The professional amateur

Posted by Rob Walker on October 28, 2008
Posted Under: "Social" studies,Advertising,The People's Marketing

Funny story in the NYT today about a guy who has won 11 “user-generated ad” contests, “earning more than $200,000 in money and prizes.” A great example of the co-promotion theory of what inspires amateurs to make ads: It’s not about hyping the brand, it’s about hyping the maker.

Mr. Levinson has a Facebook group entitled “Yes, Joel, I’ll vote for your newest stupid contest” and he uses Twitter, blogs, e-mail and text messages, asking acquaintances to vote. He even calls 24-hour customer service lines at night, when he thinks the representatives are bored, and asks them to vote for him.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

This is interesting for a few reasons. First of all, this type of contest is great for customers to participate in. There is a clear incentive that customers can work towards that is a large enough where customers are more likely to participate in the contest. For the lucky customer that did win it will most probably ensure his brand loyalty to that company. Also, I’m sure that his experience was shared with his friends and family enticing them to also create there own brand loyalty as well. All around, this creates a very friendly image to existing and and potential customers drawing people to the product and brand. On the company’s side, this is an attempt to create better customer-company relations, in turn building better relationships allowing them to tailor their company to meet and surpass customer expectations. Also, this saves the company money by allowing them to spend less on hiring an advertising firm to create a brand new promotional campaign for them. All around, both sides benefit. The customers benefit because they have a medium to express themselves, and some will earn significant prizes, and the company benefits by getting a free advertisement for their company, while getting the brand out to customers even more than it had been before; everyone wins.

Farheen Jahangir

Written By Farheen Jahangir on October 29th, 2008 @ 5:55 pm
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