February 03, 2014

This Year, Doritos Won the Super Bowl with User Generated Content

By now, it’s no secret that Super Bowl commercial spending is through the roof. In fact, it costs about $4 million for a 30-second television spot during the big game. And that doesn’t count the additional spending needed to actually cast, shoot and produce the film. Tack on a big name celebrity or special effects and the price tag for capturing the peak attention of about 100 million people can be outrageous.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies spend exorbitant amounts of money producing less-than-memorable television shorts with little payoff. There is always a funnier commercial, or a more dramatic commercial—or one that captures a certain mood better. It’s very difficult and costly to create the best one and steal the show.

Which is what makes this year’s Doritos 30-second Super Bowl commercial so appealing. In fact, its “time machine” commercial, created and shot by 39 year old Raj Suri at his parents’ home in Arizona, cost only $200 to make. And it took only eight hours. That’s because Doritos did things a bit differently this year by opening a contest up to the public inviting users to create and submit commercials themselves in contest form. The contest mandated that Doritos would pay for the television commercial spot, and would tack on a $1 million prize to the winner.

As a result, the company received 5,500 entries without having to actually make them—and this is what your business needs to pay attention to. Whether you are producing video, text or audio content, content production is expensive. But by inviting your customers, partners and fans to occasionally create content for you, your company could wind up getting a whole year’s worth of content out of the deal. Your company could garner a lot of support in the process, too.

Aside from being able to stockpile user-submitted footage, user generated content is also great from a social media perspective. Doritos was able to capitalize on the fact that it did something unique and exciting. As a result, interested consumers flocked to social media sites to share and vote for their favorite video.

The lesson here is that by getting creative and trying something new, Doritos was able to stand out during this year’s Super Bowl—and that is more than can be said about some companies. As a blog manager or a content director, try inviting your readers to submit guest articles and videos. Offer cash or promotional incentives, and sell the ability to become published in a professional setting. Your blog will thrive with new voices and new opinions, and your company will become known as an innovative source for information as well as a customer-centric organization.


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