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Quid Pro Quo Isn’t Quite What It Used To Be: User Generated Content & Your Brand

Quid Pro Quo Isn’t Quite What It Used To Be: User Generated Content & Your Brand

Doritos is the current undisputed king of user generated content. For nine years now, they’ve been running an annual contest, inviting their fans from all around the world to create a funny, clever 30 second commercial about their chips. The two best ones make it onto TV during the Super Bowl, where they’ll be seen by over a hundred million viewers.

If you’ve never made a commercial, take it from us: it’s a lot of work. You have to come up with a concept, create a script, figure out how you’re going to film the whole thing, round up a bunch of people, and, if luck is with you and the stars are all aligned perfectly, it’ll all come out great on the first take. It’s far more likely that more than one take will be required, and you’re probably going to spend a few hours editing the whole thing – like we said, a ton of work.

[Tweet “Today’s customers want brands that can be their friends. “]

So why are Dorito’s fans so eager to make commercials for them for free? Let’s get the most cynical interpretation out of the way first: it is true that a sizeable percentage of Doritos commercials are created by aspiring creatives who would absolutely love to attract the attention of a major agency. That being said, what explains everybody else’s efforts?

The way customers think about brands has really, really changed. Unlike previous generations, where a company’s brand was a sort of disembodied marketing asset, today’s customers want brands they can have relationships with. They want to interact and engage with the brands they like most. They want brands that can be their friends.

What do you do when you want someone to be your friend? You talk to them. You say nice things about them. And, when the occasion presents itself, you give your friend gifts. When a fan creates a commercial, a graphic, a poem, a song or any other piece of creative content for a brand they love, it’s absolutely a quid pro quo relationship – but the compensation they’re looking for isn’t necessarily financial. Instead, fans are often searching for acknowledgement, attention, and maybe even some level of affection from their favorite brands. All of these are easy to provide – and cost you nothing except some time and effort.

Look for opportunities for your brand’s fans to share their love of you, with you. Obviously Super Bowl commercial airtime is beyond most of our budgets, but you can share videos your fans create on your website or social media. Be open to inviting other types of content as well. The world is full of aspiring poets, essay writers, artists, and musicians. Give them a stage to perform on, and they’ll thank you for it. Just make sure your invitation to share includes language that makes your intentions to share and redistribute the content very clear. That way, everybody’s happy!

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office