Every Super Bowl we have to hear about the latest in “consumer generated content” from the jerks at Frito Lay. Here’s what I think:
1) They suck. Honestly, have you ever seen an ad written and executed by John Q Public that was any good? Or that didn’t make you think: shit, I would be FIRED if I brought that idea to the table for a NON Super Bowl Ad–let alone for the yearly showcase of advertising creativity.
2) THEY SUCK. And they ONLY reason you hear any talk about them is because it’s kind of a novelty. It’s like pointing at a guy with one eye in the center of his forehead. Sure, everyone is talking about him, but he’s still ugly.
3) On the other hand, ad guys have been stealing ‘user generated content’ for years. How many times have you seen some cool up and coming artists work on You Tube then a similar style winds up in a national ad campaign. That AT&T spot with the orange fabric being draped all over the country and ends with the disclaimer: “This idea WAS NOT stolen from the artist CHRISTO. Seriously. It wasn’t man. Fuck you”
4) And when consumer generated ideas ARE good: I think it’s because they are curated by ADVERTISING PROFESSIONALS. Take the Old Spice Tweet Answer Videos. Those guys CHOSE the right tweets to answer, then answered them in a FUNNY way. And it was a success that no John Q Public guy could have orchestrated on their own.
5) This subject annoys the crap out of me because for YEARS I’ve been listening to friends/family/strangers tell me they have a “great idea for an ad”. Maybe ONE of which, has actually been great. What I usually do is I listen to the crappy idea. Then I say I don’t like it. I don’t know why I don’t like it, I just don’t. Then ask them for 30 more ideas by end of day. When I receive a shocked/blank expression then I tell them: Welcome to my world.