Monday, July 18, 2005

Smart brands to customers: Make our ads for us?

Back in May, Adweek's Michelle Jeffers detailed the status of a groundbreaking play by Converse to invite its customers to create and submit their own videos for use in the renowned athletic shoes-maker's ad campaign. Orchestrated through Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in the San Francisco Bay area, the May progress report tallied 750 submissions from 20 countries, 40 films being run on television and another 41 being posted on the website. In Jeffers' story entitled "Word On The Street" -- which analyzes the campaign extensively to investigate its sales effectiveness -- Michael Tchong, founder of trend-spotting firm Trendscape, in San Francisco, comments, "Using customers to make commercials for themselves, I think this is the wave of the future and we'll probably be seeing it more and more now."

In next week's Business Week, David Kiley highlights the Converse campaign in his piece, "Advertising Of, By, And For The People; Getting consumers to create ads saves a ton of money -- and builds buzz." Seems like a slam-dunk approach for those seeking to build lasting relationships with the increasingly technologically savvy, marketing-averse members of their target audiences.