Who Does Own Your Brand?

There’s an article in today’s business section of the New York Times describing Heavy.com, titled “A Web Site So Hip It Gets Laddies to Watch the Ads.” Half of the appeal is that the community of users also contribute to the video-heavy content. But what was most interesting was the attitude of marketers at Burger King who have let these same users create ads (of a sort) for Burger King, without their control.

Gillian Smith, Burger King’s senior director for media and interactive marketing, said the program with Heavy was ‘a calculated risk.’ Ultimately, the company concluded that people who were likely to be offended by this sort of video were not likely to spend much time on Heavy.com and besides, it no longer had the ability to control its brand imagery the way it had in the past. ‘Anyone could have purchased a king mask, which we sell online, done exactly the same stuff and put it up on their own blog,’ Ms Smith said.

Clearly the wave of the future. Let your customers create the advertising.

Erik Hansen posted this on March 27, 2006, in Branding.
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