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Doritos ups-the-UGC-ante with King of Ads

8 Apr

If you work in the advertising industry, you’ve probably heard of a little thing called user-generated content? Well with the help of AMV, Doritos have launched King of Ads’ – offering creative types (or anyone with a video camera for that matter) the chance to get their ad on the telly box. We’re encouraging people to be as creative, left-field, or as adventurous as they like.

Doritos have upped the stakes by inviting a panel of specially selected experts to judge the entries – including Bafta award-winning actor, director, and screenwriter Noel Clarke, TV and radio presenter Lauren Laverne, and top ad director David Shane. The finalists will even be invited to pitch their ads IN-PERSON to our experts (eek), before the top three are put to public vote.

While UGC campaigns have been widely used in the UK, never has there been such a huge cash incentive. The consumer-selected winner is guaranteed £100K, plus an extra £1 per every vote (up to another £100K!).  But of course the incentive goes beyond this unique cash prize, since they’ll also have their ad broadcast on national TV.

Feeling inspired yet? If not, our resident ad director and funny man David Shane has created an idiot’s guide to making an ad. I may be bias, but I think this is pretty funny.

Submissions close on 30th April, so if you want to get your hands on that prize, give it a go!


Lurpak’s Bake Club

10 Feb

I’m hungering for the new Lurpak work from W+K. It’s quite simple, but then again the best ideas are. Lurpak are celebrating the satisfaction and pride that comes from cooking meals from scratch (and I bloody love to cook!). A great little twist is that they enlisted the help of food bloggers to make the dishes shown in the ads. Helen of the food stories blog made this cracking chicken pie.

The online component consists of a bake club to get people participating in the campaign. The website is not flashy (which I like) and serves as a useful tool to start your very own bake club. There’s a Flickr gallery where you can salivate over everyone’s creation.

So what are you waiting for? Get Baking!

Found via.

Sour – another ‘crowdsourced’ music video

8 Jul

Bloc Party very recently ‘crowdsourced’ their latest music video ‘Ares’ (more info here) – the video is made up of fan submitted mobile phone footage.

Today I came across another crowdsourced music video…from Japanese band ‘Sour’. The result is an amazing eye-popping video shot on a bunch of web cams by fans around the world. It’s pretty amazing the amount of work and collaboration that went into this – and the result is pretty spectacular. I think this is potentially an interesting opportunity for brands as well us bands…

Via CrunchGear.

Crowdsourcing – behind the buzz word

19 Sep

Wednesday night I had the pleasure of attending a talk at the ICA on ‘Crowdsourcing’ – presented by Wired’s Jeff Howe who originally coined the term in 2006. It has since been developed by other theorists and has become an increasingly known buzz word in our industry. The debate came strongly from a journalists point of view, rather than a theorist. Some audience members did struggle with the fact there was not always a right / wrong, yes / no, answer to Crowdsourcing, nevertheless, it was a thought-provoking evening.

Jeff has two definitions of Crowdsourcing:

The White Paper Version: Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.

The Soundbyte Version: The application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software.

We debated some interesting themes surrounding crowdsourcing…

Authority vs. Electronic Crowd

Some audience members viewed ‘Crowdsourcing’ as some sort of act of laziness. This raises the question – are the brands that are involving crowds in new innovations either smart in the age of co-creation, or do they merely have a lack of ambition? Some institutions may see ‘Crowdsourcing’ as a cost-cutting labor saving solution, but this is certainly not the way Jeff looks at it (nor I). However, the balance between controlling  crowds vs. complete crowd control, is a complex issue. The best examples of effective ‘Crowdsourcing’, are those where the line between authority and crowd is blurred, and is in fact more of a mutual collaboration.


The notion of ‘by the people for the people’ makes crowdsourcing instinctively democratic. Threadless for example is the linchpin of democracy. Threadless is a perpetual, online T-Shirt design competition. Artists submit their designs; users vote on them; the highest-rated designs are printed and sold back to the community. Simple. Brilliant. Perhaps an old example, but one where the crowd not only provides the services, but where the crowd itself is self-evangalising. Not only that, it’s hugely cost effective. Threadless is selling 60,000 T-Shirts a month, has a profit margin of 35 percent – for a company with fewer than 20 employees that’s pretty darn good!

Sturgeon’s Law

All this participation from crowds is all well and good, but isn’t the majority of user-generated content crap? The answer is yes! Sturgeon’s Law is the notion that “ninety percent of everything is crap”. You only have to browse the mindless dribble on YouTube, Digg, Flickr, to know that this is true. That’s not to say crowdsourcing is all crap though – there is a valuable 10%, you just need to find it. We’re begging to see various forms of filtering – this can be as simple as a thumbs up on comments, or Digg’s “Digg it” filterting system.

So while there may be a lot of dribble, we have still seen cases where the collective minds of many can accomplish huge tasks. Jeff spoke about InnoCentive – an instituion that crowdsources research and development for biomedical and pharmaceutical companies. It is one of the largest commercial examples of crowdsourcing.   Anyone, anywhere, with interest and Internet access can become an InnoCentive Solver member.


Monetisation is a grey area – while some see crowdsourcing merely as collective intelligence of the Internet, others see it as collaboration but for commercial purposes. The term came about from Jeff observing the power of bands and fans on MySpace – while there may be money involved, to me this seems more about community and content.

Take iStock for example. iStock started because Bruce Livingstone didn’t have the money to launch a traditional stock company. So he gave his photos away, and found a community of other talented people willing to give their photos away too. The value, as many content companies are still struggling to understand, wasn’t necessarily in the thing itself. iStock was built on passion, not on dollars.

The most pertinent thing I took away from this evening, was the notion that ‘Crowdsourcing’ should not be viewed as a solution to a problem or a theory that can be readily applied. To me, it is little more than an observation of human behaviour in the digital space, which can be hugely effective. I’m sorry to tell you there is no black and white, yes or no, right or wrong, view to ‘Crowdsourcing’ – like many other buzz words in this industry.

If this is a topic you happen to find fascinating, you can check out the book (even the cover is crowdsourced!), or read Jeff’s fantastic blog.

Brands beware, you are being talked about

2 Jul

So we recently saw the Interbrand top 100 global brands. But with the changing digital landscape, what are the top brands in social media? Brands are getting talked about online – positive and negative, and increasingly consumers are spoofing ads and playing rough with brands online. I came across this interesting ‘Brands in Social Media’ report, by immediate future, which looks at the performance of the Interbrand top 100 brands in online brand conversations in the social media landscape.

Managing director of immediate future, Katy Howell, says…

“It is clear from our research that a brand’s economic success offline does not necessarily translate to a strong, positive share of voice online. Reputations are increasingly being made and destroyed on the web.”

So anyway, here are the results for the top 25 most discussed brands via immediate future… 


There is a noticeable difference between the Interband brand rankings and the consumer perception of brands online. Not too much of a suprise that the big technology brands are leading the way in the digital space. Though apparently all industry sectors have their promoters and detractors online and immediate future found that every top 100 brand was being discussed.

You can also see here the positive and negative balance of brands on social networking sites, such as Facebook.


As you can see Disney is kicking ass here! With Nintendo and Google following. This gives us a little bit more of an insight into online brand conversations. A brand may be talked about a lot online, but this isn’t always positive. The recent McDonalds / Innocent fiasco is an example of this. But it’s nice to see much more pink than grey on this graph don’t you think?!

User-generated advertising – Nike meets Back to the Future II

24 May


I stumbled across this great example of user-generated advertising. It’s a grassroots movement to get Nike to make the futuristic-looking sneakers in Back to the Future Part II. What a brilliant idea! You can join here, and it even has a thriving MySpace presence

Amelia here discusses several brands out-sourcing their advertising (is this just lazy?) but more importantly points to user-generated spoofs that seem to be piling up on YouTube – these are led by the consumers themselves. Personally, I think there’s something really exciting about consumers championing brands themselves, but particularly when brands haven’t told them to do it. Just like this MyFly 2015 project. These campaigns and spoofs tend to be a lot more creative and funnier than bland brand incentivised ads. Brands are increasingly becoming obsessed with consumers generating their advertising for them, as if this is the answer to all their problems.

And so while I’m on the subject of user-generated content, and Back to the Future, here’s a quality spoof: Back to the Future meets Broke Back Mountain. Can’t resist a good spoof…

Funny or Die – Will Ferrell’s YouTube

21 May

I recently came across FunnyOrDie. It’s a video sharing community like YouTube, but purely for comedy videos. Set up by Will Ferrell (who I love) and some of his comedy pals. The idea is simple. Users have to vote whether a comedy clip is funny or not. Crap videos are banished to ‘the crypt’ whereas great ones (with over 50,000 votes) become ‘immortal’.

You’re probably thinking there are already enough ‘me-too’ video sharing sites. But considering it only launched in April , it’s already got quite a following. According to this blog post it is the fastest growing website ever!  An amazing 1.7 million unique visitors in its first week. I guess its popularity is not all that surprising. If you take a comedy celebrity like Will Ferrell, throw in today’s connected web users, and what emerges is a grass-roots community. I wonder if we’ll see more celebrities get involved in the Web 2.0 hype. There seems to be demand for it – Lily Allen’s MySpace presence is another example of this.

There’s some great clips on FunnyOrDie with Will Ferrell himself. The most popular being ‘the landlord’ and the even funnier out takes . Here’s another classic (though borrowed from YouTube).

More on this story here, here, and here

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