User-Generated Advertising: It’s Not Easy Letting Go

Choosing brand allies can be risky business. Although some brands have fully embraced user-generated advertising, many continue to go big or go home with budgets that lean heavily on star power. Give me the name, and we’ll show you the money – we’re looking at you, Beyoncé

If a company’s only call to action was a 140-character tweet, and it said watch this ad by amateur filmmaker Kevin Willson or watch this ad by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, which would you watch first? If you were a brand owner, which would you choose for your company?

The answer may depend on the brand. User-generated content is new, exciting and authentic, so it may be a win if your brand is too. You should remain invested in exploring what your brand ambassadors can create for you. There may be no substitute for keeping content fresh and staying connected to consumers.

On the other hand, if your brand personality exudes luxury and sophistication, the majority of your consumers will want curated content. Put your brand in users’ playful hands at your own risk.

The real test is whether or not a sophisticated brand can find success along the user-generated path. Is it possible to relinquish some control but keep your brand intact? Did these 3 user-generated campaigns really get it right? Check out the Best Global Brands of 2012 and let us know what you think.