Consumer Generated Advertising

August 23, 2006

I’ve already outlined HERE my negative attitude towards corporate promotion of “consumer generated advertising” as a way to “get consumers involved in our brand”.

My sole exception was for consumer generated advertising that happened ORGANICALLY – that wasn’t solicited BY a company – but occurs genuinely because some USER really liked the product or service and wanted to express that preference.

Of course – that type of CGA rarely pops up on it’s own (a message to us perhaps?)

How about this “Consumer Generated Ad” for Starbucks found on YouTube.
I find comfort knowing that real people will use the liberation of media to take shots at the system of mass marketing rather than sheepishly prop it up.

BTW – I think Starbucks is trying to get this ad pulled.



Microsoft gets it -ahhh . . . no they don’t

August 18, 2006

A follow up to my previous post about how Microsoft “gets” User Generated Content with XBOX – apparently – according to Scoble – doesn’t get it when it comes to it’s new Zune device.

Robert says –

Paul Colligan says that Zune (Microsoft’s unreleased new portable media player to compete with Apple’s iPod) has no podcasting features and points that out to me.

Sad that Microsoft still isn’t getting that big-company power will come from letting your customers participate, not just consume. It’s funny, cause some parts of Microsoft are getting it (the Windows Live Writer editor demonstrates that).

I think It’s safe to say that MS is sooooo big that one hand literally does not know what the other hand is doing.

Real User Generated Content

August 18, 2006

The buzz around CGM or CGC is reaching an ever greater pitch and frankly – I’m a bit tired of it already.

Most of it is complete BS. I don’t even like the term CONSUMER generated . . . if we’re going to talk about people who use our product or service – I prefer to call them a USER. More humane.
I also don’t like user generated ADVERTISING. I find it vulgar to ask users to to create advertising messages FOR us – to use on them and others. Let’s face it – Advertising is a shit way to talk to people. It’s a great way to SHOUT and interrupt.  But a pretty awful way to engage in a conversation.

Now, I don’t mind if – on their own – users generate ad messages for products and spread them around the internet or where ever. If it happens organically, on it’s own – that’s great. We should be ready to get out of the way and not screw it up by manufacturing it ourselves or stopping it’s natural evolution.

But I’m totally opposed to companies making a “campaign” out of soliciting user generated advertising. It’s a sham. It’s a cop out. If creating advertising is the only way you can connect with your users you have a problem. If advertising (the act of INTERRUPTING complete strangers and presenting them with info about products and services they didn’t even ask for) is the only medium worthy of a users input and control – you have a problem.


If you want REAL “user generated . . . blah blah blah” give users control over what they actually come to your company FOR.

For example form the Merc– Microsoft is opening up it’s developer tools for XBOX.

… will make available a stripped-down version of its game development tools for $99. The XNA Game Studio Express software will have everything someone needs to make a working video game.

With the tools, gamers can create their own games on Windows PCs and uploaded them into Microsoft’s Xbox Live network, which could theoretically sell them to console gamers via download. Moore said that game creators could share their work with others, for free or for purchase.

They can also upload them on their own weblogs and user forums too.

Compare how much deeper a user would be connected to XBOX in this scenario than in one that had Microsoft simply asking XBOX users to create another friggin XBOX commercial.

What’s the radio lesson? We need to DEVLOP more ways to put users in control of their experience – AND not just for themselves – but be able to SHARE their “versions” with others. That’s engagement.

To steal a phrase from Fred Jacobs – that’s NEO.