Consumer created ads – Cure to our ADD?

24 Jun

american_apparel_flickrWith Social Media on the rise, more and more companies are looking to their consumers to help them create campaigns. In previous wall posts, the Doritos campaign was mentioned and its impact on the way companies look at this type of advertising. This has now spread to other sizable companies like Toyota and Sony.

It leaves me thinking whether this is only a trend or if it will become a normal entity of companies’ advertising mix.
Even the highly influential Al Gore has been on the consumer created ads/content bandwagon for some time now with his rapidly growing media company called the Current that streams content and ads created by viewers and professionals. The increasing support for viewer-created advertisement (VCAM) comes from the fact that it is not only considered to involve consumers more in the product and therefore increase brand loyalty but is also considered “green” advertising since no 12 page paper plans, proofs and revision are printed or photocopied and the media does not use any wasteful materials (paper, vinyl, etc.).

With this new trend arising and being further fuelled by the quick growth of Social Media, are advertising agencies being left in the dust?

Agencies will always be needed to create and maintain brand identity and take the consumer created ad and further push it in the marketplace via appropriate media and PR. Also, smaller businesses and non-established brands will need professionally made campaigns to create a reputation, and target people in the appropriate places. Products like Doritos or Axe already have a positive brand that is well recognized. Their audience is also mostly online and has the time to joke around with friends and create a 30 sec viral video.

Even with all the hype and growth of consumer created ads, will it last or will our A.D.D. human nature have us bored with the concept a few years from now?

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