QUESTION: WHAT USER-GENERATED CONTENT CAMPAIGNS HAVE IMPRESSED YOU RECENTLY? IN GENERAL, DO YOU THINK ASKING FOR USER CONTENT BUILDS A BOND WITH CONSUMERS, OR DOES IT SIMPLY HAND OFF THE WORK THAT AN AD AGENCY SHOULD BE DOING?
MICHAEL KAHN, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING, PERFORMICS
Drumming up user-generated content is a great way to seek out and promote brand evangelists and influencers. One of my favorite UGC examples is the various Captain Morgan Pose-Off competitions. These have spurred lots of YouTube videos, Facebook groups and images of Captain Morgan fans posing across the Web that effectively promote the Captain Morgan brand. In fact, the Captain Morgan Pose-Off even made it to the end zone in the November Cowboys-Eagles Sunday Night Football Game. Eagles tight end Brent Celek did the Captain Morgan after catching a Donovan McNabb touchdown pass. The “Captain Morgan” touchdown celebration was then promptly banned by the NFL when it was discovered that Captain Morgan was planning on giving a donation to charity every time a camera caught a player doing the pose. The NFL may not have loved the campaign, but consumers around the country are truly engaged with one another and the brand — and that sometimes means more than a touchdown scored by an ad agency.
LINDA GANGERI, MANAGER, NATIONAL ADVERTISING, VOLVO CARS OF NORTH AMERICA
We will always consider social media in our initiatives, but we evaluate its usage carefully. Our recent campaigns for XC60 and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” movie seemed natural for conversations. People are engaged, and we’ve found when the level of contribution required is lower, response tends to be higher. While the number of people actually creating content is lower among Volvo’s target audience, many do contribute, and importantly, they are watching the conversation and joining in.
LOIS K. GELLER, PRESIDENT, LOIS GELLER MARKETING GROUP
The key is relevance to the target audience and the best part is getting people involved with your brand. I’ve never really been happy with the term user-generated content (UGC) because it sounds like Letters to the Editor. I think of it more as a good direct mail involvement device adapted to the quick-as-a-blink world of electronic social marketing. I liked our “Halloween Mask-erade” program for our Willow Stream Spa client. Women uploaded photos of themselves on Facebook (cucumber slices over the eyes, mud masks and all) and won prizes. Tourism Queensland’s “The Best Job In The World” contest, in which one person won a job on the Great Barrier Reef for 6 months by submitting a video application, got 34,000 entries. The winner of Vaseline for Men’s advertising contest — an animated spot with complaining skin — was terrific. I also liked Purina’s Animal All Stars, especially the dog who barks “ I love you.”
ANDY VAN WIE, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, REMINGTON
I’m a firm believer that user-generated content campaigns build a bond between the brand and the consumer. One that I find especially effective is Amazon’s “Vine” Program. It leverages the strength and scale of the Amazon customer community to drive early buzz and word-of-mouth referrals about specific products. As more and more consumers share their opinions, other potential consumers are made aware of the product, increasing its sales potential.
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