According to NRN Pizza Hut hit a single-day sales record on Superbowl Sunday this year with this commercial, compiled of crowd sourced clips playing football. Using platforms like Facebook and Twitter, they asked fans to submit videos of themselves playing football and saying “Hut Hut Hut” to appear in a spot during the Superbowl. They weren’t alone in soliciting user-generated content this football season. Companies like Pepsi, Doritos, and Lincoln also creatively crowdsourced for, what most would argue, the most important advertising day of the year in America.
What is it about crowdsourcing that is so effective? For those of you who are unfamiliar with the phenomena, here is a short video to get you up to speed.
Crowdsourcing in advertising embraces the idea that your customers are not only consumers, but producers as well. They are your target audience, but can also be used to perpetuate your brand identity among greater audiences. ” Such opportunities give consumers the illusion that they’re in the driver’s seat. But the real driver: Advertisers are trying to coax consumers into getting more involved with their brands” (USA Today).
This Pizza Hut commercial was very successful. Users submitted their footage online, voluntarily, with the desire to be in a national ad, maybe without realizing they would become a part of the Pizza Hut brand.
Crowdsourcing, in the case of this Pizza Hut Superbowl commercial, is utilizing “Plain Folks”, a technique that persuades people “by appealing to the common man” (ACME). Often times in advertising, companies spend a lot of time and money to make actors / scenes appear to be normal / typical and relatable to their target audience. The great thing about crowdsourcing for advertisements is that the people who submitted their own user generated videos are already in Pizza Hut’s target audience. Much less manipulation has to go into the production of the commercial this way, aside from choosing and compiling which videos they wish to use.
Crowdsourcing is a trend in advertising for a variety of industries. How long do you think it will be until it runs its course?