User-Generated Commercials: What can the advertising industry learn from Doggface208’s Fleetwood Mac TikTok?
“When the advertising industry understands why Doggface208’s recent TikTok video is the single best “commercial” in the history of Ocean Spray’s brand, then it will start to wake up and understand what’s going on.”
Not my words, but those of Gary Vaynerchuk in an article for Campaign. I’m passing them on because never a truer word has been said about the state of advertising today.
Doggface208’s video of him skateboarding to the soundtrack of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams whilst drinking a bottle of Ocean Spray received 9.2million likes, over 100,000 comments and sparked a wave of copycats across social media platforms (including one by none other than Mick Fleetwood himself). It’s perhaps Ocean Sprays best advert ever - more impactful, more talked about, and more awareness-building than anything achieved by previous high production, high cost advertising campaigns.
User-generated commercials are the ultimate in brand advocacy. The brand is telling an authentic story by way of persona association - through real people who buy their products, interacting with those products. It works because people trust other people more than they trust brand messaging.
The success of user-generated commercials such as Doggface208’s serve as a wake-up call to brands and traditional advertising agency creatives. They shout loud and clear that they are rapidly disrupting the industry, by allowing brands to spotlight the authentic voices of their fans and customers.
With almost everybody armed with a smartphone, nowadays nothing goes undocumented. Everyone is a content creator, capturing moments in time and posting them for all to see. But more often than not brands and advertising agencies alike fail to use this valuable footage to its full advantage.
Gary Vaynerchuk makes another valid point in this regard. Advertising gold like this is serendipity - brands have to hope “a real human being does their best ad” for them. He’s right - Ocean Spray did not provoke this activity. They were chosen by Doggface208 to feature in his Fleetwood Mac TikTok video, probably randomly. Similarly, Hennessey did not target the rap community in the US to gain notoriety – they were selected by rappers as a ‘brand scalp’ and flaunted in videos and online activity. Coke and Mentos had nothing do with two friends dropping six Mentos sweets into a two-litre bottle of Diet Coke, only to witness a geyser-like reaction.
However, here I beg to disagree - it doesn’t have to be down to serendipity. Brands and creative agencies can up the odds of capturing that lightning strike moment by actively engaging with content creators. Every brand has a Doggface208 out there - the challenge is having a way to find them.
Newsflare is that way. Our 40,000-strong content creation community constantly surprises us with the creative ways they interact with the brands they love. We have over 150,000 clips on our platform which can quickly be tracked and filtered to expose unexpected, disruptive and unique content through the power of artificial intelligence, algorithms and sophisticated martech. Once uncovered, this content can help you build brand loyalty, up-scale authenticity and credibility, and importantly encourage engagement and share-ability.
The chances are, your next authentic user-generated commercial is sitting there waiting for you already. But if isn’t, then all is not lost. We can help you create it by crowdsourcing content. No, this does not mean a return to contrived scripts and storyboards. It’s an authentic call to action, which is very different to directed action.
Think Asos and their recent TikTok campaign, which exposed viewers to user-generated content featuring its products by asking fans to take part in their #Aysauce challenge and post a 15-second video showcasing three outfits of their choice. Or think Starbucks and their infamous white cup contest. They didn’t storyboard or direct the action, they just empowered audiences to tap into their limitless energy for content creation and the results were the same – authentic advocacy and brand-building advertising gold.
Thanks to Newsflare, brands don’t have to cross their fingers and hope a real human being does their best ad.