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It's exciting to watch as more and more brands take on this consumer-generated content/ad campaign concept -- and it has been especially noticeable in relation to the Super Bowl (whew.. I had forgotten how the media simply becomes the Super Bowl for a good month...) One thing that has been missing (and I mentioned it in my post on the demise of the Man Laws campaign) is the follow through or continuing story. Therein lies a lot of lost marketing potential....


What I mean is -- there might be huge publicity for consumer-generated ads for Frito-Lay or an auto manufacturer, etc., and the ad may run a few times. But what then?
What Dove has done, that a lot of these other brands haven't (yet), is continued the narrative and planned for the continued consumer-generated content -- either with the same product line or a new one. Their efforts haven't been one-offs, but there has always seemed to be some idea of how to carry on with the information/insights/video they've gathered along the way (be it on a web site or future ad campaigns).
That's why I took note of this recent MediaPost article by Joe Mandese about Ikea's just-launched user-generated bed-making video campaign. As the article reports, the Ikea promotion is being hosted and managed by a new company called Shycast. The contest asks consumers to "break the rules of bed-making" for a $5,000 prize.
It all sounded pretty predictable (but still fun), until I read what Drew Peloso, a founder of Shycast, envisioned for the time beyond such a contest:

"In his wildest imagination, Peloso, a veteran of other social media ventures, says he can foresee these users becoming quasi-celebrity spokesman for the brands they are promoting. 'They're talking about customers doing press tours and treating them like endorsers, because they have ideas that the media would like to hear,' he says."

Yes. I think it is safe to say that a lot of consumers/viewers of the Ikea bed-making videos, for one, would be curious to not only read backstory on the campaigns/video creation, but also to get more of a feel for the people who took the time to create and won the contests etc. There is nothing like hearing the passionate, first-person, referrals of your product's biggest fans.
While there might be issues of then paying those content-generating consumers to be spokespeople and so on - isn't it worth looking into a bit?
The user-generated content phenomenon offers pretty incredible ways to share those stories, and to keep them interweaving with, in and around your brand.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Andrea Learned
Andrea Learned is a noted author, blogger, and expert on gender-based consumer behavior. Her current focus is on sustainability from both the consumer and the organizational perspectives. Andrea contributes to the Huffington Post and provides sustainability-focused commentary for Vermont Public Radio.