Recently, my colleague Max Kalehoff and I put together a list of "Top Ten Principles of Consumer Consumer Generated Ad Campaigns." Max added a few additional thoughts on top of this list in his most recent MediaPost column. You may also recall an earlier blog post on this topic in the context of Super Bowl advertising. Key message: by all means test the waters, but keep a good check list in front of you!
1. Connect The Program To Larger Business Goals: Ensure that your
strategy aligns with well-defined goals and objectives, and create a
measurement framework for program planning, tracking, adjusting and
evaluating. A consumer-generated campaign is not a license to veer into
irrelevance or sloppiness.
2. Keep It Authentic: Leverage the full creative power of the participants and don’t set narrow guidelines on the creative. The traditional media framework for inserting creative is losing its effectiveness, even among the pros. Allow for flexibility in shape, form and raw spontaneity.
3. Be Transparent: Don’t play fast and loose with the fact that the
brand facilitated content creation. Avoid a potential backlash by being
4. Encourage Advocacy: Don’t be shy about allowing entrants to vote for their favorites and encourage their friends and family to vote. This builds momentum around the campaign, and ensures that the best content rises to the top.
5. Empower Syndication: Make it simple to upload, simple to share, simple to embed on blogs and other community and video platforms. Let the people become the distribution and evangelical pipeline.
6. Tap The Long Tail: Don’t hesitate to leverage non-winners for other
marketing purposes. Embrace them as passionate and loyal stakeholders,
and use the Web site as a repository for their rich content.
7. Capture The Moment: Capitalize on “great brand moments” when consumers are highly vested and more likely to advocate, such as new product launches, purchases, or actual brand use and enjoyment. This will help passionate, credible and authentic storylines rise to the top.
8. Be Consistent: If you create an environment of dialogue and interaction, stakeholders will notice inconsistencies across other customer touch points or company silos. While the campaign may end, its equity around “participation, community and feedback” may live on. Decide beforehand if your brand’s cultural values, resources and commitment will sustain after the campaign ends.
9. Embrace Criticism And Deprecation: You’ve got to take the bad with
the good. While a good strategy will acknowledge and plan for
detractors, the reality is that everyone is empowered to publish.
Accept and embrace this truth, and leverage criticism or deprecation as
a gift of feedback and opportunity.
10. Move From Campaign To Platform: Campaigns may have clear beginnings and endings, but there may be dimensions of your program that want to live on forever. Prepare a platform to facilitate and leverage sustained engagement and brand return.