From the NY Times, April 4, 2006..Chevy Tries a Write-Your-Own Ad Approach, With Predictable Results (my comments added)
In theory, the company was hoping that visitors to its Web site would e-mail their own videos around the Web, generating interest for the Tahoe through what is known as viral marketing. By the measure of Chevrolet Tahoe videos circulating the blogosphere and the video-hosting Web sites like YouTube, that goal was achieved.
But the videos that were circulated most widely like the commercial that attacked the S.U.V. for its gas mileage, may not be what Chevrolet had in mind. (understatement)
A spokeswoman for Chevrolet, Melisa Tezanos, said the company did not plan to shut down the anti-S.U.V. ads. "We anticipated that there would be critical submissions," Ms. Tezanos said. "You do turn over your brand to the public, and we knew that we were going to get some bad with the good. But it's part of playing in this space." (yeah..you have to love having your SUV associated with dead soldiers, terror, domestic spying, global warming, strong mixed sexual content, failure to be a good dad and stupid design.)
The campaign was created by Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., part of the Interpublic Group of Companies....(Soon to be out of business with GM)
John Butler, creative director for Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, the agency in Sausalito, Calif., that created the Converse campaign, said user-generated content worked only if it fitted the product.(BINGO!)
Other companies that have experimented with user-generated content have had less tolerance for mockery.
"We think there are some voices inside G.M. that understand social media very well and knew this would happen," the post said. Mr. Neisser of Renegade said Chevrolet could have anticipated the way the Web site was manipulated. "Were they really expecting the consumer to make nice and create very pleasant movies?" he asked. "If they were, they haven't looked at anything on YouTube."
Oh. it is painful to watch. spin .spin, spin. (Remember submit your best ads in the comments.) So you really think they are not going to take it down?