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Are Consumers The New Face Of Advertising?

March 28, 2011

Think about your favorite clothing line or favorite brand of food and now imagine you had the chance to give that company their next big product. How cool would that be? Well for enthusiastic consumers of Baskin Robbins, Lands’ Ends and Mountain Dew their branding dreams have become reality. I read an article in USA Today about the newest addition to the Baskin Robbin’s ice cream family created not by their “super secret test kitchen”, by but a 62-year-old grandmother of four. Diane Sroga, of Chicago, IL, entered an online contest for fun and ended up winning the coveted spot of creator of Bunches of Crunches ice cream due to launch this June. In addition to oodles of free Baskin Robbins ice cream vouchers, Diane Srgoa will be featured in their upcoming commercial ads and most importantly gets to represent her sweetest company. Baskin Robbins has joined the ranks of other companies who allow their consumers to temporarily take charge. According to USA today, the new breed of consumers “demand to call the shots (with) savvy marketers increasingly finding ways to let them just do that-even in creation of products.” Mountain Dew and Lands’ End have done similar product launches with their Mountain Dew White Out and I Heat Winter t-shirt designs.

So why does this work so well? It’s a way for the big companies to show their consumers that their opinions are valued. It also opens the door for tons of free advertising. From Facebook status updates to Twitter’s tweets, consumers wanting to win these contests will spread the word to everyone and anyone. Companies, “are doing it to keep consumers engaged with the brand. They’re doing it in response to social-media-wise consumers who demand to have a direct say in the products that companies make (and) they’re doing it because a growing number of brands recognize that some of the best ideas come from outside, not in.” I remember back when I was in the 7th grade and M&Ms launched their new M&M’s color campaign where it was up to us to vote on which color made it as the new M&M’s. My friends and I championed for purple but sadly blue won in the end. Regardless of which color came out on top, everyone was having M&M’s fever. It’s all we talked about and ate. We encouraged everyone to vote and even bribed a few people with some free Mars bars. It seems the newest marketing trend of allowing the consumer to do the marketing for you is working. If only Fresh Step would get on board, I have the purrfect spokes-kitty.

What companies would love to create a product for? Here at GAI ( we would love to hear your ideas. Already own a company and would like to do a similar type of marketing campaign? Let us at Gunwel help you by handling all your tax and bookkeeping needs so your finances can fully support all your business ventures. With tax season near its end, be sure to come in and have your taxes done, we can make sure you get all the business deductions you are entitled to! So give us a call at 212-978-6830 or stop by for a visit. We are open Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturdays 8am-5pm and walk-ins are always welcome.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 13, 2011 3:33 pm

    Excellent post! Thanks a lot.

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