Testing Yourself Online and, Maybe, on the Set
By STUART ELLIOTT
This blogger has STRIPPED out the avertisers links in this article from the NY Times.
THE promotional contest, a Madison Avenue mainstay, is being freshened for a new generation through an increasingly popular marketing tactic known as user-generated content.
Advertisers like Chipotle, Converse, General Motors and MasterCard have been gaining attention by inviting consumers to use the new video technologies to create commercials.
For instance, more than 1,000 entries have been submitted to the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo in a “Crash the Super Bowl” contest to create a commercial for Doritos snack chips. The winning spot is scheduled to appear during Super Bowl XLI on Feb. 4.
Not only are advertisers wooing consumers into creating commercials, so too are the television networks that run them. The CW network is teaming with one advertiser, the Sunkist line of sodas sold by Cadbury Schweppes, to ask viewers of the series “One Tree Hill” to create video entries in a contest with an unusual grand prize: a role in an episode for the creator of the winning spot, filmed on location in the winner’s hometown.
The entrants are being asked to upload their video clips to a special Web site (cwtv.com/sunkist). In a wrinkle that is typical of promotions involving user-generated content, consumers, whether or not they enter the contest, will be able to vote online for their favorite submissions.
“This is 360-degree marketing,” said Bill Morningstar, executive vice president for national sales at CW, owned by CBS and Time Warner. “It starts on air, extends online and has the ultimate grass-roots layer, the show coming to the hometown.”