Pete Blackshaw has an interesting piece on branded user generated content or co-creation. It’s a very compelling form of brand engagement – if you can pull it off.
You can’t just put up a site and let go otherwise your brand identity can suffer – at the same time to many rules means you loose authenticity. The other key point is that the invitation to participate needs to be consistent and credible. (See his previous post for more insights)
What’s interesting about both these campaigns is that by engaging customers around content creation and discussion they invite the user into the brand creating emotional resonance, while building distribution through their social networks.
Mathew Ingram points to a similar rumored endeavor over at Lucasfilms. To make the 30th anniversary will launch a site allowing users to draw from a reservoir of 250 clips from across the 6 (so far) Star Wars films to make their own videos.
So what’s this got to do with media? It reminds me a bit of the old branded radio (and TV) shows, the soaps and variety/comedy hours. In both the brand was front and centre – except now the content is generated by some of the people who also consume it.
As John Murrel so wisely says at the end of his piece on the Starwars.com “Wise you will become if the audience you heed”.