User-generated adverts: a good idea?

Yet another gem out of the Microsoft seminar - I think the example is probably relatively widely-known, but I hadn’t come across it before because it is US-centric. Chevy recently solicited their customers to submit ideas for a new advert for their Tahoe SUV. They set up a site where users could build their videos with sample clips, music and voiceovers. The finished products were submitted to be judged and evaluated so that Chevy could use them in their advertising.

I don’t know exactly what they were expecting, but you have to hope they have a sense of humour, because now, when you search for ‘chevy tahoe’ on either Google or Live (gotta give Live some love for showing me this...), you find Youtube versions that may not have been exactly what Chevy were hoping to achieve:

##My personal favourite: you are God

It’s great to see large companies embracing user-generated content and getting input into their advertising, something as controversial as a gas-guzzling SUV was a pretty brave place to start...

Will Critchlow

Will Critchlow

Will founded Distilled with Duncan in 2005. Since then, he has consulted with some of the world’s largest organisations and most famous websites, spoken at most major industry events and regularly appeared in local and national press. Will is part...   read more

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  1. I think it's a great idea. After all, even though these adverts don't exactly send the message they were intending they're still branding and advertising - they were never going to be marketing to the eco-friendly market anyway. So long as the marketing board are aware they're going to get adverts like this then I think it's a great idea. I love that second one! "WTF How the &%& did you get up there?"

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  2. Yeah - I'm not saying they aren't good for the brand in the end (like you say, they want to appeal to people who will find these funny), but they still have to realise they are going to get this kind of thing out of it.

    Also, if they launch an environmentally-friendly hybrid at some point, they don't particularly want this kind of thing ranking for their brand name...

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