Saturday, March 18, 2006

Converse gets consumer generated media

It's St. Patty's Day night and I'm not getting plastered as is the tradition for tonight. By the way kids, don't drink, it's really not that much fun after a while and when I say "after a while", I mean after college.

Ok, so no plastering tonight, however, I did want to show a really awesome example of consumer generated media (CGM). Don't ask me how I'm tying these two trains of thought together, just go with it. Converse has consumer generated commercials on this site. Ok, this is not new by any means, but it's still valid.

The first thing you'll notice is that these are very well done commercials. Probably not mainstream enough to actually air but still high quality. The second thing you'll notice is that these ads "get it". They totally represent the Converse brand and speak volumes about the brand itself. That is the power of CGM. After a while, your most passionate customers know more about your brand than the brand manager. I applaud Converse for giving their fans a chance to express their passion and I envy the benefits they're probably receiving from this content.

Marketers are slowly opening their eyes to this CGM movement. Like the Mastercard campaign I mentioned a week or so ago, you can find more and more CGM all the time. One reason why I think this is happening is because consumers are not content to just consume, they want to engage. It used to be that the only people that could afford to make any content, not just commercials, were those with the professional tools. Now, the playing field has been leveled. Creating video, audio, web or any other content can be easily done at home and doesn't require a team or specialized skill. This content can then be mass distributed digitally with almost no effort. It's the democratization of media. If you don't believe me, look at what is already happening with blogs replacing the old publishing system.

CGM is the first assault in overthrowing the authoritarian marketing system. I hate to beat a dead horse but it's why I'm convinced open source marketing is where we're headed. Viva la revolution!

No comments: