Category Archives: user generated content

UGC on skateboards at Mach 2


Here’s a video of two guys skateboarding down a mountain at, oh, about 45 miles per hour. Proof that dread can grab your attention. Proof that user-generated content may someday kill traditional media. Proof that if you’re gonna almost kill yourself, it’s better to dress in style.

If you’re busy, jump ahead and start at minute two. Yikes. Film by Ari Marcopoulos. Via Andy at Million Monkeys.

With Heath Ledger and American Apparel, ad reality is unreal

Batman is back, and this wicked trailer for Dark Knight skips over Heath Ledger’s death for Lego-style user-generated content. Except Bill Green notes it may not be a real brickfilm created by cool amateur artists, and instead, a staged brickfilm created by a real film studio to emulate cool amateur artists, which in turn would increase its chance of going viral…

You know. Passed around on blogs like this.

The challenge of all this amateur-content-creation-amplitude-modulation is more than diminishing standards in quality, as every blogger posts video with lousy lighting — it’s also getting hard to tell what message is real. A recent American Apparel poster in SoHo, from a brand known for outrageousness, is so over the top critics wondered if it’s a spoof. (Be warned, this is not for the squeamish.)

As consumer feedback goes viral, we’re also wondering, how does a brand maintain the integrity of its message? Advertising gets knocked as the hidden persuaders. But advertising also communicates and educates. What happens when your message spins out of your control? Absolut Vodka found out here.

Ideas spurred by the harsh brilliance at Copyranter.

Someone keep this Apple guy away from media planning

For our next stop in the online advertising revolution, let’s visit Nick Haley, an 18-year-old Brit who whipped up an Apple commercial in a day last month. NYT says Haley posted his spot to YouTube, which set off a quick information cascade — YouTube users Dugg it, Apple marketing employees saw it, they told their ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day to get the English lad on the phone … and soon the big ad pros, with a bit of polish, had the spot running this past weekend on Desperate Housewives.

This user-generated stuff is getting better and better. Chiat, are you nervous?

Adwidth to connect big brands with small talent

Adwidth wants big, big advertisers to tap creative genius from small guys working in their garages. The idea is Adwidth will match marketers with “user generated content” from aspiring video-makers. The young talents will compete by producing TV spots, and the social network will vote on content until the best rises to the top. If it works, your big brand could get a cool TV ad cheap, such as the famous Doritos spot above.

Advertisers could save millions. Unknown video savants could get discovered. Or, we could end up with bad 30-second doses of reality TV.