Cable network Current is hoping to cash in on the current popularity of user-generated content by making it easy for marketers to create user-generated advertising.
Satellite radio service XM is the latest advertiser to sign on for Current’s VCAM program; that stands for Viewer Created Ad Message.
Current president of global advertising Liz Janneman said user-generated ads strike a chord with the channel’s viewers, who prefer VCAM ads to those created by ad agencies by a 9-to-1 margin.
“It’s in their voice, it’s more authentic, they relate to it more and it’s more believable to them,” she said.
About half the ads on Current now are viewer-created ads for brands including Mountain Dew, EA Video Games, L’Oreal, Pop Secret, Sony Ericsson, T-Mobile and Toyota.
Ms. Janneman said advertisers pay extra when they buy the VCAM program, which the channel administers for the sponsor by soliciting contributions, posting ad specs and providing materials that ensure the finished ad will have all its music and other rights cleared for takeoff.
“It’s really hard for advertisers to do this on their own,” Ms. Janneman said. “It’s an absolute point of differentiation because we have the engine that really simplifies the process.”
Having viewers make ads requires an advertiser to let go of its brand—a scary prospect. Chevrolet experimented with letting visitors to its Web site create ads for its Tahoe, and it wound up with a lot of anti-SUV, pro-environment messages.
[Learn More at: TV Week]