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Take advantage of user generated video in your marketing

user generated videoIn just a couple weeks, Americans will be going crazy at the annual championship game for American style football. And while it will determine the “World Champion”, what usually get just as much interest (arguably more), are the commercials aired during half-time. There are usually a few that become legendary, not always for a positive response.  But one company that seems to have mastered the art of the Big Game commercial is Doritos brand crisps.

Starting in 2006, they’ve run an annual contest challenging their customers to create the perfect video commercial for Doritos. This year they received 4,900 submissions from 29 different countries. The top ten will be selected by the company, two of which will ultimately be featured during the game. Doritos offers amazing prizes for the first prize winner including one million dollars and the opportunity to work for Universal Pictures.

From the beginning it’s been a great success, and a model for any company looking to leverage user generated video in their marketing. Your company may not have such a large customer base, or the resources to offer such great prizes, but you can still do something similar.

You can copy their model and run contests for your customers. Obviously you can select prizes and themes to suit your business and customer base. The videos you receive as entries can be used on your website, as well as in your other video based marketing.

Another alternative is to use customer videos to raise brand awareness online and off. For example, there’s an educational tour company that provides identifiable back packs (with a logo) to the student travelers. They encourage them to take pictures and videos of themselves at their destinations. When the students submit the videos later, they can be featured in future advertising. While that may not sound like much incentive, almost everyone likes to see themselves online (hence the success of social media!).

Occasionally, they also offer the students the chance to win another trip by submitting their videos. So in effect, they get user generated content for their marketing that speaks directly to their customers. They also get free advertising with the students wearing their logo all over the world.

Have you seen other examples of user generated video used in marketing?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

Oliver Burt

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