Fan Film, Fan Films

Analysis Update: Super Bowl ‘Fan Ads’ A Hit

NFL AdLast week, I discussed the four “fan-created” ads that were shown amongst much hoopla at the Super Bowl, musing how that might affect fan filmmakers. Noting that many people make fan productions as calling cards in hopes of breaking into movies, TV and advertising, I remarked, “For now, this barrage of ‘fan-made ads’ is likely an abberation until their effectiveness with consumers can be properly measured. If they don’t have much impact, don’t count on seeing an avalanche of me-too, user-created marketing any time soon. If they do work, though, it might be time to brush up that demo reel.”

Well, fan filmmakers out there had better hit the editing suite, toot sweet, because the verdict is in and two separate marketing surveys concur: Average people love ads made by average people.

USA Today reports that the ads created by amateurs “took three of the top six slots in a survey of which of the game’s commercials gave the biggest boost to viewers’ opinion of the brand,” quoting IAG Research’s querying of more than 6,000 respondents. Two Doritos ads placed, with the sex-crazed cashier landing as the third-strongest ad of the night, and the guy flirting in his car being named sixth. An NFL ad about post-season depression, conceived by contest winner Gino Bona (in photo above), a sales director at a Portland, ME marketing firm who beat more than 1,700 entries, ranked fifth for the night.

Backing up that research is an article from MediaPost which notes research firm comScore found that “most respondents–63%–thought the professional ads were equally as entertaining as the consumer-created ones [and] a sizable 21% thought the user-created ads were better.”

Despite the ads’ strong showings in these and other rankings of Super Bowl commercials, the fact remains that the cashier Doritos ad and the NFL ad weren’t really devised by Joe Shmoe, but rather by people who are tied into the advertising world already. As a result, despite the success, “fan-created” advertising is still not a fully-proven theory, and even if it was, let’s face it: Madison Avenue is hardly going to throw up its hands, give up its six-figure salaries and go home. As Toni Fitzgerald of MediaLife Magazine remarked in a recent story, “Ultimately, advertising is about imagination–coming up with smart ideas no one else thought of–and agencies have no lock on that particular human quality…. But while [the apparent success of the fan-created ads] may prompt agencies to consider doing business differently, it won’t be an overnight revolution.”

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