Website Header

Maximizing User Generated Content


Finding your "you"

Cian Duffy
Doodles 0014 crown
Doodles 0034 Whale

We all know word of mouth is the most effective way to boost awareness of your products and services. People trust their friends’ recommendations and opinions. Even more than that, people like to like things other people like… Whoa.

There’s no new concept here. Since the beginning of digital, marketers like us have been telling businesses like you to get your customers to share their experiences, leave reviews, post pictures, use hashtags, etc. Maybe you did that, maybe you didn’t and maybe it worked and maybe it didn’t. Either way, this strategy isn’t a one and done, and we’d like to thank Doritos for reminding us of that.

The first time Doritos did their user-generated-ad contest “Crash the Superbowl” was 2006. The winners of the contest got to have their submission shown in their Super Bowl ad. It went great, obviously, they’ve been doing it every year since. To celebrate the return of football they created another user-generated content campaign, “Crash From Home,” this time calling on creatives who were stuck at home due to COVID-19.

Though it certainly works for Doritos, offering an incentive isn’t the key to getting the best results. A competitive edge isn’t the reason people make great content for brands. Although Doritos’ advertisement for the contest seemed pretty open-ended, the submission guidelines on their website were pretty hefty.

Guidelines help spark creativity. No one has ever created something genius, just because someone handed them a blank canvas and said: “Go! Create!”. To get the best UGC results, You’ll need to get the ball rolling for your audience.

How you do this is by finding your "you"
Whether it's your brand's personality,
your location's aesthetic, or your product's differentiator, find what establishes your brand.

The Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) is a great example of this. Due to their incredibly synchronized brand colors and their interactive spaces at their locations,

MOIC’s audience can’t help but take photos by the pool filled with sprinkles or the hot pink subway car. Not only that, fans make MOIC inspired recipes, illustrations, stickers and even tag MOIC when they get pink ice cream somewhere else. MOIC’s appealing and unique aesthetic has created long-lasting brand loyalty and UGC.

Another more lowkey, semi-local, example is Manhattans Pizza Pub in Burlington, VT. Their walls are hand-painted by local artists and the murals change consistently. Whether it’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pizza party scene, to drive home their best selling product, or their Ramones homage, customers can’t help but take pictures in front of their wall with a slice and a beer. That, tied with their “Hail Pizza” merch has helped them develop a community that generates brand awareness.

All this to say,

Your brand is special,
and you shouldn't have to convince anyone of that.
  1. What are the things about your brand that make it special?
  2. Do your customers know about those things?
  3. Do they have the tools to easily amplify those things for you (for example a ‘gram-able space, a challenge/task, etc.)?

    If you’d like further help finding your “you” and building a community around your brand, drop us a line. We’re here to help.