Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Consumers make the best content creators

Adweek ran an article that talked about how brands are asking their consumers to create their commericals or webisode story lines. This idea has fascinated me ever since I say 'Meet the Luckys" from Mercury. We tried "Unleash Your Freak" with the Charger launch, and then http://www.wearethemudds.com/, but I am increasingly impressed with how far and how fast this is going.

When you look at http://www.jibjab.com/ or http://www.rosterteeth.com/ or www.icebox.com or http://www.mondomedia.com/ you are looking at very creative, very democratic, and generally irreverant work. But let's face it...most indie work is going to be either very sad or very sarcastic. You will find the anger and angst coming forth with either macabre tales of suicide and deperations or satires where you get to laugh as everyone one tries to "stick it to the man."

I see that James Cameron is even in the game. He wants people to play multiplayer adventure games and then capture their outcomes and make them into movies. This is not as crazy as it seems. In the virtual worlds of SECOND LIFE, you can find far ranging and dynamic relationships that put the Sims to shame. That's because each person is just that...a real person on the other end, living out some type of fantasy, but either being accepted or rejected based upon their social interactions. So whether it is a free-form Halo like game that Cameron makes into the next Terminator, or a relationships virtual world that motivates Woody Allen to make the next romantic comedy, the power if moving to the people!

Stay Connected!

Here's an interesting tidbit...sign up on http://www.unwiredbuyer.com/ and you can receive a call three minutes before the end of an eBay auction. It's free! Now think of the implications of this for all commerce. When more retail services employ the market-based auction sytle of eBay and Syms Clothiers ("An educated consumer is our best customer"), then this type of notification will be common place. The connection between goods and services (favorite sports, play, movie and concert tickets) and your payment service (bank, Paypal) is key to liquidity and efficient markets.

And talk about linking entertainment with reality...Mtv is showing "a day in the life of a recent college grad on their new job," and then inviting viewers to apply for positions in that field on http://www.mtvu.com/! What a genius idea. I have been working on branded entertainment for some time in the areas of autos and movies (google Jeff Bell Jeep Tomb Raider, or Jeff Bell Jeep Sahara, or Jeff Bell Chrysler Firewall), in the hope s of stimulating viewers into wanting to buy our products, but this is much better. It is more organic , and it is more real!

Monday, March 13, 2006

More on Consumer Generated Content

There were two recent citings which affirm the move towards consumer generated content. The first is in Adweek from March entittled, "Brands ask web users to fill in the creative blanks." It tells how Converse sneakers and Mastercard are calling for netizens to provide video and copy for their "mainstream advertising."

The other is a reference in AdAge to GM's campaign to have web users create advertisements for the new Chevy Tahoe, in coordination with The Apprecentice television show.

Both are examples of the move to 1) engage potential buyers of the product 2) mobilize enthusiasts 3) lower production and distribution costs for advertising and 4) improve the "hipness" factor for the brand.