I just listened to yesterday's Daily Source Code (why am I always a day behind?) and to one of the shortlisted the Earthlink ads and then I went to Earthlink Ad Challenge to listen to more.
Some are great, but what unites them is the huge amount of thought and production values that has gone into them. I wish I would vote actually! Perhaps Podshow & Earthlink will succeed in creating a 'user generated', or 'authentic media' (I prefer the term 'honest') advert that truly works. Many seem to follow an Apple 'style' - real people with real american accents talking about real stuff, with a hint of humor, poking fun at the stupid people who don't use this product.
But I really think this is a great way not only of finding your next ad campaign, but of generating hype around your product obviously, and of getting people to really define what it is in their eyes that makes you different from the rest. It's like advertising, grass roots marketing and market research all rolled into one. Your community of users is your community of evangelists, (and of course I am a fan of Pinko Marketing.)
But all this got me thinking about contests. It is a 'contest' after all and the reason people are spending their weekends making adverts for their Internet Service Provider is because there's the possibility of winning an actual prize. Another contest I thought about this week is the 'My Dream App' contest - you submit an idea in under 800 characters! and if you win, someone makes it for you and you get to keep a share of all profits form the app / business idea. I helped my fiend Hanno in writing the submission for what we think is a great idea / disruptive 'utility'. We'll see what happens.
So yeah, contests; if you apply the Digg concept of 'popular opinion' to them, can they go even further. (We know this works from TV, right?) I would like to vote on my favorite earthlink ad, and on my dream 'dream app'. Whist this is not the first time I have been interested in geek contests, I seem to be noticing there is suddenly more of it about.
Maybe I'll experiment with nongeeky video contests next!