Co-opting the YouTube generation
is my alternative title for this latest effort by major companies to get their message noticed in a marketplace that is increasingly tone deaf to their traditional one-way marketing speak. To counter that trend PR Giant Edelman Ventures Into Branded Content as reported in Advertising Age – Madison+Vine. It remains to be seen how effective this type of “enhanced” user-generated content will be and how many aspiring producers will participate to sell more burgers to their peers.
Interesting to note, is the participation of Expedia in this initiative. My question here is: Why not enter into a direct dialog with their thousands of customers and TripAdvisor users to provide them with content that they are most likely already posting on the web instead of going the “managed” route by working with their PR company? Looks to me like some kind of an American Idol inspired contest to sponsor consumer produced content rather than having it delivered by ad agencies. Will people buy it? Remains to be seen.