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 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.

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)

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!

Building trust even when you don’t need it: Social Media Marketing

Seth Godin, godfather of good quotes, recently wrote this:

The best time to look for a job next year is right now. The best time to plan for a sale in three years is right now. The mistake so many marketers make is that they conjoin the urgency of making another sale with the timing to earn the right to make that sale. In other words, you must build trust before you need it. Building trust right when you want to make a sale is just too late.

Publishing your ideas… in books, or on a blog, or in little twits on Twitter… and doing it with patience, over time, is the best way I can think of to lay a foundation for whatever it is you hope to do next.

This is why, in my opinion, Social Media Marketing cannot simply be viewed as another tactical discipline within marketing – or even advertising, as many companies might currently think about it. You shouldn’t just do Social Media Marketing as a one-off, as part of a campaign („we’ll have som TV commercials, some online banners, and, let’s see, some social media activities“).

It needs to be a strategic, long term goal to engage in Social Media activities, to build relations with the target audience, and to build trust for those moments, when you (urgently) need to activate your greatest brand/product fans…