What a great idea. Following on from the recent ‘thumbs up’ that Blink 182 and AT&T received for their innovative use of User Generated Content to launch their single launch in eight years, it’s good to see other companies are thinking of ways to use existing UGC rather than simply creating more content in an already cluttered market. In case you hadn’t heard, AT&T helped Blink 182 search YouTube for every instance of fans using their music without their permission. And then they rewarded them for it, making a film clip out of the videos (the irony being this was without the fans’ permission). I’ve embedded it below so you can have a look.
Working in advertising I’m well aware of the cost Consumer brands need to allocate for music rights to play a famous song in the background of an Online advert or digital production. And more importantly, the trouble a Global brand can get in to if it doesn’t properly pay for the official licencing. What I often think is a shame is how this wealth is allocated – the famous bands/artists get richer – having been paid a huge sum of money to allow the brand association with their persona while the talented, unknown artist continues to struggle. I barley know my Gaga from my Beyonce so perhaps I’m the wrong person to discuss music – I don’t pay that much attention to backing tracks in adverts – I just like tunes that support the visual journey and complement the tone of voice of an Advertisement. So I am naturally in awe that often a significant part of a Advertising production budget can go to backing music when there is so much raw talent around and artists that would no doubt jump at the chance to provide Global brands with backing music for next to nothing – in return for some Online exposure.
Obviously there’s still a job to do – to ensure those music creators are of high calibre and conform with a brand’s image – but I’m sure given more than 48 hours (two days worth) of video are uploaded to You Tube every minute there’s a good chance the ‘right’ artist and music already exist. Good luck Coca Cola and I’ll certainly be thinking about how I can use the amazing hours of existing UGC/music and talented people yet to be discovered in my next campaign.
For the original New Media Age article click here.