A must read article for all marketers and advertising execs on the rise of citizen media by Jackie Huba at the Church of the Customer. I hate to pull out any highlights because the post should be read in it's entirety and it is worth while to check out all of the links and examples, but here is a teaser:
- In many cases, citizen media is more authentic and believable than agency work. It's created by customers not schooled in the traditional means of advertising. Citizen marketers aren't required to shimmer the truth to meet a CMO's desire for pedantic common denominators. Citizen marketers aren't beholden to often-silly categories of customer profiles dreamed up by account planners. They are the account planners.
- "It's a real problem...And the problem gets bigger the more people see this stuff. It begins to muddy the message....The ad industry should rise up against [amateur ads]."
Marketers had better be careful - I think that barbara Lippert has much better advice for ad agencies.
- "The advertising industry ... has to reexamine everything it has done for 100 years," says Barbara Lippert, ad critic at Adweek magazine. Passionate brand fans with big ideas have always flung them at corporate headquarters, she says. "Now regular people have the tools to make ads," and to take them public themselves.
- It may be tempting to set loose the lawyers and take a hard line on any unsolicited use of copyrighted materials - blocking well-crafted tributes and dubious parodies alike. "[But] you don't want to be seen as cracking down on your most avid consumers," says Ms. Lippert.
And if you have not taken the time to check out citizen media in action, treat yourself to a few minutes at the Converse Gallery, it' is worth it.