Do it yourself ads

by Rob Horning

16 March 2006


We should probably get used to this. This AdAge item details how Chevy is inviting customers to design their own ads and enter an American Idol-like contest, with the winning spot airing online. This seems an inevitable development following the dissemination of technology that makes it easy to make your own movies and music and so on. It’s only natural that companies would want to harness that latent creativity and lash it to advertising and consumer goods.

It follows too from the marketing blather that claims brands belong to their customers (No they don’t, they belong to the licensers and are exploited for maximum value for companies who own them). The customer does the hard work of shaping the brand, building its value, honing its appeal more dierectly to themselves (cutting out the expensive brand-managing middlemen), and the companies will reward them by taking advantage of that appeal more efficiently to sell more branded junk to them. Consumers get the specious thrill of associating with something transnational and huge, and the companies get profits. A fair trade, right?

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