I’ve always been pretty skeptical of brands and their campaigns to create consumer created content so it was great to see this article by Rich Thomaselli on AdAge.com.
To me this has always fell into the realm of the branding bucket of nonsense. It’s something that a company or brand can use to say they are engaging their audience. A check mark to say they are engaging in conversations with their influencers. Hey look at me I’m hanging out with the cool kids, only the cool kids were cool 10 years ago…
What About Branding?
Let’s step back a second and talk about branding. When is the latest time someone saw an ad for a brand and just decided that was the brand was right for them? I would reason to guess almost never. We as consumers have flipped the switch on branding for some time now. This is also why I despise the term “Personal Branding” (but more on that in another post).
Marketing should drive to intent. Intent to purchase. Intent to creation an action in the mind of your target market or prospect. Branding doesn’t drive to intent. Branding is really just the start of awareness. Once you’ve captured awareness you have a slight opportunity to move to the next step of the sales cycle.
Down With Caribou I’m Switching to Folgers
So Folgers jumped on board. They have asked the average Joe to update its famous “Best Part of Wakin’ Up” theme. They even brought on Kara DioGuardi from Amercan Idol to judge these… well I’m not sure what to call some of them.
I could go on and on for about two more pages but let’s jump right to the point. How does this campaign translate to increase in sales? Is Folgers going to get a jump in sales because Mr Normal Gal created the latest jingle? When your in the shopping market aisle are your synapses in your brain going to say, hey, the song, the song, it was created by someone like me… buy Folgers, buy Folgers?
Yes, I Care What My Razor Tweets
I also put this in the realm of Gillete having a twitter account. We all know men secretly wish that they could interact with something they probably on par despise (I hate shaving). The problem here with Gillete is there is an inherent risk here. The most likely communication with Gillete on twitter will have a negative spin. Trust me I just bought razor replacements yesterday and to me it is too expensive no matter how big my bank account.
The same can be said with the submissions on Folgers. Most of them are terrible. Most of them while creating engagement at no value to the brand or marketing as a whole. Does Folgers believe that after watching some poor rendition of their theme that I will do a sympathy purchase? Maybe I might just buy the stuff to get the guy to stop—except well I can simply click back or close the tab.
What Does This Mean?
Yes, find creative ways to engage you target market. Don’t do it is contrived ways that wont drive to sales. Also don’t engage your audience in ways that will lead to utter crap. There’s no better way to say that unfortunately. If there is high likelihood that what you are asking for is even mediocre I wouldn’t move forward as well.
While it’s novel to get people involved with your brand or company that novelty wears of when it becomes apparent that no value is being added.