Is the “Exclusivity of Creativity” coming to an end?

Doritos Consumer Generated Media

For the past century, there has been an “exclusivity of creativity” in the world of marketing.  For great advertising, Brand Managers only had one place to turn – Madison Avenue.

But something remarkable happened over the Super Bowl this year that put the “exclusivity of creativity” at risk.  For the third year in a row, Doritos ran a Consumer Generated Media contest for fans to make their ad.  Interesting idea but nothing breakthrough.

But then they added a twist.

If the winning ad was also #1 in the USA Today Ad Meter, then the person would win $1 million.  This would mean that the ad would have to beat ads from Coca-Cola, Budweiser and a host of other top brands.  It would have to beat ads that were the best Madison Avenue had to offer…ads that literally cost millions of dollars to create.

And you know what happened?  It did just that.  An “amateur” from Muncie, Indiana beat out the professionals.  If we look back 10 years from now, I think that is going to mean something.

I think it just might mean the end of the “Exclusivity of Creativity” that has dominated the brand marketing landscape for all these years.

Two must reads on Social Media

While I was on the road this past week, I finally had a chance to finish two books that have been sitting on my nightstand.  Both are must-reads for any marketer/brand manager that is trying to understand the changing landscape that puts the consumer in control:

  • Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Written by my good friend Pete Blackshaw, this book talks about how in a consumer-driven world, business leaders need to establish credibility for their brands by listening and engaging with customers.  My favorite part of the book comes near the end when Pete talks about the Consumer Relations Department.  For years Consumer Relations has been a forgotten cost center, often outsourced to the farthest reaches of the globe in an attempt at lowering costs.  But in today’s world, Consumer Relations is often the front line for listening to consumers.  Pete makes the point for rethinking the Consumer Relations Department by taking money away from Mass Media and investing it to form better relationships with Consumers.  I couldn’t agree more.
  • Groundswell – Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies:  I have become a big fan of Forrester recently and this book does nothing by reaffirm that faith.  Unlike other books on Social Media that focus on the technology, Groundswell focuses on the social shift of how consumers behave and the impact it is having on business.  They do so by looking at 25 real-life case studies of the Groundswell in action, while layering it with deep Forrester data.  They also take the book one step further with not only a great blog, but also a free Social Technographics Profile for your customers.

These two books are at the top of my list for anyone wanting to understand the dramatic change that has taken place in the consumer landscape.  Great stuff.

Weezer creates a great homage to Viral

How many of these great moments in Viral/Online video history can you recognize? Stellar video, especially for Geek Marketers/Weezer fans like myself.

Klondike does it right by not walking away from a great campaign

Catching up on the DVR this weekend, I was watching the season finale of “My Name is Earl” when a great brand integration caught my attention. It turns out that Klondike Bar is bringing back their great jingle of “What would you do for a Klondike Bar” and blasting the message across multiple new media channels.

Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool

Many brand managers/agencies suffer from NCH (Not Created Here), causing them to turn their back on great campaigns/jingles of old. But the smart folks at Klondike are embracing nostalgia in their campaign, but doing it through new tools with Consumer Generated Media, Branded Entertainment and Public Relations.

First, the whole campaign revolves around the “What would you do” contest where you can submit a video showing just what you would do for that Klondike. The top video will be $100K and the chance to meet “The Lonely Island “ team (which in itself is a huge prize for aspiring comedians/writers). Second, they created what I thought was a pretty natural integration with “My Name is Earl” where Randy proceeds to do several “wacky” things to get a Klondike Bar. Third they tied this integration and contest together with spots throughout the show promoting the contest (the spots alone made me laugh out loud…much to the annoyance of my girlfriend). Finally, they added a dose of PR with an appearance on Jay Leno to promote the contest as well. Interestingly, both Earl and Leno are on NBC so this seems to be a top-to-top integration.

All in all, I have to say this is a great way to do Consumer/User Generated Media and New Media thanks to the following:

  1. Klondike didn’t just rely on traditional media & :30 second spots to promote the contest.
  2. They gave consumers a “Creative Brief” to follow with a specific framework “What Would Do” and specific categories: Laughs, Did You See that?, and Flaunt It.
  3. They gave incentives for submitting videos ($$$ and trip) AND for watching/engaging with the videos ($25K for watching/rating videos)
  4. They didnt walk away from nostalgia and try to create a new tagline. More marketers need to stop spending millions to generate awareness of a new tagline that no consumer really cares about anyways.

What do you think? Did Klondike do it right? What elements would you have added or gotten rid of?

Weekly Round-Up 3-6-2008

I am heading off to Las Vegas for a couple of business meetings.  Since I am not sure how much access I will have when it comes to blogging, I wanted to send out my weekly round-up a bit early.  Here’s what caught my eye this:

  • Interactive Marketing in Politics – 10 Takeaways: My friend (and former Mt Adams neighbor) Pete Blackshaw had a great summary of his takeaways from how politicians are using the Net in the Primaries.   Of the 10 he listed, I most connected with the idea of “engage, enroll, and participate”.   Consumers today are action oriented (and politics are so by their very nature) so it is key to actively engage consumers.  All the candidates this year have done an amazing job of giving consumers the tools to engage….brands could learn something from this.
  • Netflix Prize – Getting close to a winner:  The Challenge Dividend gives an update on the Netflix Prize, where the company is offering a prize of $1 million dollars to anyone that can improve their member movie recommendations by 10%.   So far the closest someone has gotten is 8.82%.  Think you can do better?  Well then try your hand at Crowdsourcing and see what happens.
  • In-game ad spending will hit $650 million by 2012 - eMarketer :  Ads in videogames will increase from $295 million in 2007 to $650 million in 2012.  With predictions like that, it sounds like Microsoft made the right move buying Massive to enter that market.