advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Consumer generated mediocrity.

Steve at Adrants announced the latest CGM bandwagon jumper is now Doritos. He summed it up perfectly by asking who needs agencies, but I feel a need to go off even more:

CGM is just too easy a way out for brands these days. The latest gotta-have/me-too ad strategy. As this advertising mediocritization continues, (or unless one of the contestants figures out how to make Burt Reynolds funny), I say like bell-bottoms and disco before, it’s time to thin the CGM herd.

There’s a reason I’m not a mechanic for a living and my neighbor isn’t in advertising. I can’t figure out my Camry’s fuel injection and he can’t write copy. Sorry, but CG-whatevuh lowers the bar. Oh I’m sure agencies are just glad to have people off the street submit ideas that look like they were shot off a trooper’s dashboard cam.

It’s like open tryouts in the NFL.

Sure, one dude who played a little ball in high school slips under the radar and gets a shot with the Eagles. Rare exception. You’d have more luck getting Stephen Hawking to pitch a no-hitter against the Yankees in the playoffs than to get consistently good ideas this way. (You laugh, but if the dude can find a black hole 4 gajillion miles away in the dark, finding low and away against Jeter ain’t so hard.)

So what will some of these ideas be? Lemmee guess. If it doesn’t approach the homemade video feel of the stuff Vonnage ran with the guy on the trampoline and The’s playing, how about a spot with dogs humping each other while their owners drink beer in the background? Awesome! Send it in. Maybe even YouTube it.

Oh wait! Car + plywood + lighter fluid + pool = x-games home edition. Sweet!

WHOA!!!! Roof + Patio umbrella minus (gas grill) x 400 cans of shook Bud cans opening all at once = rad, man. Get the camera. Who jumps first? Uh-oh. Don’t they already have these spots done though? Oh yeah. It’s called Jackass. (Only thing is, maybe the neck braces in these can have a Doritos logo on them?)

NOTE TO BRANDS: Want consumer-like ideas that you’re not getting from your agency causing you to run promotions like this? (Which is what I suspect may be the reasoning behind this CGM trend.) Well, maybe it’s not their fault.

Take the handcuffs off and let them come up with far-out shit. You’ll get creative 1,000 times better than any contest will produce. Blaming your agencies because you’re not getting what you want is your fault. Try letting them work without all the limits you place on them.

You might be surprised.

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Moda di Magno said...

Awesome. Just awesome. Thank you for saying what needed to be said. Take the handcuffs of indeed!

Anonymous said...

Oh, look -- I found my devil's advocate hat! One thing consumer generated marketing does that ad agency creative can't do as authentically is give loyalists an ownership stake in the brand identity, or at least the impression of one. Secondly, I've often heard "edgy" advertising defended with the mirror-to-culture argument. "We don't shape culture, we reflect it." If that's true, then what more direct reflection can there be than consumer generated stuff? By the way, can we think of Jackass, and Girls Gone Wild as consumer generated entertainment that is also its own advertising? Corporatocracy for the people. I hate this hat.

Anonymous said...

thanks moda.

ff - I'm taking off the DA cap then to respond, lol. There's a difference though between ownership of a brand and driving it into a ditch. Which is a very real possibility when you turn over control to the customer.

At the end of the day, I think all you’re left with is stunts captured on video by consumers disguised as a contest.

Anonymous said...

I feel there is quite a blog backlash of the Doritos Super Bowl contest and other user generated promotions. Personally, I find these promotions to be an amazing creative outlet and am inspired to make more fun videos! Like.....this....Doritos one!