When Fan Ads Go Drastically Off Message

from the um,-no,-please-don't dept

The power of cheap and easy to use media creation tools has been talked about for years. What would people do with them? There were lots of theories, mostly revolving around “power to the people” type predictions about taking down existing industries. However, it turns out, when people can create videos, many just go out and create their own commercials for products they like. Last month Wired News had an article about a fan ad for the iPod — and there were tons of similar “home brewed” ads seen on all sides during the last Presidential election. Of course, as some of the political campaigns discovered, while it’s great to get people creating ads for you for free, it’s sometimes difficult to keep them “on message.” Sometimes, this can go drastically wrong, and the whole VW commercial fiasco that’s been spreading around the web over the past week or so is a perfect example. Part of the problem, of course, is that there have been so many of these “stealth marketing” campaigns from companies lately, that even if a company denies involvement in the creation of a questionable ad, some people still don’t believe it. Companies are simply going to have to learn ways to get out the message that they’re not associated with certain types of “rogue” advertising. Who would have thought that we’d reach an age where we actually have to worry about fans mis-advertising products?

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Comments on “When Fan Ads Go Drastically Off Message”

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thecaptain says:

marketting has no one to blame

but themselves…by constantly trying to manipulate the public (and for the most part succeeding) at all cost and without any regards for ethics (ie: stealth marketting, intrusions of privacy in the name of better sales) they’ve created an environment devoid of consumer trust.

They’ve even devalued the language…I mean do the words “new and improved” mean anything anymore? Or what about “the best” or anything along those lines.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: marketting has no one to blame


the only way we’ll get rid of marketing is if it becomes useless. one way to achieve that is to delude it so severely that it is no longer a favorable cost/return ratio. there are, however, substantial problems with this notion in the context of the article — most notably, the limited distribution channels.

alas, I look forward to a future of exclusively fan ads. at least then the status quo won’t suck so much.

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