One of the hottest topics in marketing in the US at the moment is "consumer created content". It's yet to hit Europe in a big way yet, but I'm sure it will over the next couple of years. The idea is to open up the brand, inviting people to create their own content. This has several benefits: i) a higher level of brand involvement for those who participate, ii) the content has more "viral" potential, creating valuable brand exposure, iii) it can help the brand come across as more open and innovative, iv) its cheap!
If, like me, you're still learning about this whole area, here are a few examples to give you a flavour of what its all about:
1. Nikon: giving out free cameras to create photos for their new commercial (thanks to Oliver at The Brand Builder blog for bringing this to my attention)
2. Mentos picked up on a stunt where people dropped Mentos mints into Diet Coke to create an explosive reaction. Their site in the USA focused on this and created a competition for other people to make their own films of Mentos/Diet Coke experiments and post them on video site You Tube.
3. One of the most hyped and extreme examples is B-movie Snakes on a Plane (SOAP for short). A myriad of fan sites were created before the movie opened, and the producers even re-shot part of the film based on fan feedback before it came out.
4. Converse have invited people to make their own adverts and c.1000 people have posted them on Conversegallery.com
If you want a more detailed account of this, the attached presentation is pretty good, from a company called "Collaborative Marketing". They name this phenomenon "open source marketing." Click here to get it: Download 14.04.OpenSourceMktg.pdf
5-Minute workout: Could your brand benefit from opening up to consumers and inviting them to create their own content for you?