User Generated Content Driving Campaigns

So UK X Factor is back this year which is great, but it’s also back when I’m just about about to return to university where I won’t have a big TV to watch it on. Brilliant. But anyway, today’s post won’t be about the X Factor, but its sponsor, TalkTalk. The sponsorship reportedly reviewed for £30 million is widely recognised and statistics show that 80% of UK families saw its X Factor sponsorship last year.

This year the emphasis of the new campaign is on the audience. TalkTalk claims that its ad will “blur the lines lines between TV and mobile advertising” by giving fans the chance to star on TV using “Mix-Off”, the new video app where fans can record and “star in their own professional-directed music videos”. The campaign, created by CHI & Partners will air until December and has generated over 160 “user-generated spots”.

The campaign which promotes X Factor (the music videos often feature music by previous X Factor contestants) and enhances TalkTalk’s brand personality is a little different to other TV campaigns. It features real life ordinary people getting their less than 5 minutes of fame, but its uniqueness is how it encourages fans to be more active and become a part of the campaign which brings fans closer to the TalkTalk brand, potentially making the TalkTalk brand easier to connect with ordinary people, their target market. It’s a different, fun campaign which makes it stand out against other serious campaigns that probably scream “marketing” to audiences.

This therefore leads to the conversation of user-generated content, leading to popular marketing strategies emerging in the modern marketing world as consumers shift from being passive receivers of content to more active which involves generating and sharing content themselves. Brands with a strategy that’s more “attitude branding” related can find UGC especially useful for generating particular brand personalities and attitudes. As an example given by The Wall Blog, Red Bull makes a great use of UGC to associate itself with a purpose and an experience via extreme sports. Its iPhone app Flow, enables users to film and share clips of daring tricks, helping to fuel Red Bull’s UGC strategy.

Another example is encouraging popular beauty gurus to upload videos showing how they use particular beauty products. The gurus film their own videos using a brands’ products before uploading them to their community of followers which generate marketing messages which are a whole lot more credible. This also weakens the risk associated with the purchase of new products as potential customers can sit in the comfort of their own homes and see for themselves just how good the products are from those they believe in.

It’s interesting to see how marketers are now looking to consumers to communicate their marketing messages which makes work for marketers a little different and perhaps a little harder than in the past because it not only involves co-creation of brands, but also the monitoring of any negative messages. The role of the marketer is therefore not to control, but monitor content and maximise positive content whilst minimising effects of negative content.


Featured Image: ion-bogdan dumitrescu


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