Monday, August 27, 2007

The Evolution Of User-Generated Advertising

As the idea of consumers spending their precious time making ads for brands loses some of its novelty, marketers have started looking for new ways to offer consumers a feeling of ownership with the brand.

To this end, one company, which will remain nameless, offered consumers the chance to be Chief Marketing Officer for a day.

As the then current CMO put it, “We started by offering consumers the opportunity be writer and art director for the day. And while at first that was plenty, we soon were hearing that they wanted more. Making the ads, while fun, was no longer enough. Consumers wanted to approve which ad would ultimately run. So, we thought, why not, what harm could there be in that?”

Upon hearing of this new trend, one competitor, in an obvious move of one-up-man-ship, offered consumers the chance to be CEO for the day. The response from consumers was that if one day was good, two days would be even better.

And as executive positions started to be held by more consumers through more marketing companies across the country, one marketer decided to forgo positions of power completely and just start paying people directly for using their products.

After all, they argued, if consumers were truly the owners of the brand, then they should make some money off of it.

As this obviously cut into their margins, the company quickly went out of business.

The good news is that both the CEO and CMO, while currently looking for employment, should be able to find new positions quickly.

At least, for a day or two.

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