Pimp Product, Get Noticed

KFC has produced a new commercial that’s composed almost entirely of clips found by scouring the web, according to USA Today. Videos from thirteen different people made the cut, and the spot will air during tomorrow night’s American Idol.

Advertising agency Draftfcb did the work of combing through clips for the spot, entitled “Celebration.” “The idea of using consumer-generated content and putting together a bunch of unrelated videos to tell one story was so exciting we wanted to move on it,” KFC national marketing VP James O’Reilly told reporter Theresa Howard.

My own search of YouTube for clips tagged KFC doesn’t exactly turn up a bunch of happy customers. It’s mostly video of rats at a KFC restaurant in Manhattan and celebrities like Pamela Anderson and Al Sharpton suggesting that industrial chicken farming is inhumane.

I used to work with a director who specialized in “real people” spots, bringing his documentary experience to the better-paying world of commercial production. They were often shot on location with non-union crew, making them cheaper than shooting on soundstages and paying union scale wages.

But why pay for a director (or crew, or equipment) when you can just search for unintentional endorsements online? From the article:

Using [consumer generated] content in 15-second ads, however, shaves about 75% off the near-$200,000 average cost for such a commercial with professional video and can be made in about a third of the time.

My new business model is going to be to shoot video of myself pumping my fist, jumping for joy and squealing with delight against a green screen. Then I’ll composite in a variety of popular products, upload them to YouTube and tag with the appropriate brand name. I’ll become a consumer generated advertising powerhouse in no time!