30 July 2008

+ Home Made Videos

This post stems from an article suggesting The Gruen Transfer had received over 6,100 user generated submissions on their website. As of the end of the season tonight, I've read it's reached 10,000. If this is true, the guys behind it must be ecstatic.

The question I feel most important here; What is the purpose of user generated content? I'm going to go ahead and suggest the answer would be the interaction with the brand. Or at least should be. If you're going in looking for free advertising you're doing it for the wrong reasons.

The user generated content on The Gruen Transfer's website follows a template. This template allows users to easily make an advertisement in five minutes or so. This is great because it allows the low involvement users to get involved and also means 10,000 entries. A similar concept has been used for Design A Coke.

But this limits the user's creativity. As a result you have 10,000 entries that all look the same and because of that most of them are only viewed a couple of times at most. Most importantly the interaction with the brand is limited. Whilst I understand you need different levels of entry for interaction, I'd much prefer a passionate user who spends two hours interacting with my brand than fifty people who spent five minutes.

A passionate user is likely to then upload it to YouTube. Then they're more likely to send it to their friends. Then they're more likely to check back on it regularly. They're also more likely to create something remarkable not restricted to a template.

Essentially, as with most things, it comes back to Seth Godin's idea of "who" instead of "how many".

3 comments:

  1. Similar format but 100 time better was done by the NAB for the Socceroos' trip to the World Cup. Don't know where you'd find it, but I'm sure there's a good case study in it somewhere.

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  2. What if the idea behind it is to propagate messages through peoples social network.

    What if it is more than just the interaction between the direct producer and the brand. But what if it is about the relationship that the brand gets to have with not just the producer but also the producers friends?

    What if 10,000 of those people sent it to their facebook friends and told them to check it out, or vote for me! Wouldnt that be much more powerful than your one person who is getting all up and cosy with the brand for 2 hours?

    What if you only need 5 minute engagement with the brand to decide to buy it or change your perception. Who said that you need to spend 2 hours with the brand? I think it depends on the brand and the context.

    But what we should be concentrating on is breaking down the barriers to send messages on and creating valuable ideas worth spreading.

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  3. @ Stan

    Thanks for the heads up.

    @ Julian

    Interesting posts. But the problem with that is these 10,000 people didn't send it out to their friends. The view count is very minimal on the majority of them.

    So perhaps an effective UGC campaigns requires some sort of incentive for the consumer to pass the content along? A "Vote for Me" thing only works to a point (The Gruen Transfer didn't even have that!)

    Great feedback, thanks Jules.

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