Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cough. Cough. Australia has the UGC bug

I'm faced with 3 branded UGC contests and I don't know where to look. My preference is away.

No.1 is my already spoken about Doritos rip-offski. At least there are some new ads in the mix. But maybe they should have spent more money on the measly $20K prize money over the media schedule.

No.2 is the Subway Shuffle thing. WTF? I think i'll leave it there.

No.3 is Carlton Dry with Team Dry. Even after I had seen the ad it took me ages today, to try and remember what beer it was for and find it online. But, they seem to be going for the Zoo mag lovers, which is quite nice. Everyone knows they're a dedicated audience, devoted to T&A.

The big question? What is the objective?
Yes, I understand getting users to create your communications around your brand, spreads your brand awareness. In actuality, not that many viewers are willing to get off their ass and make your ad for you. The statistic is 1% of online users are creators. Then take 1% of your target, that isn't very many.
So the next performance indicator becomes votes. Voting on the best video. And we've seen that you can get a shitload of votes. Which is great, but all that's happening is increasing the frequency of seeing the brand. Is that it? Just an extension of the existing ad campaign with a little bit more involvement? That's a little media 1.0.

What about sales? Is that just a side affect? As the votes and video views increase, more sales just happen? The problem I see is that there is a call to action to make videos and votes, but no impetus or driver to buy the acutal product. Is this a problem for anyone else?

These 3 brands are putting these contests together, apparently for their consumers, which is lovely and so considerate. Thanks for giving them something to do. But what about marketing goals?
I worked on a product where we were aligned with a TV show. We created additional content for the consumer to view and the videos got more views than episodes of the show. Our sales lifted 13% that year, but that was because in the videos there was a direct message to consumers, that you would need the product in order to achieve what you were viewing in our content pieces.

I applaud these companies for dipping their toes into the icy water. It's hard and a huge risk. But if you forget sales and how to get to sales, I see little or no point in activating UGC directives.

1 comment:

JB said...

spot on Wisey... UGC is bullshit when used like this. Why do I want to make an ad for some company when I know they are too cheap to make an ad themselves? $20k for a prize is bullshit. They would spend $200k minimum for an ad themselves... I'm going to spend a couple of hundred bucks and some production company will beat me because they've got all the gear and resources... so who are they really trying to target here? Why not give the winner the chance to make their own commercial for the company (with the proviso that contestants must have never made an ad before?) Here's an idea... Why not run a competition where all I have to do is buy their product like the good ol' days? Remember the tarax travelling show where you had to collect bottle tops to get free rides on the ferris wheel/dogem cars...? UGC is only good when people can contribute and feel a part of something, not give free content to Multinationals who listen to an agency that can't be bothered coming up with a decent advertising campaign.