Since the launch of Current TV, visitors have been encouraged to produce their own programming. Now Current TV’s sponsors are also encouraging viewers to produce the kind of commercials they want to watch. Prize money ranges all the way up to $50,000, if your spot is picked for a major schedule of air-time.
In response to a continuing program of “assignments” put forward by the online channel’s actual sponsors, a wide variety of consumer-generated advertisements are on tap at Current TV:
The rules are fairly open in this campaign to generate grass-roots advertising for existing sponsors. Advertisers post “assignments” for the CGA ads they want, and consumers vie to fulfill them. The spots can run any length up to a whopping three minutes.
Strategic Note: If a spot is picked to air on Current TV, the creator gets an immediate $1,000. Creators can earn much more if a sponsor elects to place an ad in other media slots. To be competitive, consumers must study the ads currently running, so the program directly induces consumer involvement with the sponsors’ paid advertisements. The submitted spots, which amount to grass-roots feedback, will also point a spotlight at a product’s or brand’s most appealing characteristics, and could conceivably lead toward the identification of entirely new messages and ancillary benefits that may have escaped notice by the high-priced talent in the agency’s back office.