Monday, June 04, 2007
Now advertisers are trying to capitalize on the growing ability of the general public to produce their own videos by drafting the creative abilities of consumers to make advertisements for big companies. This tactic has several advantages for the companies. Most obviously, with these programs largely appearing in the form of contests, advertisers get a wide pool of ads to choose from for relatively little money per ad. But this tactic goes beyond simple economics. Ads made by amateurs have the advantage of appealing to consumers in an entirely different way than professionally produced ads do. For one thing, the ads are presumed to be made by people who have some kind of a passion for the product that's the subject of the video. Because of the fact that real people are endorsing that product, there's a lot more credibility in the ad than would come from someone who's being paid to produce the ad.
Unfortunately for these companies though, the motives of people participating in these contests aren't always so pure. Many of the participants submit ads in an effort to gain attention that may lead to a job in advertising. Then there are the ads submitted that make fun of the product being advertised. These satirical ads were featured in a recent campaign by Chevy to promote its Tahoe. While there were plenty of ads praising the Tahoe, the campaign also served as an opportunity for people to blast the Tahoe as a gas guzzler and all that the label implies about energy security and the environment.
Even if newer video technology is fracturing the sense of common ground that we have previously enjoyed as a result of TV as a society, at least it also means that individuals can express themselves as never before.