Companies haven’t figured out the whole user-created paradigm yet. They know it’s hot and they want to get in on it, but when they try it’s as awkward as someone’s mother trying to hang with her kids’ friends.
Take this example from Tim about Heinz Ketchup.
They asked customers to create ketchup commercials. The winner gets $57,000. — (bet it took 8 brainstorming sessions to turn out that brilliant number) — But it turns out that the commercials are awful (see some here) and there’s been a massive push back from consumers. And now Heinz has spent way too much money and time to get crap.
Here’s the deal. It’s not just letting people run free and do your advertising and marketing for you. The entire new world of marketing involves GUIDING THE CONVERSATION not just throwing something out there and hoping something comes back.
And as with most good marketing ideas these days, businesses are going to look at user-generated campaigns like this and the Chevy Tahoe SUV debacle and never get in on the game. But as with most things, when it’s done right, it will work.