Name: Hongmin Yu
Tutorial Time: Wednesday 5pm-8pm
Tutor: Kai Soh
User Created Content
With the fierce development of Web 2.0 generation, users and audience’s participation and interactions with the online world is being quickly driven. Under this circumstance, “user-created content”(UCC), one of the twenty key new media concepts(Flew, 2008), is more and moe popular to be applied in marketing and brand management by companies and organizations. “User-created content”, different from the traditional models where users just forward or interact with contents created by others(Hinton&Hjorth, 2013), mainly refers to the ways under which users are both remediators and producers of new media contents(Flew, 2008), and their identity have transferred from participates to “produsers”(Bird, 2011).
UCC have three typical characteristics which lay the foundation for its spectrum(Vickery and Wunsch-Vincent, 2007): the publication requirement, which means the outcome is published on some platforms, especially the social networking sites where a bunch of audience exists; the creative effort, that is, users must put their innovation and efforts into creating to add the unique values to their work; the creation outside professional routines and practices, which means the work is created by non-professionals who are motivated by many other reasons except profit(Vickery and Wunsch-Vincent, 2007).
UCC involves different types such as texts, images, videos, audios, citizen journalism (Hinton&Hjorth, 2013) and with the development of technology and user habits, new types including gifs, memes, stickers, apps…are more welcomed and generated. Concerning about the platforms, social networking sites(facebook, snapchat, instagram, twitter, etc) are important ones for user created contents for their functions of sharing and circulation, so as wikis, blogs, podcasting and the visual world such as 3D digital environment or VR platforms(Vickery and Wunsch-Vincent, 2007). These platforms’ active level and usage ranking is closely connected with our group’s selections of social networking sites where our user-created content driven activities will be put on, and the plan for promoting different UCC types on different platforms.
UCC keeps showing greater and multi-perspective impacts in different areas, consisting of economic impacts, social impacts, cultural impacts, citizenship and engagement, educational impacts and so on(Vickery and Wunsch-Vincent, 2007). The economic impacts are expressed by the frequent application of UCC into advertising, marketing and brand management strategies by companies and organizations(Kim, Kim and Moon, 2012)—which can be proved by the case studies below—and by the quick rise of UUC-related business models in these years. In terms of the social and cultural impacts, UCC has increased the user participation and autonomy, the opportunity to create or shape celebrities or public recognition, together with the diverse and creative set of culturally content itself(Vickery and Wunsch-Vincent, 2007). Based on this, we have chosen UCC as our main promotion strategy for that Sydney Conservatorium of Music Concert owns the positive social and cultural meaning as a musical event, and UCC can help circulate the cultural and artistic atmosphere online by generating more users’ personal contents and experience.
Three case studies are introduced to show the functions and successful effects of UCC in marketing campaigns and activities. They are: Coca-Cola’s “Share A Coke” campaign, Muji’s #MUJIPENART campaign, Swedish Tourist Association’s “The Swedish Number” campaign.
“Share A Coke” (Coca-Cola)
Promotion Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-ahnFYzMp8
Coca-Cola’s campaign of “Share A Coke”, first introduced in Australia in 2011, has kept being popular in the past several summers for its’ involvement and customization of customers’ idea and intention, and it can be regarded as a continuously successful example of UCC. Customers(users) can own their unique coca-cola bottles by adding their names, the lyrics or the film lines they like on their bottles’ surface, which offers them the opportunity to participate, create and deliver a personal relationship with the brand(Socialbeta.com, 2017). This campaign has helped Coca-Cola gain 7% sales growth in the first two years and keep over 2% growth rate in the following years(Socialbeta.com, 2017).
In 2017, “Share A Coke” campaign is again back and will expand the names available and the Coke flavors to 5. Customers can also personalize their own glass bottle on https://buy.shareacoke.com/. In the British area, there will also be cokes with personalized tourism spots, such as Bali Island, Hawaii, etc(Socialbeta.com, 2017).
Promotion Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJVgZdisG24
Muji Japan delivered a pen-art photo contest that encourages people use pens to draw creative pictures and share them online by using the hashtag #MujiPenArt on Instagram and Twitter in 2016 to promote their new pen products. Online audience were also encouraged to vote for the pictures they like, through which the contest’s result came out. This UCC campaign had gained over 3000 submissions on Instagram and 3100 votes on Twitter without any investment in ads, moreover, authentic brand content for Muji pen’s marketing and later brand management were generated.
“The Swedish Number”(Swedish Tourist Association)
(Swedish Tourist Association, 2016)
In April, 2016, the Swedish Tourist Association launched a campaign called “The Swedish Number”: people all over the world can call the country’s phone number +46 771 793 336 to randomly talk to a Swede who can be anywhere and own any identity around the country. On the other side, every Swede can participate into this initiative by downloading a specific app and register. In the end, as the official data shows, there were 197678 incoming calls, 190 calling countries and over 367 days’ total call duration(Turistföreningen, 2016). The agency Ingo Stockholm won the direct Grand Prix Prize in the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity by virtue of this campaign.
Originally, this campaign was created to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Sweden’s abolishment of censorship and to attract more tourists by getting them to know the country more. Then because of its humanistic form and content—conversations and communications created by two speakers in different countries, more cultural meanings are generated. Conversations through phone calls have became the main “product” and “outcome” in this campaign, which can regarded as a perfect case of UCC.
UCC in The Con Project
Based on our key message and the user-created content theory, our group has decided two main campaigns: #DateWithMusic and #BeCharmWithMusic.
In first campaign of #DateWithMusic, young adults’ photos and videos of their experience about the Con together with their families and friends under the hashtag #datewithmusic are promoted on Facebook and Instagram, during which their pictures and videos are the user-created contents that help promote the Con’s brand and attract more attention online.
For the campaign of #BeCharmWithMusic,we are aiming to empower the amateur music players, which are our campaign’s second audience, and promote them to create and upload the videos of their playing on the internet under the hashtag #becharmwithmusic. The good outcomes are connected to every week’s free ticket opportunity. Through this, we want to involve the non-professionals to be the potential concert audience, the circulators, and the content creators. The strategy is kind of similar to the #MujiPenArt campaign.
The frequent use of UCC in both the Con campaigns and #bethefliter campaigns in the Social Media Communication classes can also prove that this theory is really useful. However, in the real marketing and promotion case, it has to be applied to together with other methods or models, such as the online and offline integration, so that the campaign can reach its goal.
Flew, T. (2008) New Media: An introduction: 20 key new media concepts. pp.21-37. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Vickery, G. and Wunsch-Vincent, S. (2007). Participative Web and user-created content. 1st ed. [Paris]: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Hinton, S. & Hjorth, L. 2013. Participation and User Created Content. Understanding Social Media. Sage Publications Ltd, London
Kim, M., Kim, W. and Moon, Y. (2012). How User-Created-Content (UCC) Service Quality Influences User Satisfaction and Behaviour. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, 29(3), pp.255-267.
Socialbeta.com. (2017). 海外案例一周 | SocialBeta 本周 Top 5 海外营销案例（20170423）. [online] Available at: http://socialbeta.com/t/case-collection-overseas-ad-weekly-20170423.
Coca-Cola (2016). Share a Coke USA Commercial. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-ahnFYzMp8.
Muji (2016). How MUJI Drives Brand Advocacy With Creative UGC Product Marketing Campaign. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJVgZdisG24.
Swedish Tourist Association (2016). The Swedish Number | +46 771 793 336. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtb3f_NAmK0.
Horton, H. (2016). ‘Call a random Swede’ – We tested the Swedish tourist board’s quirky new initiative. The Telegraph. [online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/07/call-a-random-swede—we-tested-the-swedish-tourist-boards-quirk/.
Turistföreningen, S. (2016). The Swedish Number. [online] Theswedishnumber.com. Available at: https://www.theswedishnumber.com/.