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User-Generated Content in Advertising: A Roundup of Notable Stories


The last few weeks have seen some interesting developments in how brand advertisers leverage user-generated content for traditional advertising campaigns and consumer engagement.  Given some of the juicy stories out there, we thought we' share four that we've been following.

Aussie Court Suggests Brands are Responsible for UGC on Social Channels

A recent decision by the Federal Court of Australia suggests that brands may be held liable for user generated content posted on branded social media channels that violate Australian consumer law. The first of its kind statute led to a ruling by Australia’s Advertising Standard Bureau (ASB) that declared all posts – updates, comments, photos and videos – may be interpreted as advertising, whether they originate with a particular brand or Facebook end user.

User generated content on Facebook

The legal action was in response to complaints levied against Smirnoff’s promotional activity on Facebook.  The court ultimately ruled that “the Facebook site of an advertiser is a marketing communication tool over which the advertiser has a reasonable degree of control,” while Smirnoff’s reps argued, unsuccessfully, that Facebook was instead an engagement platform.

Obviously, this ruling would have huge implications not only for Facebook, but also how advertisers represent themselves on social channels and incorporate user-generated content into their advertising efforts.

[more on Our Social Times]

Moutain Dew’s “Dub the Dew” Campaign Get Punk’d

A local market promotion launched by one of Mountain Dew’s customers was recently hijacked by group of online pranksters.  Called “Dub the Dew,” the campaign asked Internet users to submit ideas for and choose the name of a new green-apple infused beverage.  Unfortunately for the promoters, submissions quickly turned offensive with the Top 10 Leaderboard posting entries like “Hitler did nothing wrong,” “Diabeetus” and other names ranging from the disturbing to hilariously useless.

Mountain Dew, who has a legacy of openly engaging fans’ for product and promotion ideas, was quick to point out that the promotion didn’t originate with their main office or PEPSICO and they’re working with their customer to “clean things up. 

This small case raises interesting question of when, what and how brands can and should implement crowdsourcing to assist their marketing efforts.

[via Time.com]

Times Square Crowdsources Near Record-Breaking Results


Approximately 1,300 designers submitted 5,717 entries to TimesSquare.com’s recent design competition for a new logo.  The contest was held on DesignCrowd’s online marketplace that boasts over 83,000 designers.  With no online voting to determine top entries, the folks at Time Square’s have their work cut out for them in the near future.  “The process has exceeded our expectations,” said TimesSquare.com founder Lorenzo Tartamella, although claims that a world record in prizing and submissions to be the icing on the cake was quickly refuted by 99designs.

Do larger prizes for open format contests for brands procure more quality submissions and more satisfying results?  We’ll have to wait until that winner announcement in Time Square in December (that’s 12-12-12) to see the results.

[via VentureBeat.com]

Experiment to Compare Performance Between User-Generated and Professional Ads Puts Spotlight on Video Seeding Industry

In seeking to test a hypothesis that user-generated content outperforms ads similar to branded video, advertising and media columnist Bob Garfield raises questions around video seeding practices.   Notably, how do video seeding companies guarantees views of seeded video and what value do incentivized views hold in a particular online video campaign.  Garfield recently shared his documented experience and the results in a post on MediaPost. (be sure to review the interesting discussion in the comments).

[via MediaPost]


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