Monday, December 8, 2008

Don't they know it's entertainment

When we talk about user generated content or consumer created entertainment, we're generally referring to the digital species.

Saturday's Do they know it's not Band Aid Christmas Spectacular not only raised more than $2,000 for Icee, but reminded me of the joys to be found in content creation of the old fashioned kind.

This was no loser generated content effort. Oh no.

With a little help from their friends, Emma and Sonya put on a spectacular night of 80s tunes, and not just from the DJ booth (thanks to Chris aka one half of the Pedestrian boys).

Hosted by the charming, disarming and generally hilarious Kate Smith, talented friends performed numbers by artists who were part of the original Band Aid - Bob Dylan, Bowie and The Bangles.

Of course, we all knew where the night was heading. We were hurtling happily towards a We are the World group sing-along with Bob, Bono and the rest.


Willie made an appearance too

It did get me thinking about what can enable this sort of entertainment - the kind that is enjoyed by a few friends, in a little gallery in Darlinghurst, for a good cause.

And even though there's something nice about the homespun variety, the world of digital means that if we really wanted to, we could turn our little concert into something much bigger.

Hey, who knows, next Christmas there could be groups of people all over swilling cheap wine and singing red faced as they clutch their Stevie Wonder cut out and sway in unison.

p.s Thanks to Emma B for the great pics

4 comments:

tamir said...

Hi Kate, this is hilarious.
As many of us 80's kids grow up, I think this can get big. Good luck next year! I'll be happy to put a little Willie Nelson button on the blog :) Can it go with MTV clips in the background?

Scott Drummond said...

I actually think one of the healthiest and most engaging things a brand could do right now is find something that people universally love to do together - a fancy-dress/costume party for example - and become the international sponsor of that thing.

So we'd have a clothing company (H&M perhaps?) ask their community to put forward their party listings (perhaps through an existing free tool like Upcoming) and fancy-dress/costume theme.

Other members of the community could then proceed to vote up the parties that they want to see pimped by H&M, and ther parties that gain the most votes would receive the H&M treatment.

The brand would basically help the person to throw the most insane, kick-arse party of all time. They would insist on helping out with clothing, but otherwise the brand would just step back and let the party shine.

Then they would collect heaps of great UGC from the party - give as many people at the party video cameras (FlipMini for example), have a professional photographer and videographer there shooting too.

End result for the brand? Amazing experience had by large group of people, enabled by the brand. Not branded, just enabled by the brand.

Will this increase amount of people buying H&M clothes? Not neccessarily, but then TVCs don't work that way either. For the same cost as a TVC, you could run 1000 parties around the world ($500,000 for the TVC, $5000 funding per party).

Build a site that geotags the parties, and displays the media generated from them and you have a truly remarkable piece of marketing, something genuinely memorable for the 50,000 or so people who were there, and pretty awesome for members of the global community.

The lesson? Brands need to think more about how they can get the freak out of the way and just better enable awesome times for consumers.

Kate Richardson said...

Hi Tamir,
I did feel a little old on Sat night!

@Scott thanks for your hefty comment. It appeals to me a) because I love dressing up and b) the brand is the invisible hand.

In terms of driving sales, building brand = building long term sales.

Also, it would be worth exploring how you could leverage the activity across the entire business all the way into the retail environment. Year 2 maybe.

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