Plundering UGC Cash, Who’s In?

I’ve just been flicking through New Media Age. And after my earlier comment about User Generated Content, I was dismayed to see how many column inches have been given over to terrible UGC ideas – but with MASSIVE cash prizes. I did a quick count, and I reckon that this week there’s about £20k up for grabs. Not to mention holidays, TVs, etc. I reckon there’s probably cars and things out there too if I were to go and look. (Doritos just put up $50,000 in cash for their ‘Crash the Superbowl Promotion‘)

Suddenly a really evil plot hatched in my brain…

  • Most entries to those things are not very good – I know from bitter experience of being on the receiving end.
  • Most of them don’t get that many entries
  • If you were good at writing, making short films, photography, etc. it wouldn’t be that difficult to win a lot of the contests that exist. They’re all being judged by marketing departments after all. And we all know what clients want to hear (or at least we’ve got a reasonable idea).

Anyone fancy forming a loose ‘A-Team’ (or a rubbishy B-Team) of creative types with a single-minded ambition of seeing just how much we can extract from UGC campaigns? I’ve got a fantasy of releasing a story to the marketing press with a bunch of people swimming in a pool of ill-gotten cash?

Anyone up for it?

33 thoughts on “Plundering UGC Cash, Who’s In?”

  1. Oh, this is fantastic – count me in.

    Reminds of a rubbish movie I just half-watched on HBO – “The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio”. It’s a throwback to these women who wrote jingles to win contests in the 50’s!

    I can’t wait to get my Toaster Oven and lifetime supply of Pop Tarts…

  2. not sure how much help i could be on the other side of the atlantic…but I sure would love having some awful pg marketer pay off some of my student loans.

  3. As if to emphasise your point, all the Dorito’s finalists looked like traditional TV spots and it was easy to pick the ultimate winner. I volunteer to be the guy who gives the creatives obvious notes!

  4. oooh… you’ll need a creative comms planner with a penchant for mischief and a knack for wearing many hats. Previous experience as Wonder Woman impersonator merely bonus.

    When do we start?

  5. I can balance stuff on my chin, and do the moonwalk. I also may be a Vice President of the Seaton & Sigglesthorne Horticultural Society, and am practising ‘Candle in the Wind’.

    I offer my services.

  6. a group of us sitting around and making branded content in exchange for cash seems like a dreadfully hollow and unfulfilling way to live, if you ask me.

    In. *chokes self with rolled up media guardian*


  7. Hmm, these are people who are trying to get content without having to pay professionals. So you’re getting together a group of pros and semi-pros to prove that you can win a pile of their prize money, but in the end you’re going to be giving them exactly what they’re after, on their own terms – professional labour at a cut-rate price. No doubt they get rights to use all the submitted material, regardless of whether you win.

    On the other hand, if you sneak in winning content that subverts their intended message, then that will be something to crow about. Adbusters 2.0!

  8. Reporting for duty: Dutch guy with a healthy creative appetite.

  9. Funny thought.I agree with Kief that this is exactly where these marketing people are after. Getting the job done by pro’s at a cut-rate price. However the point should be that these guys receive a lot of valuable information about their lead users. This sort of initiatives show that there have to be second thoughts about this use of this kind of tools. The users generate the content they expect to win, not the content that you want use for yourself. Which could be of far more greater value to the companies.

    Good luck!

  10. I’m not in (too many distractions at the mo) but this is brilliant idea.

    I’ll buy Marketing when you make the front page.

  11. Hmmm,

    Ad guys: Get some UGC!
    Client: You what? Content’s what we pay you for.
    Ad guys: Trust us!
    Client: Er, ok then…
    Ad guys: Haha! Fooled you, you clowns!

    Or maybe I’m just jealous having absolutely nothing to contribute apart from bucketloads of cynicism… ;)

    Nah, really, it’s a fantastic plan. Throw us an ipod shuffle when you start drowning in them.

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