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cokeshow.jpgBy B.L. Ochman Watching big ad agencies trying to master new media is a lot like watching people who are having mid-life crises trying to look hip, cool and young by adopting the toys, tools, and language of youth. It’s rather pathetic.
And that’s so sad because there really is an unprecedented communication revolution taking place in social media. And those who use the tools well have the opportunity to bypass traditional media and advertising and connect as never before possible with their customers and potential customers. But a lot of big companies will walk away from their agency’s lame social media experiments saying that this new fangled stuff just doesn’t work.
A painful new example is Coca Cola’s new “Coke Show” campaign It’s a video contest that asks for contestants to make short films that demonstrate the essence of the filmmaker. The contest aligns with the company’s new tagline, “The essence of you.” The videos will be rated by visitors (although that feature isn’t working) and then judged by a collection of professional filmmakers.
So far, all the entrants seem to be using the videos to sell their filmmaking services. Interesting. That is likely to keep the real audience for something like this — customer evangelists and Internet savvy young people — from entering the contest.
Somebody should be able to capitalize on that desire over at YouTube or Google Video. But it’s hard to see what that has to do with Coke, or how it might ever convince anyone to drink any. They suggest that we get inspired by watching coke’s most recent commercials. Puh-lese.
In a14-page PDF “Full Details” Coke explains the rules, and relates that the judges are Wieden + Kennedy ad agency, PSYOP, LAMBO, Nexus, and Transistor studios, who all work in advertising and who, apparently all worked on this campaign.
AQKA created the site, which has many cool elements.
“We specialize in understanding cultural trends.” says the weiden+Kennedy website. Not this time. The trend is consumer generated advertising like the Coke and Mentos geyser videos, not this totally structured, slick contest.
And they gotta be kidding — asking me for my address and phone number to enter the contest! And to agree to privacy rules that are not posted on the site.