Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Pendulums Always Swing

This article in the NY Times: "Chevy Tries a Write-Your-Own-Ad Approach, and the Potshots Fly" is a terrific example of how consumer-generated media (CGM) represents an exciting but scary opportunity for marketers.

Chevy was trying to be groovy and let users put their own captions, etc., on some professionally-produced tv commercials for the Chevy Tahoe. Some (many?) of the resulting ads took the automaker to task for its gas-guzzler. Some of the captions are clever, some are hysterical; many are sobering.

Chevrolet - to its everlasting credit if it sticks with the campaign - has made no moves whatsoever to counteract this trend. And THAT'S what makes it groovy.

Having said that, this reminds me of why PROFESSIONAL EDITORIAL FILTERS came about in the first place. Back in the day (Benjamin Franklin days, to be precise), pamphleteers were the bloggerati: they produced content that paid no heed to legitimacy, fairness, accuracy, etc. Before long, the consumer did not know whom to believe, and the newspapermen ostensibly played the "middleman" role (yellow journalism era aside). The journalists cut through the hype and told the "balanced" version of events and issues.

In the dawning age of CGM - in editorial & advertising - we may come to miss these ombudsmen.

Perhaps the pendulum has swung in favor of CGM because newspapers became overly-produced house organs for Corporate America and political machines?

Perhaps a flood of crazy content from CGM will someday make us long for the days when we could "trust" the mainstream media for their accuracy, balance, and quality controls?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats interesting is the torrent of creative ads that have been created on what amounts to very little wiggle room in the material.

Heavy On the Chevy is attracting many submitters who are creating and voting on the best chevy ads. Be interesting to see which ones win.

April 05, 2006  

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