Wednesday, 9 February 2011

♔ The Power Of Social Authenticity

Unless being demonstrated in activities like professional sports (where you actually can see the product in action), celebrity product endorsement has become pretty irrelevant today.  Add to it you can get Snoop Dog, Mark Cuban or any number of Kardashian’s to tweet about your brand ( for as little as $5,000 – and it becomes pretty clear – authenticity is king today.  Savvy advertisers are recognizing the power of social authenticity.

This transition has taken place over the years because consumers enjoy watching and empathizing with people just like themselves.  Why? Simply because its easier to connect and identify with them.  Average (real) looking people seem more inviting and suggest an authentic back-story.  Fueled by our desire for authenticity, life itself has effectively become the ultimate reality show – and social media our broadcast channel. Brands today are making their customers the hero and primary focus.

A phenomenal example of this is Volkswagen’s latest campaign (by Tribal DDB London) “The People’s Reviewer”.  Volkswagen crowd sourced reviewers for their new Tiguan, across a range of social mediums including YouTube, Blogs, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.  The campaign started with thousands of YouTube auditions to find interesting people who’d potentially make a good reviewer. Then, they were split them up into heats and taught how to use Twitter, Facebook and Flickr to build buzz around their review of the Tiguan (to win votes) while they were driving it for the week.  The incentive? The winning reviewer drives away in the Tiguan they reviewed.

This is a great example of an integrated (through the line) campaign that leverages social media to create good buzz, while also employing a participatory vehicle that forces users to utilize and demonstrate knowledge of the product’s features and benefits to generate content.  Moreover, to vote for the winner, users had to review others reviews – thus viewing the same content over and over again.  This has to influence sales. Check out the website here or the YouTube auditions.

The results? After over 1000 applications, 3 entertaining heats and 1 challenging final, users decided who should be crowned ‘The People's Reviewer’.   From the finalists users chose their favorite reviewer – 33-year-old Harriet Gore.  Watch her winning video below.