Thursday, September 10, 2009

Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" Consumer Generated Advertising Campaign

This blog is titled Participatory Advertising because it follows a trend in which consumers are, well, generating their own advertising messages and disseminating messages in new ways. Take Doritos, for example, which just announced its newest contest for consumer generated advertising (CGA). The winner will have her or his commercial shown during the February 7, 2010 Super Bowl. Moreover, the winner could earn $5 million, according to an article in today’s USA Today. The contest has its own website Crash the Super Bowl where contestants can upload their commercials and others can view the entries and vote on them. We’ve become familiar with the notion of viral marketing of which this is a great example – the expectation being that through social networking friends and friends of friends will be directed to the website where they can view and vote for what they think is the best commercial. Last year’s prize was $1 million, so the ante has been upped. It will be interesting to see if the amateurish nature of much consumer generated advertising, given this year’s prize, will give way to more professional involvement. At base, I think this is what we’re dealing with regarding consumer generated advertising: the work of amateurs vs. the work of professionals. There’s an interesting book by Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur that speaks to this issue. There is a certain sense of authenticity to amateur production that must be acknowledged, but the nature of these things is that over time they become slicker and slicker, replicating what was there prior to the advent of consumer generated advertising.

1 comment:

Sara Hayward said...

I think that participatory advertising really does work well for companies. Those engaged in making the commercial are more likely to feel a connection to that product, which is what the company wants. I also feel as though when the company hands the advertising over to the audience, it allows them to create their own meanings, which could be dangerous. I'm sure that those who will take the time to make these commercials and those who will vote on them are most likely loyal customers, so I don't think the Doritos company (Frito Lay?) should be to worried. They are letting their customers become involved, which is a great idea.