Social creativity is becoming increasingly important in the world of marketing, with a number of brands trying to convince punters to either come up with ideas for ads or submit content to create them. Last year, Unilever's Rexona brand got its pound of sweaty flesh with the treadmill of devotion. And now, as part of its Do More brand platform, it's asking them to submit clips to support the All Blacks and help create a special film that will be written by, directed by and star everyday New Zealanders and be curated by director Taika Waititi.
Kiwis here and around the world are being encouraged to upload a 60 or 90 second video via www.rexona.co.nz demonstrating the extra efforts they go to in their everyday lives. And every day for the next year, Waititi will choose a piece of work that showcases how New Zealanders do more for themselves and others. The best entries will be used to create the final clip, which will be launched before the All Blacks head to England next year to defend the Rugby World Cup.
Airbnb's crowd-sourced ad, Hollywood & Vines, was based on a similar idea. It asked fans to send in Vine videos, which can easily be made from a mobile phone, and it also had a director Tweeting tips and curating the film.
“We’re looking for videos that demonstrate the extra effort people go to that really shows the Kiwi spirit," says Waititi. "The options are endless and that’s the really exciting thing about this project. I have no idea what people are going to send in. We want to hear the stories of the ridiculously early mornings and the late nights. It could be that extra lap they take around the Auckland Basin, taking food to the elderly home in Lower Hutt or peddling up the Port Hills. It’s all about the extra effort."
Rexona has been sponsoring the All Blacks for around six years and it has made pretty good use of its sponsorship, from the earnest rituals spot for the Rugby World Cup to some friendly training banter and even a bit of French farce. The Do More platform was originally created by Naked Communications Sydney and is now being promoted with a series of inspiring YouTube videos. And this campaign, which aims to bring to life the support the country provides the All Blacks (and, of course, inspire a bit more sweating), was created by Ensemble in Australia in conjunction with PHD Group (Spark PHD, PHDIQ and Spark PR & Activate) in New Zealand, along with Curious and The Works.
As well as sponsoring the All Blacks, Rexona also has a separate deal with Dan Carter (which means he's always the leading contender for the 'spray shot'). And Carter is also being used to drum up interest in this campaign.
As he said in a release: “We know that Kiwis are patriotic and passionate when it comes to supporting the All Blacks—and we want to see that passion on camera. We want this to be something that Kiwis can not only be part of, but be proud of. This is a chance to, potentially, involve the whole country and create something very memorable in the support of the All Blacks.”
As The Zoo's Giles Tuck said when he spoke recently, many brands hope for user-generated content. But it's not as easy as saying "make us a 20 minute science fiction film and win some Doritos".
"It doesn’t happen. You have to be very prescriptive about what you want back and you’ve got to make it manageable and accessible. It’s a hugely time consuming task."
But in an era where participatory marketing is becoming more common, humans do seem willing to spend their time creating content for brands—if the hook is good enough.
In New Zealand, Volkswagen launched its People's Film last week, V is currently asking fans to submit ideas for new campaigns, Sky got Game of Thrones fans to Bring Down the King via social media and Fonterra is keen to follow on from its success with Feel Tip Top.
In the UK, Christmas in a day was a 45 minute documentary created for Sainsbury's that showed a bunch of regular folk celebrating Christmas day. It was inspired by Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald and producer Ridley Scott's Life In A Day and, according to the Daily Mail, Macdonald, who also directed Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland, received more than 360 hours of footage from all over the UK.