Fuck You and Your Brand

Ah yes. User Generated Content. If you are a site developer, no doubt you’ve had new converts to Web2.0 rush in and say “OMG build me a website that revolves around my customer, with a content management system that allows both my company employees AND the consumer to add heaps of stuff content. Y’know *makes quotation marks in the air with fingers* User Generated Content. Can I, like, have it tomorrow?”

Chevrolet had an ad campaign earlier this year asking for consumers to create ads around a much loved product; those big-assed honking Chevys. It was a no-brainer, right? Wrong. From AutoBlog:

As part of a creative new ad campaign for the new Tahoe, General Motors has teamed up with Donald Trump’s ‘The Apprentice’ franchise to create a website that allows prospectives to make their own commercials online. The website allows readers to select backgrounds, video shots, and input text in an attempt to win prizes ranging from a Jackson Hole Getaway to a trip to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Rather predictably, however, certain surfers have been using the spot-building website for purposes that don’t exactly put Chevrolet’s newest in the best light. Unfortunately, GM’s webmeisters appear to be asleep at the wheel, as we can’t imagine these derogatory ads staying up on purpose.

*Check out these for a few examples: One Two Three Four Five Six

(*Warning – some objectionable language)

[Source: ChevyApprentice.com via MetaFilter]

Bless. Here are your hyperconsumers, your evangelists, your word of mouth, viral loving consumers, going off about the newest Chevrolet’s gas guzzlin’. Oh and btw, those links don’t work. They go to the Chevrolet site, who have for obvious reasons removed the potty mouthed ads. You can probably find them on YouTube though.

If you hand the tools – fotos, footage, scripts, software- to your consumers to create an ad and don’t get exactly what you were expecting, well, tough. However, remember two things – everyone is still talking about the Chevrolet campaign and you will find out what your consumer really thinks. Not a focus group, not a taste test, not overengineered, over moderated, over controlled research but straight from the heart. Passion. Commitment. Truth. Ready for it? Nah thought not.

Thing is, if you try and stay away from their issues, your hyperconsumer is going to put up their own website. With their own tools. Have a look at Fuck You and Your H2. H2’s and SUV’s are American terms – for Aussies tis the Toorak Tractors or 4-Wheel Drives that only ever do the daily amble from home to drop the kids of at school. Toorak being a well-to-do suburb of Melbourne. Yes, dear, that’s in Australia. This image is made up of thousands of fotos of people giving the H2 the finger. Yep. At the website, you can drag that circle over each foto and see it blown up. You can also purchase the poster to put on your wall. Hmm where’s your brand control now? Is this a bad thing? How can you turn it around. Viral works both ways. It can destroy the host or strengthen it.

And, lastly, what sort of car do you drive?

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