Will Doritos Spawn a UGC Ads Comeback?

We love that Doritos brought back its UGC Super Bowl ad contest, and we love it even more that two unemployed brothers showed the ad world what’s what by creating a groin-achingly funny spot. Joe and Dave Herbert’s “Free Doritos” commercial not only won the brothers the Dorito’s contest (and a cool $1 million), nabbed the top spot on USA Today’s Ad Meter and was voted favorite ad by the YouTube and Hulu audiences, but according to a new survey released by comScore yesterday, Doritos enjoyed the biggest improvement in consumer perception among advertisers in Super Bowl.

Given all the positive buzz, we wonder if UGC ad contests will see a resurgence in 2009 after fading away last year. Doritos, which made headlines with two previous Super Bowl commercial contests, took a break from this type of content during the 2008 Super Bowl and told us at the time that UGC ads had passed their peak. After a flood of UGC ad contests back in 2007, the advertising world just seemed burnt out on the concept.

But perhaps the crappy state of the economy will spur advertisers to once again look to the masses for cheap marketing labor. Forget “Free Doritos,” we’re talking free labor. Why hire a big, expensive ad firm when you can hold a contest? And with so many people unemployed and taking paycuts, there’s more incentive than ever for everyday folks to get their creative juices flowing for their shot at recognition and cash prizes.

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