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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Pharrel vs McDonalds

While in Paris on a connecting flight, Pharrel tries to order a Big Mac while it’s still 6am – and the french staff neither know Pharrel, nor do they want to offer him anything but breakfast – and last but not least they don’t seem to know him and aren’t impressed at all by his musical performance:

McDonalds obviously has nothing to do with it:

A McDonald’s rep confirmed that the stunt wasn’t commissioned by the fast feeder. However, he was impressed with the publicity. The rep said: „We were surprised and entertained by the video of Pharrell performing [our jingle]. We certainly welcome him as a customer, and we appreciated his spontaneous and funky celebration of our food.“

And I wonder: what will McD do next, how will they appropriately (digitally) respond to this video, which gathered half a million views in only a few days?

(Found at Werbeblogger)

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Doritos Superbowl Ad Contest – Update

I already blogged about the current Doritos contest before. At Adrants I just found out about the fact that Doritos has announced their 5 top contestants for the superbowl television commercial. These are:

1. „Free Doritos,“ Joe Herbert, Batesville, IN
2. „New Flavor Pitch,“ Oren Brimer, New York, NY
3. „Power of the Crunch,“ Eric Heimbold, Venice, CA
4. „The Chase,“ Chris Roberts, Burbank, CA
5. „Too Delicious,“ Michael Goubeaux, Los Angeles, CA

One of them will be shown during the superbowl. Even the contestants don’t know yet, which one will be aired. They will have to wait until superbowl sunday, in order to find out whether they won, or not. And they will only win the $1 mio., if the ad tops the USA TODAYs annual Ad Meter.

I don’t know how likely that will be, but if the ad competes against all the other professionally made ads of last year, it will be difficult for this particular consumer to rank high, I guess.

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Doritos asks users (again) to produce a Super Bowl ad.

Doritos engages its target audience once again to produce TVCs for the superbowl. Their shoutout is „take down the ad pros“ / „take the top spot“.

Make it to one of the five finalists and winn $25,000. When voted as the favourite, your ad will get aired during the superbowl. An dif the ad gets to the top spot of the US Today Ad Meter, you win 1,000,000

You can think of any story you like, and should submit a video of not more than 30 secs. In the gallery, there are already 218 spots by now.

On the site, they even provide you with a library of Doritos material, such as product shots, music files and animated logo sequences usually used for the end of a spot by the ad pros. But the story items still need to be shot by the target audience.

While I always liked the idea of consumer generated content, it is stilla cheap means of cutting production costs – in this case to a possible max of $125kfor the finalists plus an undisclosed amount for whoever produced the site and manages the campaign. The 1 million will only be paid out if the spot makes it to number one of the US Today Ad Meter. I don’t know what the chances are in that, but I do know that advertisers can buy insurances for these kind of „risks“. So that the actual sum paid for the insurance premium that pays, in case the 1 million needs to be paid out, can by substantially lower.

(via ad rants)

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The YouTube Star called Fred.

This guy is amazing. He is only 14 years old, yet he has more than 40m video views in total. His YouTube channel has been viewd almost 6m times and he has more than a quarter of a million subscribers. And all he does (from the little I could cope with watching), is talk incredibly fast in an artificially high pitched (pretending to be 6 years old) voice about stuff that matters to kids. It’s a show by kids for kids. Not suitable for anyone over 16. But the kids love him. They

„…just think he’s the funniest thing ever […] fall on the floor hysterically laughing. They’re just mesmerized“ (source)

This is what you get, when you let the crowd do their stuff. Would any CEO of a TV station or production company have signed this concept off or given any budget for it? And how much budget would a professional production company have spent to produce these?

It is surprising, to say the least, what gets popular these days and what doesn’t. Never underestimated user generated content!

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New Pringles spiderman III promo with user generated advertising

Doritos has already made some experiences with user generated content – asking users to submit their homemade ads with the chance of having it aired during the superbowl. We all know how the story ended: a $13 video was put infront of an audience of 90 million people.

Pringles now sponsors Spiderman III and aks people from across Europe
to shoot short films with Pringles as the star of the film.

pringles spiderman promo

In true 2.0 fashion, people can then rate the videos. And of course the videos are hosted on Google Video (why not YouTube?), so they can be spread. Like I am spreading this one here which really looks user generated, yet it is one of the highest ranking videos on the site (no video got more than three stars sofar):


The music is actually the same as in Carltons „Big Ad“. Was that chosen on purpose?

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Links & News, 30.05.07

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