Most Popular Superbowl Ad Created By Amateurs

from the funny-how-that-works dept

For the past few years, there's been something of a backlash against the idea of "amateur" content production. Folks like Andrew Keen and Nick Carr have taken to mocking such efforts and insisting that professionals are basically all there is worth trusting. And... then... Doritos holds a "Crash the Superbowl" contest where amateurs are invited to submit commercials, out of which the top 5 are to be aired during the Superbowl. Not only did Doritos get nearly 2,000 submissions, one of the ads was found to be the most popular ad according to USA Today's Ad Meter, beating out the traditional kings of the Superbowl advertising business, Anheuser Busch (and winning its creators a $1 million prize). The point, which is repeatedly missed by the elitists who claim only professionals can make content is that, even if most of the content made by amateurs sucks, the ability for almost anyone to create content means that those who can do quite well, even as amateurs, now have the ability to do so. The end result is that amidst plenty of bad content, there's also an awful lot of great content that never would have been produced otherwise.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Skillnaden Ar drinkability, Feb 2nd, 2009 @ 8:57pm

    Vroom Vroom Party Starter

    I'll probably enjoy the Dennys "Free Breakfast" ad much more tomorrow around 6:45am, again around 11:00, and maybe again at 1:30pm.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    elitists who claim only professionals can make con, Feb 2nd, 2009 @ 10:04pm

    professionals are basically all there is worth trusting

    the ability for almost anyone to create content means that those who can do quite well, even as amateurs, now have the ability to do so.


    Well, we'll have to put an end to that. Right now !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2009 @ 10:31pm

    "amidst plenty of bad content, there's also an awful lot of great content"

    Who is going to sift through that shit? public? In that case we shall be moving towards mediocracy, not away from it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2009 @ 10:36pm

    Re:

    I don't know about you, but I'm quite good at sifting through good and bad content and frequenting the better content... you see there is some brand spanking new technology out there called a 'bookmark' and a 'search engine', and even 'social networking' which helps a ton. The point is, what you enjoy, your friends are likely to enjoy, because you have common ground. The public does very well at deciding what good content is, and the private institutions do a great job of trying to feed the same bad crap at us day in and day out because we still pay for it (case in point, Indiana Jones and the catastrophic failure).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Mikecancook, Feb 2nd, 2009 @ 11:51pm

    The real point is..

    that most content sucks, regardless of who does it.

    Just because a 'professional' has created content does not make it good. A perfect example is the commercials aired during the superbowl, most were not worth watching. Most music, movies, tv shows, commercials, web sites, books, etc are crap. It's a fact of life for content.

    Competition is a good thing, the more the merrier.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Yehuda Berlinger, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 12:36am

    Also, the YouTube generation has new tastes

    A generation that has grown up on amateur videos has a new taste for amateur videos, equal to or above professionally made ones. It's possible that the video wouldn't have been popular ten years ago.

    Yehuda

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Brooks Talley, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 12:38am

    Whoa, Michael got intot he bourbon or something

    The point, which is repeatedly missed by the elitists who claim only professionals can make content... Yikes. A slightly emotional straw man there? I dunno about you, but I have never met one of these elitists who make that claim. I've met people who've said that professional writers / directors / actors generally do a better job than amateurs, and I've met people who have claimed that amateurs generally do the one-hit thing because they don't have the breadth of experience to be successful long term... but has anyone here ever met anyone who claimed, in all seriousness that only professionals can make content? (It doesn't count if you're pretty sure you know what someone you've never met thinks -- they have to have said, literally, that only professionals are capable of making content). I'm a big Techdirt fan; Michael writes great stuff. But this isn't interesting thinking about culture, technology, and law, this is Slashdot-worthy cheesiness. Ouch!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Keill Randor, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 2:09am

    Hmmm...

    Sturgeons Law/Revelation:

    90% of everything is crap...

    Unfortunately, because we're talking about percentages here, in order to get more of the 10% that's ok/good, it automatically means getting more of the crap to balance it out...

    The MAIN difference between amateur and professional content, tends to be the PRODUCTION quality...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    George Bushh, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 5:08am

    What Will Amateur Video Look Like?

    Spend an hour - if you can - perusing Youtube and get an idea what amateurs produce.

    Look, these guys produced a great commercial for Doritos and it was good for a laugh. But just like American Idol, many apply but damn few are called. Look at the quantity of videos on Youtube and other sites and be honest - how many are really memorable?

    "Professionals" shouldn't have an exclusive on being creative, but I'm not prepared to sit through the crap that will be produced by amateurs.

    Think of it this way. There's an old saw that says if you take a roomful of monkeys and give them typewriters (now we have to say PCs with Word) they'll eventually turn out a readable novel. That's where amateur video is now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 6:10am

    Re: What Will Amateur Video Look Like?

    Youtube isn't really a good example of amateur production. Most of it is just some people showing off or just talking to each other. There are some people who try to produce something but most of it is just people goofing off.

    Professionals are payed to produce content. That's all they work on and we don't get to see their true hit to miss ratio. When they produce complete crap it get's cut off before release. We do get to see the hit or miss ratio of the crap that is released (think about that for a few minutes).

    When amateurs exclusively work on producing content than some good things come out. Look at "Chad Vader" or "Red Vs Blue". I can't think of any more off the top of my head but I don't surf for that kind of thing so I'm not the best one to ask.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    Actually, content systems that work like a social network, with user ratings and recommendations would make short work of the sifting process.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 8:05am

    Good idea...but amateurshis execution. Techdirt is fond of saying "ideas" are "easy". It is "innovation" (i.e., execution) that really counts. If anything this particular piece of content appears to be one that would greatly benefit from the support of those who know how to direct and edit ads, and who have the financial resources in hand to take a good idea and turn it into professional-looking content.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Professional, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Re: professionals are basically all there is worth trusting

    As a professional, I request that this comment be removed

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Baloney Joe, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Bud ads suck ass

    I don't care how professional the creative idiots that did the Bud horse commercials are, they sucked ass, and not in a good way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    mark, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 10:44am

    This is probably angering a lot of ad agencies...

    How would you like to be a professional ad person and then be shown up by a couple of amateurs? I am not sure if this is good for the people working within the ad business. Here is a good link to a clip summarizing media coverage of the commercials, including the Doritos commercial mentioned above.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    All this talk about a "good ad" or good content means nothing. Nothing. Did the ad sell product? I don't care how "creative" or great the press or some stupid online poll says it is. If it doesn't move product IT FAILED. ITS A BAD AD.

    (of course, keep in mind that not all ads are designed to sell product)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    T2master, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 3:03pm

    The quote I assume I should direct people to right about now is Sturgeon's Law, which states that 90% of all content is *ahem* horse feces. I think the point Mike is trying to make is a typical corellary: The other 10% is worth dying for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Skillnaden Ar drinkability, Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Vroom Vroom Party Starter

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This