3M and Others Get Stuck on UGC Video Contests

Brands are increasingly attracted to user generated video competitions, encouraged by the success of recent campaigns from the likes of Doritos. 3M has jumped on the UGC video contest bandwagon, most recently on behalf of its Post-it Note brand. The company plans a YouTube homepage takeover campaign this weekend to support the campaign.

The “You Stuck it Where?” campaign, launched last Friday, encourages consumers to submit videos of themselves using the brand’s Super Sticky product line in an innovative way. The company will award the winning videographer, as voted for by the public, with a prize of $10,000.

Recent branded video contests such as Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” and Tourism Queensland’s “The Best Job in the World” campaign have influenced others to take a stab at the campaign tactic. Citing research from the company’s 2008 Advertiser Executive Survey, Forrester Analyst Nate Elliot asserts that 21 percent of U.S. marketers used UGC in their advertising efforts last year, and approximately twice as many marketers plan to run such campaigns this year.

What’s more, a wide range of marketers are now making use of the format. From a sample of 100 firms currently running video contests, a recent Forrester report states that companies in the travel, food, entertainment, fashion, and retail verticals gravitate to such campaigns. In addition, the study found that 18 to 24 year-olds are most likely to enter these contests, making the format appealing for advertisers seeking younger audiences.

This is the second year 3M has run a video competition for Post-it Note. The firm hopes to build on the 600 entries it achieved last time around. “There were already a number of videos out there organically, so YouTube approached us about launching a dedicated channel,” said 3M communications manager, Michelle Gebbie. “We were skeptical at first, but it’s turned out to make really good sense for us.”

The company is already receiving entries, but to help drive further interest, Post-it will takeover YouTube’s homepage display inventory for 24 hours this Sunday.

In terms of ROI, Gebbie said the contests have been achieving levels of engagement and interaction that other channels simply could not. “The budget was comparable to running a small TV campaign, but the UGC element just gives it so much more of a shelf-life. It’s very affordable in that sense; all the content ends up keeping the campaign alive, and we can go on to use it elsewhere.”

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