly researched part of the story.

AdLab busts that story by stating a few facts that the NY Times should, in fact, have researched.

The first Doritos spot „Underdog“ was created by Joshua Svoboda a 24 year old, who works as a creative director. The second spot „House Rules“ was created by a writer/director from Hollywood.

Even the other Doritos commercials from the previous years plus other „UGC“ clips were apparently created by people already working in film related businesses, states the above mentioned article.

So it wasn’t brand fans or advocates who put in their efforts to create a brand message for the brand they like. It was creative people, producers, writers, who were probably more interested in promoting their own „brand“ through the PR associated with the clip.

It’s not really that surprising. However, the fact that this has not been picked up by the media correctly is suprising. In a way, I also fell for what might be the reason for the whole ignorance: the story of consumers creating ads with only a few hundred Dollars production costs, that are shown during the Superbowl with a mediabudget of more than $2.5 million, reaching more than 100 million viewers – it’s too good.

I work in an ad agency, so I shouldn’t like the idea of consumer generated ads. Yet due to my interest in social media marketing I did in fact like the idea. (And with everything connected to the setup of the contest, there would still be enough scope for agency work…) So it is rather disappointing to find out about the truth behind these famous examples.



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