Sunday, March 05, 2006


Until very recently, consumer-created ads have been little more than bad jokes -- things used occasionally for comic relief or to toy with absurdity-based marketing for its own sake. But as video cameras and desktop video editing gear have experienced leaps in quality and dramatic reductions in price, the concept of consumer-produced TV spots is showing signs of evolving into something else. Like all emerging advertising trends, it is the subject of curious observation, debate and no small amount of derision throughout the mainstream ad agency business. Last week, however, we saw what could be a watershed for the genre: Marketing giants Sony Electronics, Toyota Motor Sales USA and L'Oreal signed deals with Al Gore's Current TV network to participate in large-scale experiments using TV ads conceived and produced by consumers.
Do YOU think this is a folly in the making?
Or is it the dawn of a new era of grassroots creativity that has the potential to actually compete against the advertising service companies traditionally associated with the creation and production of TV commercials?
Are advertisers likely to widely embrace consumer-created advertising for their brands?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting, but not that worried. while we may slag ourselves off a lot, we are pretty good at what we do. and i don't think turning advertising into America's Funniest Home Videos will build too many great brands.

so, everyone keep working. the better we are, the less we have to worry. although think of how much fun we could have tearing the whole worlds' ads to pieces on this blog.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The scarey thing is, can they enter Cannes? What if they win?

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recommend we get our own back by performing all our own brain,bowel and cosmetic surgery.That'll show 'em!

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, they will embrace it (consumers and advertisers).
However, instead of looking at this phenomenon with dread, we need to look at how agencies need to wake up and use it to best advantage.
Control doesn't always = ownership.....

8:41 PM  
Blogger CB said...

Agree with 8:41pm. In our part of the region Saatchi Auckland has already done so with their Telecom NZ 'Crap Movie Festival' campaign promoting the use of mobile phones to make mini movies. Can anyone think of any other examples from other agencies?

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure whatever they come up with the client will fuck it up in the end - they do with all our work.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be less worried about the quality of creative (likely to be dubious, at best), but more worried about what it will do to budgets.

Once marketers think they can squirt out ads shot on handycams for $1.29 gross, where will that leave the kinds of (already stretched) budgets that agencies get to work with?

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clients write half the ads I see anyway.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure at least a few CEO's must be looking forward to this day - no creatives to get in the way of running their agency!

Whats a grown man to do with an axe that has nowhere to swing?

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that we will see the occasional flash of brilliance, but most of the consumer-created adverts will be dross. Also, is the client really going to sit down and judge 500, 1000+ separate adverts of anywhere from good to dubious quality and writing on a regular, ongoing basis? And who's going to be doing the judging: Clients - (who already have trouble identifying good work in many cases) or Creatives - who do this very task for a living?

If I was a client, I'd have trouble trusting the long-term future of my brand to people with dubious creative talent, limited branding or IMC acumen, no advertising qualifications, no contractual obligations to deliver upon, no track record, no professional objectivity, no indemnity insurance, no affiliations worth a damn,...

Old Bill was right - Advertising exists to shape the opinions of people - not to reflect them.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could consumers also write the headlines for this shelf wobbler brief I'm currently working on?

I could use a hand.

Fanta Pants

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They couldn't be any worse than us over-paid wankers.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If "Old Bill" was so clever, how come most of the shit we see on telly is a rip off of something? If adland really thinks it's shaping opinions, then it has a slightly elevated opinion of itself. What utter bollocks.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because, 3:38PM, "Old Bill" was referring to the very best ads around. Volkswagen, Apple, Nike come to mind. Not "most of the shit we see on telly", and almost certainly nothing that you've ever put out.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough said really. Point proven.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bring it it on. I am really bored with advertising at the moment and it would be really great if someone else could do it for me.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After taking the advise of 12:56 I have this opinion. For the most part we will see a lot of shit and the accasional bit of brilliance. Most probably on a website like the converse one.

I do suspect that those people that make great work will accept a job from the first good ad agency/production company that gives them a call. (Because I uspect that is why they got off there arse and did it in the first place.)

I would hope people would look at it as a new talent pool.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps a more interesting question might be to ask WHY would clients be looking to end-users/consumers to create their adverts, instead of seasoned industry professionals?

Sure, budgets may be an issue in certain industry sectors or with C-grade clients who view advertising as an expense & not an investment. But I doubt it's a big issue across the board. The best clients, (the ones who are willing to buy good work and are already spending decent sums of money on advertising creative and media) have already factored in the expense of our services (or at least in my experience they have).

The optimist in me says this consumer-created advertising trend is probably an experiement by clients to engender fresh thinking, explore consumer sentiment towards their products / their advertising or just as a 'suck-it-and-see' approach to build a different level of relations with consumers.

But the cynic in me says it's a sign of a deeper issue. That just maybe, at the end of the day - clients still don't trust agency creatives as far as they could spit them. I note DTP software comes free with your cornflakes nowadays - but clients aren't asking end-users to design new logos or print materials.

Look at the accreditation process the AFA is putting in place - clear career paths for creatives is an interesting idea but is that for the sake of clients more than creatives?

I'm probably way off base here, but it's still an interesting notion. Does this resonate for anyone else out there? Do clients still not trust us terribly much?

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't trust you.

5:14 PM  

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