Sunday, May 27, 2007

Slashdot | Free Ads Can Be Really Expensive:

"Companies are finding that this 'Web 2.0' user participation thing sometimes isn't all its cracked up to be. The New York Times reports on the efforts of big companies to harness consumer enthusiasm for assistance with advertising. Heinz, for example, is running a campaign asking users to submit videos using their product in inventive ways. The problem, of course, is that most of the submissions are utterly terrible. The result is a headache in terms of quality control and making use of the turned in submissions. 'Heinz hopes to show more than five of them, if there are enough that convey a positive, appealing message about Heinz ketchup, he said. But advertising executives who have seen some of the entries say that Heinz may be hard pressed to find any that it is proud to run on television in September. "These are just so bad," said Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive of the Kaplan Thaler Group, an advertising agency in New York that is not involved with Heinz's contest. One of the most viewed Heinz videos -- seen, at last count, more than 12,800 times -- ends with a close-up of a mouth with crooked, yellowed teeth. When Ms. Kaplan Thaler saw it, she wondered, "Were his teeth the result of, maybe, too much Heinz?"'"