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    From the Gaping Void

    Food for thought

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    November 03, 2006


    Steve Portigal

    You might be interested, then, in this piece that my friend and colleague Denise Lee Yohn wrote recently...


    Yeah, good point Gareth. I think that often two objectives get confused.

    User-generated stuff makes a lot of sense if you want to involve people in the brand, give them a sense of co-ownership and community, empower their creativity, or get them thinking of different ways to use the product. All good objectives. But that shouln't be confused with making great, strategic, meaningful, brand-building communications. People are a lot less likely to be able to get you there. It's not that people can't be creative - they clearly can - but we shouldn't expect them to be brand stewards.

    I think your joke analogy is a good one: listener-generated jokes will make people feel listened to, but they won't necessarily be funny.


    Yes, I totally agree. Communications shouldn't be run unless they are actually funny/meaningful/strategic. But that goes for agency-generated stuff too!


    interesting thoughts for a monday morning.
    for anyone interested in the quirky world of language, a new word is picking up quite a following around the world. 'Starkish', which even has it's own blog, started in little ol' NZ but is quickly spreading throughout the online globe. Take a peek at the blog
    weird but cool


    Agreed, and not. Without doubt the user-created bandwagon is getting weighed down nowadays by greedy passengers. The lesson we should all be taking is that user co-creation is but one tool amongst many that a brand may use when appropriate. Focus on "when appropriate". But us advertisers rarely show restraint on these things, do we? Thus we've evolved an accelerated state wherein too many are forcing this "hot new trend" onto their activities even when it has nothing to do with anything, and failing to consider where to go next with it. The problem isn't users and their passion to co-create, the problem is abusive advertisers failing to protect customer passion, and assuming it is easily harvested thru hokey and unimaginative "contest sweepstakes".


    When you think of how quickly this trend deteriorated from something quite interesting to just another hokey and unimaginative tactic (agree with you there aki), it does make you pause and think.
    That original Masters Apple ad was only two years ago (or less?). Incredible.

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