Monday, July 10, 2006

Coke says me too!

Coke is soliciting consumer-generated videos on their site. Let me quickly recap my thoughts on consumer generated media (CGM).

  • Empowers consumers to define their favorite brands
  • Creates dialogue between brand and target market
  • Brings wealth of consumer knowledge to the marketing table
  • If well done, can be extremely rewarding for everyone involved
The Coke site is a good example of a CGM campaign. People can contribute unstructured videos (unlike the Chevy Tahoe CGM campaign that only had preset videos and had consumers arrange them with captions). The infrastructure and set topic encourages participation and creativity but doesn't make it too unstructured so that you get noise. Overall, I would say it's a well done.

So why am I feeling kinda meh about the whole thing? It may be the recency of the Diet Coke/Mentos fountain slight. Or my past experiences with Coke's marketing. Regardless, my gut reaction is that an entity as huge as Coke may not have the finesse to pull this off right. When dealing with such a strong brand, there are so many more rules and limitations to what they're willing to do. What if someone puts up a video that's a little edgy, are they going to allow that? If not, are they working in the pure spirit of CGM?

I'm going to try to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. Congrats on entering the CGM space... I'll be watching you.

::sips his Diet Coke and leans back::

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