Want to crowdsource your ad builds? Think again.

Commercials aren’t cheap to make and generally you’re stuck with only one option. Why not send it out to the masses and let them make the commercial for you? You’ll have lots to choose from and the price you’ll pay to use it will be so inconsequential that your bosses will view you as the most savvy budget adhering member of the team.

I’m sure Skittles thought that putting together a competition to win a vending machine would be a surefire bet to get some quality material. People got to make their own commercials with no funding from the brand and then they just wrapped the end of the spot with a supplied clip.

Unfortunately they learned the lesson that many teenagers in high school do, things live forever on the internet. I’m sure there were quality submissions that met the requirements but someone decided to make a commercial that was completely over the top and it’s not apparent who actually made it. Watch below. Depending where you work this link to the video could be NSFW.

76skittles

Tis the season

It’s that time of year again where companies pull out all the stops to shine up their image and get some free publicity. It’s been happening for decades and everyone, including the news media still eats it up. Don’t get me wrong, I eat it up too, but its a very strategic piece of an organization’s marketing mix.

The first time I remember something like this in my era was when the Polartec manufacturing facility in Lawrence MA burned down weeks before Christmas. The owner Aaron Feuerstein promised to keep all of the employees on the payroll while they rebuilt. It’s was a holiday miracle because many of the employees wouldn’t have been able to make it without a paycheck during the season, let alone during the reconstruction. The media ran with the story for weeks and although the decision ultimately bankrupted the company it’s still something I think of during the holidays and when I put on a Polartec Fleece.

Today I came across this story from the Lego Company that responded to a child that wrote them a heartbreaking letter about how he’d saved up for particular set and by the time he got the money together it was discontinued and selling for a small fortune on eBay.

They sent him the set for free along with a nice note about how proud they are to have him as a customer. It’s now viral and just in time for the shopping season.

I do question some pieces of the video due to the multiple camera angles and the tearing open of a box which I believe the parents would have had to of inspected before giving it to him. The reading of the entire letter through me a bit too. I’m sure most people don’t think as deeply as I do about this kind of stuff but being a marketer I question every time I see a can of Pepsi in a movie. Either way, it’s heartwarming piece of video.