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Tuesday, 22 April 2008



Inherently, engaging with the active encouragement of UGC is not an incremental choice (such as 'shall I raise my online advertising budget a little bit?') but a discrete choice (ie I'm going to live by the sea, not in London.)

Do you want to unleash an event in your brand's story over which you have no control? Do you want the future of your brand to be reinvented in a sphere where connections will be formed that you could never have predicted? Or do you want it to be created in a studio, to a script, and pushed at people in a way that you can control?

If you make the choice, you have to properly make it - and lots of brands, forms of entertainment, product should NOT be making that choice, and we should have the courage to say so, even if it doesn't concur with our own self-image as creative, future-facing people.

But if you have a strong brand story and the ambition of making a serious cultural impression you should have the courage to get people involved...and reap the benefits of activating a galaxy of connections in people's minds, within their social groups and within culture that get you to levels of immersion that you would never get to otherwise.

But there's no such thing as a 'little bit of UGC' any more than you can have a 'little bit of revolution'

chris stephenson

hey good point.

it's worth remembering though that brands don't ultimately exist in studios and scripts - they exist in people's heads...

we have less control than we imagine over the brands in our care... consumers will make the most random of connections with or without our involvement.

I guess our advertising is there to steer them in the right direction.


for a much better example check out this:


and then this:


The Watchmen is the most respected graphic novel of all time, with a massive latent fanbase across the world. The film isn't released for a year, but this contest gives you the chance to create and ad that will feature IN THE MOVIE

This is any fan's dream, and will lead to not only increase buzz around the marketing but also an enhanced entertainment product and a growing mythology around what we're all hoping will be a great movie event...

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enjoy the ride

  • from scarcity to abundance; more stuff in more places; and rapidly evolving media business and consumption patterns. how much fun is this?

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