UGC, Social Networking, Branding, and the future…

In the past year, more and more advertisers have flocked to social networking sites to promote their products to the tens of millions of users there, hopefully winning over a few influencers in the process. Burger King set up a MySpace page. The American Brewer, Anheuser Busch, is sponsoring MingleNow’s Clink section where the object apparently is to share photos of semi-inebriated community members. Others, like Southwest Airlines, Pepsi and Doritos, are going an extra step, asking consumers to submit ideas for the next ad campaign. The hope is that the homework assignment will get consumers to think creatively about the brands in their lives and potentially spur a series of user-generated spots worthy of the tube, or better, on YouTube.

Winning over the cool kids is no small task. Advertisers have been trying this for years, with varying results. The emergence of social networks, with their well-defined user profiles, makes the task of finding the influencers easier. But getting them to do a marketer’s bidding may actually be more difficult than ever. One of the biggest problems is getting their attention.

Teens and twenty-somethings may be multi-tasking masters, but they tend to be a suspicious lot when it comes to overt marketing messages. They can smell a product endorsement a mile away.

Social networkers go to MySpace and Facebook to chat with friends, not to champion brands. But, they do chat
about the things they are most passionate about, and often that means brands, cool brands. And, in this multimedia age, the web chatter can look just as slick as anything Madison Avenue produces. Case in point: as of this morning, there are 47,600 videos on YouTube dedicated to Nintendo’s gaming platform, Wii. That’s
influential.

Win friends and influence consumers-News-Tech & Web-The Web-TimesOnline

Ack! They’re on to us! At least Star Farm is ahead of the game with acknowledging our fans, allowing them to alter their content (as well as some AWESOME things behind the big red curtain that we’re itching to reveal for branding & online platforms).

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  1. March 27, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Izzy

    Have you done any research into what makes communities of tweens and teens successful? What makes your community really get traction among that demographic?

    Mukund

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