It seems lately that there has been a rash of ads advertising contests or competitions to get consumers to do some creative work for brands.
Most recent brands to add to the list are Ban deodorant, Chrysler, and Timex watches.
Ban has an online contest where consumers can submit custom ads based on their current campaign...illustrating what they'd like to ban or what spokesperson and MTV VJ Hilarie Burton wants to ban. They provide images or you can upload your own. Winners will have their designs featured in the next national ad campaign.
Here's an example of what you can create:
Timex's campaign is similar to the Doublemint Twin Casting Call for Wrigley's, which recently held a competition for consumers to enter their twin photos to appear in their advertising. Timex is looking for 8 new faces for next years print advertising campaign. Consumers can post their picture on the website set up for the promotion and fifty entries, chosen at random, will be posted on the site in December, letting consumers vote for their fave.
Chrysler back in 2002 had a contest called the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival. The film that won, Cry Wolf, will start airing in theaters across the US today and was produced and distributed by Hypnotic and Universal Studios.
Sponsoring the film festival in California, Chrysler not only got filmmakers to integrate its vehicles in films -- which was required during a portion of the competition -- but it also gets its Crossfire and PT Cruiser on the big screen in front of everyday moviegoers as well as artsy types who follow the work of independent filmmakers and like to buy cars.
This contest is somewhat similar to the Converse film short open call to create spots for the brand from earlier this year.
Other brands that done similar type marketing and promotions to use consumer generated concepts in ads include:
Chevy's HHR - A site was set up for consumers to upload images and video to be featured in their upcoming ad campaign. The winner is to be announced next week on the Tonight Show where they will also be presented with a Chevy HRR.
Weber Grills - They have been collecting consumer stories to use as part of their advertising at WeberNation.com.
Hershey's - The "Express Yourself and Win" photo contest asks consumers to "express their feelings for chocolate on film or digitally and submit the picture with clever captions." The winning image will be used in a Hershey campaign. An amusing bit from the site: "All entries will be judged based upon Creativity, Theme and Happiness shown for HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate and HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate with Almonds bar."
Could it be that this is just the beginning of consumer created content? Especially now that more and more people have the types of programs on their computers allowing for digital creation of everything from images to video.