User Generated Content: a critical discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of UGC on advertising campaigns.
This essay presents a critical discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of UGC on advertising campaigns. Examples of different UGC definitions will be given and current advantages and disadvantages will be described and supported through the example of three advertising campaigns: the competitive TV campaign Apple’s Mac vs PC; the #McDStory Tweeter campaign that was forced to shut down only two hours after its launch and the case of Farm, a fashion brand from Rio de Janeiro which develops its communication almost entirely online. A few other examples are given to support the advantages and disadvantages described.
In this age of recommendation, word of mouth has informed business and campaigns into becoming worldwide phenomenons or the contrary: to disrupt just a few hours after their launch (Rand, 2014). According to Ziegler (2011) research of non-chinese women who started million-dollar businesses in Hong Kong, the majority of the successful entrepreneurs invested their communication budgets in word of mouth; from contracting Public Relations agencies, persuading close friends or by simply developing a ‘neighborhood newsletter’. Moreover, Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi woldwide, said that the concept of the ‘big idea’ is gone; marketing should inspire people, create movement; and interaction is key once ROI should be about Return of Involvement (Draycott, 2012). In a very short period of time, Internet has changed the way we work, socialize, travel and buy. Companies changed by being more present in social media and by infiltrating themselves into the conversation. No longer the perception of the brand is only property of the firm, it is also of us, consumers, and seasonal campaigns hardly create the same involvement as a funny video or a tweet posted at the right moment.