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Apr 05, 2017

Submerging into UGC

by Ana Galizia - Account Executive

Submerging into UGC

Are you looking to interact more with your consumers?

If so, you just might want to put on your snorkelling mask and take a plunge into the world of User Generated Content or UGC for short!

More and more brands are starting to replace traditional engagement techniques with this new approach and promotional marketing seems to be leading the way.

Consumers are now being invited to not only make a purchase, register their details, enter a pack code or maybe scan a till receipt to be part of a draw, competition or instant win. They are being motivated to create their own digital content, capture an image or even upload their take on the brand’s next advertising campaign. 

Take Walkers’ latest sharing bag promotion for example, which invites entrants to take a picture combining their face with a face on the pack to win UEFA Champions League tickets. Do this in a Tesco store, next to the fixture, and there’s also a chance to win exclusive retailer prizes too.

Others to recently follow suit include Kit Kat, Ambrosia and our own client, Ocean Spray who have been inviting people to send in images of their ‘Wholeberry feeling’ in support of the brand’s new Wholeberry™ drinks range which we helped launch earlier this year.

The added benefit also lies in the increased usable content these offers provide saving brands both time and money in populating their social channels with new, relevant images, ideas and creative whilst making consumers feel part of something bigger.

With that thought in mind, here are a few of my own personal UGC favourites over recent years:

“Wanderlust” by National Geographic Magazine

A photographic contest which asked users to “capture glimpses of the unforgettable people, places, and experiences that have impacted their lives” then post photos on Instagram with #WanderlustContest.

This contest was successful because National Geographic capitalised on their strengths. They realised their audience follows them for the beautiful travel pictures they publish. National Geographic used this knowledge as leverage for their campaign. The Wanderlust contest ticked the boxes of publicity, brand awareness, and brand development.

“The Bear & The Hare Reworked” by John Lewis

John Lewis’ Christmas ads are usually the talk of the town. In 2013, they invited artist Lily Allen to cover Keane’s “Somewhere only we know” for their campaign. But they added a twist to their typical offering by launching “the reworked”, which was a contest for aspiring musicians. Entrants had to record themselves doing a cover of the song and upload it to YouTube for a chance to win a special recording session in London.  

The campaign managed to increase John Lewis’ online advertising reach through the shareable user generated content and helped to reinforce a positive brand sentiment.

“Reinvent the Draught Beer Experience” by Heineken

Heineken’s “Reinvent the Draught Beer Experience” challenged consumers to submit ideas through videos and images on ways to improve their product and make Heineken’s offering, not to be confused with their beer tour in Amsterdam, better.

The idea of reinventing the experience allowed the company to reposition their product in consumers' minds whilst helping to identify any gaps in its delivery.

These examples clearly show how different formats can be used and moulded to support and add value to any campaign, making them ever more engaging, dynamic and pervasive.

As technology keeps advancing and new social media platforms start to exist, more and more brands are sure to explore the UGC world and the floodgates will then be open to ever more exciting creative uses of this engaging approach.

Maybe it’s time to find your wetsuit, flippers and underwater camera and dive in too!

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