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The New Black – Consumer Generated Ads

March 30, 2006

Corporations, political candidates, and advocacy groups spend billions of dollars each year on television advertising. A recent survey of marketers found that four out of five believe that television advertising is less effective than it was two years ago.

Tivo and video-on-demand are changing the ways that people get their information. Marketers are beginning to realize that they need to find other ways to get their messages out to consumers, constituents and stakeholders.

That is why many non-profits have begun to develop consumer generated advertising as a way to more effectively reach their key audiences. Groups like Move-On.org were the pioneers of consumer-generated advocacy by engaging their members to develop creative ads. This tactic helped increase the loyalty of members by creating a sense of ownership of the organization.

Now, many corporations are beginning to use this tactic to reach out to consumers. Chevy recently launched a contest to create the best Chevy Tahoe ad. This tactic is backfiring on Chevy because a few environmentalists have created their own ads criticizing the company for contributing to Global Warming. You can watch one example here: http://www.chevyapprentice.com/view.php?country=us&uniqueid=3f62de80-10e3-1029-98eb-0013724ff5a7

This demonstrates how consumer generated ads can be a double-edged sword for those that use it. It will force all groups to more accountable. Maybe these ads will help Chevy think about developing cars that are more environmentally friendly. It is a brave new world for every organization, institution, and corporation. We are all going to be held more accountable – will you be prepared?

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