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Free Ads Can Be Really Expensive

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the inverse-kinematics dept.

Media 141

An anonymous reader writes "Companies are finding that this 'Web 2.0' user participation thing sometimes isn't all its cracked up to be. The New York Times reports on the efforts of big companies to harness consumer enthusiasm for assistance with advertising. Heinz, for example, is running a campaign asking users to submit videos using their product in inventive ways. The problem, of course, is that most of the submissions are utterly terrible. The result is a headache in terms of quality control and making use of the turned in submissions. 'Heinz hopes to show more than five of them, if there are enough that convey a positive, appealing message about Heinz ketchup, he said. But advertising executives who have seen some of the entries say that Heinz may be hard pressed to find any that it is proud to run on television in September. "These are just so bad," said Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive of the Kaplan Thaler Group, an advertising agency in New York that is not involved with Heinz's contest. One of the most viewed Heinz videos -- seen, at last count, more than 12,800 times -- ends with a close-up of a mouth with crooked, yellowed teeth. When Ms. Kaplan Thaler saw it, she wondered, "Were his teeth the result of, maybe, too much Heinz?"'"

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141 comments

Amature production, what did they expect... (5, Interesting)

Safiire Arrowny (596720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290367)

Oh no, the people in your free commercial didn't have perfect actors teeth. Welcome to the real world Heinz, what did you expect to get for free from amatures?

Re:Amature production, what did they expect... (2, Insightful)

Hennell (1005107) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290399)

Watch the video... its clearly fake 'joke' teeth. Why they used that I don't know....

Re:Amature production, what did they expect... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19290419)

They could run it in Britain.

Re:Amature production, what did they expect... (2, Insightful)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293461)

I know you're joking, but I think you've kinda stumbled on to something.

These ads are not super bowl quality and are nowhere near what Heinz is used to. I think It all boils down to venue, honesty, and target audience. Traditionally Heinz will generate some glossy, processed, 1min. clip designed to remind people Heinz ketchup exists without leaving anyone offended, then they use a shotgun approach and put this commercial in any time slot deemed profitable per the ratings. The Internet tie in is different, sometimes offensive and works specifically with a demographic that relies on the computer for entertainment at least as much as the TV. This is what I think Heinz ought to do:

  1. Find a TV station or show where the audience is receptive to this sort of tie-in. (think Attack of the Show, G4/techtv, Adult Swim, or maybe a little niche on MTV somewhere).
  2. Be Honest. Tell the viewers exactly what it is they are watching. Heck, you can even be a little cynical about it then present the guy brushing his teeth with ketchup, this could be really funny given the right audience (those that know youtube can be a freak show).
  3. Demographic, the people this commercial works for are between the ages of 16-30, use the Internet daily, are likely to watch tv shows that tie in with the net well, and they are used to the idiocy that is Youtube.
  4. Profit!

It wasn't long ago that I read on slash somewhere that a large percentage of the US doesn't plan on even buying a computer ever. This means that on TV you can ask people to visit a website, on the Internet you can ask them to watch TV, on the Internet you can place content from television, but if you plan on placing Internet content on the television you have absolutely got to target the right audience. This is where Aqua Teen Hunger Force messed up in their movie promo, Boston (as a hole) didn't know what the hell those little LED signs were. I personally love Adult Swim, and wouldn't think twice about seeing a youtube Heinz commercial aired between ATHF and The Family Guy, because that channel/show block has a very high level of Internet tie-in already. Heck, I don't think I've ever seen a Heinz commercial in that block of shows anyway, so Heinz may really benefit from running with the campaign as it is.

Having said all of this, I don't like to see people discrediting this form of customer participation, http://www.deviantart.com/ [deviantart.com] does a very good job with graphic arts tie ins and gives those indy artists a nice way to boost their portfolios. Video is just little bit trickier for the amateur to pull off, but when the Internet is ready for professional grade indy commercial contests, companies like Heinz will undoubtedly be surprised at what they can get through a contest.

Skin a Scion, on deviantart.com [deviantart.com]

Re:Amature production, what did they expect... (-1, Flamebait)

moranar (632206) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290451)

what did you expect to get for free from amatures?

Certainly not gud speling.

It's "amateurs" i.e. "people who do something because of passion". Thus ends the lesson.

Re:Amature production, what did they expect... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19290465)

I invoke Godwin's Grammar Law.

Re:Amature production, what did they expect... (1)

Grant_Watson (312705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290767)

I invoke Godwin's Grammar Law.

Does that mean you were the one to mention the grammar Nazis? :-P

Re:Amature production, what did they expect... (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291307)

You can't: it's a spelling error, not a grammar error.

It's a perfectly cromulent word ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19290919)

I don't see the problem - it means a cross between an amateur and an auteur.

Re:Amature production, what did they expect... (4, Funny)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291433)

Welcome to the real world Heinz, what did you expect to get for free from amatures?
Probably a highly popular OS kernel. Smothered in ketchup.

Re:Amature production, what did they expect... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292747)

Why don't they just look for good ideas, then redo the commercial professionally based on the user-submitted idea ? Give the winner a little cameo or something. That'd be worth good brownie points.

Subject matter (4, Insightful)

Raptoer (984438) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290381)

Perhaps the "free" part of it is to blame, maybe its more that people that make good videos don't like Heinz enough for make an ad for them?
I mean would you really spend your free time making a video for a ketchup company?

Re:Subject matter (1)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290401)

Right ... it seems to me that you can sometimes expect people to produce and disseminate good content for free if it's something that is actually someone's passion. If it's a genuine art, or something that's derivative of something fun like a sport of a game, you can get some great stuff for free ... just take a look at some of the better stuff on YouTube, or deviant art, or video game mods. A ketchup commercial, however? Come on.

Re:Subject matter (4, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290417)

Perhaps the "free" part of it is to blame, maybe its more that people that make good videos don't like Heinz enough for make an ad for them?
I mean would you really spend your free time making a video for a ketchup company?


Indeed. I'm sure if Apple got that contest out, they'd get amazing submissions. But there's only so much inspiration and affection you may have for a bottle of ketchup.

The guys who thought up this contest didn't see that far I guess. Well, there's always a way out: hire one or more ad agencies incognito, produce 5 amateur-looking (but good) ads, submit them to the contest.. let those win and tadaaa!

Victory.

Re:Subject matter (1)

l33t_f33t (974521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290559)

As proof of your point I shall refer you to Firefox Flicks [firefoxflicks.com] .

Perhaps (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290747)

Some ad agency start ups might want to do just that.

 

Re:Subject matter (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291385)

"hire one or more ad agencies incognito, produce 5 amateur-looking (but good) ads, submit them to the contest.. let those win and tadaaa!"

alliwantforchristmasisabottleofheinz.com?

Re:Subject matter (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292411)

Perhaps the "free" part of it is to blame, maybe its more that people that make good videos don't like Heinz enough for make an ad for them? I mean would you really spend your free time making a video for a ketchup company?

Indeed. I'm sure if Apple got that contest out, they'd get amazing submissions.

Sure, they'd get some amazing submissions - but they also would get a bunch of utter crap to go along with them.
 
Note TFA summary carefully - they got mostly crap, not all crap. Nobody should have been surprised by this.
 
 

But there's only so much inspiration and affection you may have for a bottle of ketchup.

Most Apple users feel the same way about their computer - it's only a particularly rabid and vocal minority that gives the impression that Apple users are somehow 'different' (more creative). The crap-to-useful material is indicative of the percentage of creative people to non creative people in the general populace - nothing more and nothing less. (And, as I said, unsurprising.)

Re:Subject matter (2, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292983)

it's only a particularly rabid and vocal minority that gives the impression that Apple users are somehow 'different' (more creative).


Are you suggesting otherwise? Because "different, creative people" are very clearly a demographic Apple Computers aggressively markets to. Many of the creative people I know use them and like them, and lots of people I know want one. My girlfriend is using a little ibook I borrowed from a friend right now to check her email, and she loves it. Cause it doesn't look like some geeky piece of technology. It doesn't look like it came from my side of the bedroom. Asthetics are important to her, and I think they are important to creative people in general.

I think people who share common traits and interests would also share an interest in a particular tool that allows them to pursue their interests. I would be surprised if that were not the case. I know other tools will do the job also, and plenty of people will choose those other tools, but Apple Computers have that specific person (the "different, more creative one) in mind when they design, build and market their offering. The fact that they even care is enough for a lot of "creative" type people.

So back to the original point, I think Apple Computer customers would make better commercials than Heinz Ketchup customers.

Re:Subject matter (2, Informative)

kd5ftn (755219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294225)

I recently competed in a similar advertising campaign with Chipotle. The difference is this: Chipotle opened theirs up to film and advertising schools, making it a competition with a financial incentive. I'm not sure what Heinz is offering or who they opened it up to. An average Joe who's not familiar with advertising or video production isn't going to make you an amazing commercial. Anyway, my team's Chipotle commercial was the best, winning $20,000 for us and the school.

Re:Subject matter (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19290577)

Yes, But will it blend?

Re:Subject matter (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290821)

You have exactly the tack that they need to be thinking, but won't. Use the new media or rather exploit it without expecting others to do all your work. Will it blend would be a good place to start. Will a bottle of Heinz blend? hmmmmm

That is what viral marketing is about, not asking others to do your work for you. Produce something that people will watch for whatever bizarre reason, and let it go...

"for just 39 cents per day, you can keep a needy hotdog or hamburger clothed in Heinz ketchup." Now do a YouTube commercial type video on that premise. Advertising agencies are only good about 10% of the time. Web 2.0 has them all flummoxed.

Re:Subject matter (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19291245)

> Yes, But will it blend?

If you're referring to your Diggsian humour in a /. environment, then no, it won't.

Re:Subject matter (4, Insightful)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290585)

I wouldn't. Perhaps somebody who just graduated in a related field and who wants to get hired might.

Re:Subject matter (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291595)

If you want it done for free or dirt cheap, then it definitely has to be something that people are interested in. Even if it's for something that people are interested in, it doesn't always net good results. I think the Decemberists had a contest where you would win a camcorder and a computer. The problem is, if you were any good at video work, you probably had a better camcorder and a better computer already. I've seen a couple videos mocking them as being cheap bastards.

I don't really buy the "it's good advertisement" for the person that makes the video. It's may be another avenue to try but probably only for those that suck at self-promotion.

Re:Subject matter (2, Insightful)

Tassach (137772) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292097)

I mean would you really spend your free time making a video for a ketchup company?

I might seriously think about it if I were an unknown ad agency or a filmmaker trying to break in to the commercial biz. Winning a contest like this would be a good way to get discovered,demonstrate your skills, and build a reputation.

It might not be cool, or artistically pure, or whatever criteria art snobs use to judge their work, but there's a metric asston of money to be made advertising everyday products. Ketchup isn't an exciting subject material, but everything you do can't be "art" (which is something pretentious film/art school students tend to forget).

Re:Subject matter (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294235)

Perhaps the "free" part of it is to blame, maybe its more that people that make good videos don't like Heinz enough for make an ad for them?
I mean would you really spend your free time making a video for a ketchup company?
College students who are majoring in marketing or film making/directing anything of the sort would absolutely LOVE to get their commercial on television. These things usually are not won by average Joe. They're won by college students or amateurs trying to work their way into the business.

ads for free are'nt (0)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290407)

why should customers do Heinz' job? are you telling me that all the money they make and all the ads that they have made count for nothing? companies shouldnt expect their customers to do their work- even for a prize. that isnt their job. on the other hand if they do find something interesting they can always hire them instead of needing to have consumers make the ads for them.

Re:ads for free are'nt (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290637)

Actually, I would say advertising wise, this campaign will be a success.
Consider that Heinz haven't been discussed in years and suddenly its here on slash and on digg and in loads of other places..

Re:ads for free are'nt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19292671)

It was only two and a half short years ago that the Heinz heiress ran a three hundred million dollar national ad campaign.

Re:ads for free are'nt (2, Interesting)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291547)

Correction: Why should customers do Heinz's ad agency's job?

It's a fair question, but unless people are just really really bad at calculating the odds of getting the first prize (likely), then people are probably getting their compensation in other forms. My guess is it's the same motivation that drives so many to try out for reality TV shows, or bloviate on Slashdot: the desire to be a little famous. I mean, it's not like there was this deep, vibrant well of grassroots ketchup-love waiting to be tapped. Especially for Heinz ketchup. Those wankers made a ketchup that took an eternity to pour, then tried to turn it into a selling point. "Why, yes! I'd love to spend more time installing the condiments on my burger than I do actually eating it! The anticipation just makes it that much better!" Complete waste of everyone's time.

I can see some products that would naturally lend themselves to this sort of contest. Some things naturally get people enthused. Portable music players. Burning Man. Certain popular web development frameworks. But ketchup? The commercials I saw all seemed to say, "I don't actually love the product, but it would be nice to get on TV."

Re:ads for free are'nt (1)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292147)

companies shouldnt expect their customers to do their work- even for a prize.
The Slashdot redesign comes to mind here... *grin*

Re:ads for free are'nt (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293361)

why should customers do Heinz' job?
Why do people pay more to wear ads on their clothes?

Re:ads for free are'nt (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294229)

Why do people pay more to wear ads on their clothes?

They do so to make the statement 'I am a stupid dupe' so the rest of us will know and can avoid them.

In particular this applies to the expensive 'big brand' clothing like Coca-Cola items. Anybody 'proud' of Coca-Cola is probably some bubba.

OSS for free are'nt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19293995)

"why should customers do Heinz' job? "

Why should a bunch of people write code and release it to the public for free.

Why should a musician create some music and release it for free.

"companies shouldnt expect their customers to do their work- even for a prize. that isnt their job. "

You missed the subtle point. Quality costs. You get what you pay for.

Variatio on Sturgeon's law. (5, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290411)

Companies are finding that this 'Web 2.0' user participation thing sometimes isn't all its cracked up to be.
90% of web 2.0 stuff isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Re:Variatio on Sturgeon's law. (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290491)

90% of web 2.0 stuff isn't all it's cracked up to be.
And the other half is p0rn.

Re:Variatio on Sturgeon's law. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19291495)

hognoxious: 90% of web 2.0 stuff isn't all it's cracked up to be.

WrongSizeGlass: And the other half is p0rn.

You mean there's so much Web 2.0 stuff out there that it adds up to 180% ?!

Re:Variatio on Sturgeon's law. (1)

heptapod (243146) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292357)

You're forgetting that 60% of all statistics are made-up. I read it somewhere.

Re:Variatio on Sturgeon's law. (2, Funny)

armareum (925270) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293871)

In that vein, did you know that 69% of people have dirty minds?

(btw, if you had to re-read that, then you're not one of them.)

Re:Variatio on Sturgeon's law. (1)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293305)

No, he means it's getting late early this generation.

Re:Variatio on Sturgeon's law. (1)

26199 (577806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290583)

That statement can be generalised [f8d.org] nicely.

Heinz forgot the critical first step... (1)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290439)

1. Develop Fanboy culture.
2. Let Fanboyz create adz on their Macz.
3. ???
4. Profit!!!

Actually Heinz has a fanboy culture among many British folks. The mention of 'Heinz Baked Beans' to many is enough to bring fond memories. Now how to turn those folks into video makin' fanboyz for free, that's the question.

Re:Heinz forgot the critical first step... (2, Insightful)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290651)

Aside from your humorous dig, you do bring up a really good point. It's all about creating or strengthening a brand and building up a community (or cult, as you might say). I don't think Heinz will be able to build up an army of zealous ketchup lovers, but who knows? Stranger things have happened.

I don't see this as a failure to grasp Web 2.0. It's an attempt to grasp Web 2.0. I don't think Heinz was under any illusion that this was going to be free creation of advertising. It's the NYT's failure to grasp Web 2.0 that is in evidence from the article.

Well obviously (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290441)

They should just go the other way, and pick out the very worst ones. Something along the the lines of Leonard Pinth-Garnell.

Duh (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290457)

The whole set, from the 'creative idea' to ending up here - an excellent example of 'Progressive Stupidity'.

CC.

why no direct link to the ads? (3, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290463)

Sure, we can all RTFG, but the blurb really should include a link to all the videos [youtube.com] .

A few good links (4, Informative)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290789)

There are too many crappy ones, so here's a few that are less crappy.

The Cute Kids - 23 [youtube.com]
The Girlfriend - 42 [youtube.com]
The Fisherman - 45 [youtube.com]
The Punster - 62 [youtube.com]
The Ketchup Pass - 65 [youtube.com]
The Wrestling Brothers - 67 [youtube.com]
The Dog Food (animated) - 72 [youtube.com]
The Rappers - 79 [youtube.com]
The Ninja Kids - 126 [youtube.com]
The Dirty Joke - 208 [youtube.com]
The Behind the Scenes - 241 [youtube.com]
The Hot Hot Hot Girl - 291 [youtube.com]

Re:A few good links (1)

vorpal22 (114901) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291275)

Am I the only one who would prefer a link to the crappiest videos? I could use a good laugh this morning :-). I've watched a few from the beginning, and #4 is just painfully bad so far.

Re:A few good links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19291295)

The cute kids and the behind the scenes I like the best.. I can't say for sure if it's because of the near-crotch view of a decent looking woman or because it's actually original. I say both ;)

Uh... (1)

uptownguy (215934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291839)

A commercial that associates a wholesome, all-American product with having a threesome?
A commercial that ends in a teenage squirting a friend with ketchup all over his face?
These "less crappy" links are pretty horrible.

Thanks for the links. Now I understand what the article was talking about.
Seems to me that if you wanted to pick up a quick $57,000, it wouldn't be too hard to come up with a clever idea that also gives positive association with the product.

Re:A few good links (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292325)

Okay, who else here only watched the last one?!

Re:A few good links (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292863)

I was like that too until a few moments ago. I watched them all, and... you aren't missing anything.

Re:A few good links (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294249)

I didn't even try. Wouldn't I need 'Flash Player' to be installed?

Wrong approach... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19290477)

They should just hire Bob:

http://www.angryflower.com/manbeh.gif [angryflower.com]

Greedy advertisers (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290529)

Let me get this straight. These companies want you to make an ad for them, for free on a zero dollar budget and they're complaining that the quality is crap?

Morons.

Re:Greedy advertisers (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290649)

Well, think of it this way. If you are a budding filmmaker and want to have something on your resume, isn't this a good way of trying for it?

"Amateur advertisement for Heinz shown on national TV among 5 winners"

That's a pretty good lil advertisement for yourself to get into film school!

You'd think there'd be a couple of people out there who would have some talent and more importantly PRIDE in their work. As it turns out, most people who use the internet and participate in this stuff are soul-less, talentless ugly freaks who never see the light of day outside their mom's basements and probably DO brush their teeth with ketchup (we seem to have missed the gargling with a shot of mountain dew).

The thing to remember here though is that Heinz do not want free advertising; they want people to *contribute* (Web 2.0 style) and their reward is to be used on some TV spots - ostensibly an advertising campaign, but only insofar as it's branded. It probably costs far more to organise this kind of involvement than just having some agency come up with something quirky, and they knew it from the start.

I think they were just surprised about the amount of shite they got, and the lack of quality entries.

Re:Greedy advertisers (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290921)

...soul-less, talentless ugly freaks who never see the light of day...

You do know where you are, right?

Re:Greedy advertisers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19290807)

Yeah, maybe, but the ad campaign has got them some nice free publicity in the NYT and right here on Slashdot. Maybe not so dumb.

Re:Greedy advertisers (3, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290877)

That's okay, they clearly haven't watched the professional ads lately, anyhow. Most of them are complete crap, too. They send the wrong message, they have annoying sound and video, and they play way too often. I find it hard to believe this 'horrible' videos could do any worse than they already are.

Sending the wrong message is actually my biggest gripe about most commercials these days. Most of them try to show an 'average' person, but miss the mark end up at 'loser'. The end result is that 'product X is for losers' instead of their intended message. They even hit on this about the yellow teeth in the video, questioning if the message is that the bad dental hygiene was caused by their own product.

I'm not against commercials any more than I'm against movies or music. I'm against BAD commercials, movies, and music. Good commercials can actually be 30 seconds of humor, or awe, or heaven forbid, information you actually care about. (Cingular, Geico (old commercials), Apple.) The world is a bit short on awe and informative commercials, and I can't think of a single one now.

Re:Greedy advertisers (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292021)

You must be talking about the ads with Smilin' Bob for some 'natural male enhancement' product that airs just about every 15 minutes locally on a specific channel. Funny thing is, I can remember the horrid music and the rediculous, stupid face, but I can't remember the name of the product.

Re:Greedy advertisers (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292267)

No problem. If you decide to buy the product, you know which channel to watch and in about 15 minutes, you will be ready to pace your order with the knowledge tha soon, you will be smilin, too.

Re:Greedy advertisers (3, Funny)

sjames (1099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292099)

Most of them are complete crap, too. They send the wrong message,

I'm amazed how little advertisers think about the message their musical choices send. A PILL commercial with a bit of "We're not Gonna take it" in the background? Well, if they're not gonna take those pills, I sure won't! Then a commercial for "clean" coal with "Sixteen Tons" playing in the background? Why would I want to support exploitation of workers?

Re:Greedy advertisers (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292249)

Nothing lends itself to overanalysis like an advertisement.

Re:Greedy advertisers (4, Insightful)

indiechild (541156) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291763)

The companies (well, Heinz, in this case) aren't complaining. You didn't read the blurb or TFA, but that's OK. It's the advertising agencies who aren't involved who are complaining that the quality is crap. Pot, meet fucking kettle.

Gee, an ad agency thinks that user generated content which is competing with them (indirectly, or directly) is shit. Big fucking surprise.

Heinz already states that soliciting user generated content and then sorting it all out isn't cheap, and is at least as expensive as hiring a marketing/ad agency. No wonder the ad agencies are scared -- that's money that they lost out on.

It's a completely stupid and blindingly obvious news story, filled with loaded statements.

Re:Greedy advertisers (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293107)

Actually, it appears some random ad agencey (i.e., a company that is directly threatened by customer-produced advertizing campaigns) is complaining the quality is crap. Big surprise.

I wonder what the MPAA thinks of user-produced videos on Youtube. (Oh, that's right. There are none. Youtube is just a repository of stolen intellectual property).

Good for small time business (2, Interesting)

Jenna555 (1107979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290571)

Small businesses that don't have much money to spend on marketing and advertising can really benefit from "free" advertising techniques (stuff like this [yedda.com] ). Large enterprises have usually only succesfully ridden free campaign waves when they had already been in place (e.g. diet coke and mentos). Its much more difficult than it seems.

So every YouTube video is Oscar quality? (1)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290589)

First of all, what did they expect. As Amateur Production is by default, amateur, it isn't going to be professional quality.

Not only that, but the product they are using is flawed as well. Had the product been something very expensive, exclusive, or targeted to a select audience (perhaps amateur directors, script writers, graphic artists, or something...) they would have seen at least some creativity, but this is Heinz, a freakin' ketchup (or catsup as some may prefer).

And for those wishing to see the video, it is in TFA, or here is the direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGY-ubAJSyI [youtube.com]

Re:So every YouTube video is Oscar quality? (3, Informative)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290935)

Not only that, but the product they are using is flawed as well.
And not only that - but food and product photography is as hard as it gets photographically.

It is a highly skilled niche job that most professional photographers and cinematographers do not know how to do. You need to know how to get the right colors, temperatures and lighting to make food look like food. Often it's just faked too. For example, most whisky bottle shots you see contain tea, not whisky, because real whisky photographs to look like a bottle of urine.

Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19290603)

Is it possible that, perhaps, viral video is simply not an effective marketing strategy for FUCKING KETCHUP?

Re:Shocking (1)

wombert (858309) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293159)

Well, no, that would probably do extremely well. It's just that viral video doesn't work well for regular ketchup.

Re:Shocking (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294627)

No kidding,

Its not that people cant make good armature quality videos.. its that there product is so utterly dull nobody wants to.

Let me try some slogans here:

Does your food taste bad? Heinz Ketchup, taste good. Put it on your food that taste bad.
Leroy's last meal was covered in Heinz... Let's do this!
Our Ketchup is less boring than John Kerry AND more drunk than Teresa Heinz Kerry!
Our product makes learning how to use the computer fun and enjoyable.. please.. try my product.
Ketchup Soup? (oh yeah, creeemy smoooooth) We salute you "Mr. Stoned twenty-something apartment dweller."

Web 2.0: Utter failure? (5, Funny)

philovivero (321158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290627)

Yeah, this web 2.0 thing is just crap. I mean, you have a multimillion dollar company, and you try to get a bunch of people on the internet excited about your stupid sauce product, and no-one seems to have any enthusiasm for your boring corporate image whatsoever.

All eight people on the internet that ARE excited about your stupid sauce product are just mediocre media creators without the creative vision required to make your stupid sauce product look hip and cool.

Obviously we should just move directly on to web 3.0, where everyone is fucking stoked about sauce products. The top DJs of the world will do entire sets themed on ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. Beautiful runway models will gyrate and make kissing faces at your stupid sauce product.

Hells yeh, babies. No more of this web 2.0 BS. It just wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Re:Web 2.0: Utter failure? (2, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290749)

Stupid sauce? We're talking about KETCHUP, man! Ketchup! The first amongst condiments! Ketchup! [youtube.com] Ketchup! [youtube.com] Ketchup! (and chairs) [youtube.com] More Ketchup! [youtube.com] Ketchup on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

I hope this has cleared up how far ahead of its time ketchup is. There's big money in ketchup entertainment products.

Re:Web 2.0: Utter failure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19291329)

I wanted to participate, but I prefer catsup...And btw, I tried feeding some to my cat once, but he didn't care for it.

Re:Web 2.0: Utter failure? (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293519)

Beautiful.

Re:Web 2.0: Utter failure? (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293525)

At this point, it is more of a syrup product than a sauce product (high fructose corn syrup to be exact).

What did they expect? (2, Insightful)

ndogg (158021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290635)

At least 50% of the population is of below average intelligence, and typically, 90% of everything is crap.

Re:What did they expect? (1)

Josef Meixner (1020161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290689)

What did they expect?

To get free advertising on the internet. And even when 99% would turn out to be crap to at least get some of decent quality to air them on TV. Afterall who hasn't heard of some videos on YouTube and other of those sites which have fantastic quality. So obviously you can get people to do the videos and by doing so get them to also do the advertising.

It just shows again how much people in big corporations without any clue (or do you believe the manager who had that idea ever had visited YouTube?) trust the bullshit of some consultants and parties with vested interest in promoting that stuff.

Re:What did they expect? (1)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291603)

I read someone's signature, saying that "99.9% of people have more than the average number of legs."

If you said that exactly half the population was of below-average intelligence, it would mean that you're assuming a standard gaussian distribution of intelligence. But why say "at least"? That implies that intelligence might not follow a precise standard distribution, but that the deviation can only be in one direction.

Ah, I love the smell of gratuitous pedantry in the morning.

Re:What did they expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19294203)

If you said that exactly half the population was of below-average intelligence, it would mean that you're assuming a standard gaussian distribution of intelligence.
No, it would only mean that there is an even number of people and that the average intelligence happens to fall between person n/2 and n/2+1 if you sort everyone.

Re: utterly terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19290657)

"utterly terrible"

These are the two words I love most!

And here is one of the many reasons why: http://www.cracked.com/index.php?name=News&sid=164 9&pageid=5 [cracked.com]

Fsck the rest.

maybe no one gives a fuck? (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290723)

about stupid hienz ? how much do they think people care?

Re:maybe no one gives a fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19294135)

Heinz may be stupid, but at least they can spell their own name.

No surprise (2, Insightful)

wrmrxxx (696969) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290729)

I'm not surprised that they're not satisfied. It's pretty hard to improve on the free Heinz ads that have already been made: The Goodies Beans Boy ads [youtube.com] . I saw these when they were first aired, and they were so effective that I still find myself saying "Get it right!" to people now and then.

Bandwagon effect. (1)

Creeping_Dread (1046692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290739)

They jumped on the Web 2.0 bandwagon, but fell off again. Seems like a lack of research and understanding. At least maybe other companies will learn from it.

I've waited years for this (5, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19290845)

When I was in 5th grade, I waited untill the last minute to do my science project.
My mom & her friend decided I was going to see which brand of ketchup dripped the slowest.

I'm proud to say, Heinz ketchup dripped the slowest & thus was the thickest ketchup.


Mark me whatever you want, but this is proof that my shitty last minute science project was truely ahead of its' time & I should have got a fucking A++. :)

Should I be surprised? (1)

TechnicolourSquirrel (1092811) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291055)

There is really not much creative use to which you can put a bottle of ketchup (that would be fit for a G-rated audience), is there? Garbage In / Garbage Out. Oh, and one more tip for Heinz: if you are going to try to "harness" the power of audience enthusiasm, it helps not slag off the unprofessionalism of all your entries in public. Guess what just happened to all of the enthusiasm of everybody who read that insult? If you're going to truck with the mob, you have to find a way to appreciate the mob. And don't give them a lame-o assignment to start with.

The World's Smallest Violin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19291125)

"Oh dear, our giant corporation can't convince enough people to make quality advertising for us at home for no money at all."

Does anyone else have the sudden urge to start submitting videos in which a person is holding a bottle of said ketchup while screaming terrible, terrible swear words? If we can get a couple hundred of those, I think the consumer ultimately wins.

'Free'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19291453)

Note that they're offering $57,000 to the best ad, so the comments of "what do they expect for free" are somewhat misplaced.

Oh I get it... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291493)

... ads for free....meaning the ones who are to buy the product are the ones to create the ads for it, without pay.

Did I miss something or are they just trying to emulate the software development process.

1) get others to come up with ideas for free.
2) sell it to them.
3) profit

fuc4!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19291793)

most people int0 a FrreBSD went out

Madison Ave. shown to be obsolete (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19291797)

What Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive of the Kaplan Thaler Group,is missing out on is:
We are tired of and numb the old paradigm that we will all be successful,look younger,be trimmer and have a perfect life if we use their brand of soap.
Real people react more positively to each other than their celluloid airbrushed counterparts in commercial land.
Linda Kaplan Thaler represents an old school that doesn't know it's extinct.Kinda like Network TV.Unfortunatly for us this means we still have to endure madison avenue assuming we're all morons in ads,till they finally go away.
Linda and others like her tho,after spending a mint on education and keeping up with all the
(obviously skewed)statistics will continue to hold on to their ideas carved in stone while the world passes them by.Oh well ,bye bye.Send us a card from the land of obsolete cliches.

Re:Madison Ave. shown to be obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19291905)

...and they disqualified 23/24 of the worlds population, eliminating everyone but Americans.

Uh, editing? (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292093)

Unless they said they will use the clips unedited and without alteration (and if they did say that, they should fire their lawyers...nobody says that), they can do a bit of digital editing to make their ad appeal a bit more to their needs. The contest fine print undoubtedly says something along the lines of "All submissions become the property of Heinz Inc.", so I don't see what the problem is. Even if there was a 'horrible outcry' over their 'deception', it's has nothing negative to do with their actual food product, and they'd just have that much more exposure in the media. I totally don't see the problem.

polished fake world of TV (2, Insightful)

drDugan (219551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292431)

Silly Ad exectutives, this just goes to show just how fake things are that are "typically" on TV and other ad mediums.

<start bitter rant>

Go walk down the street and look inside someone's home and you don't see the Better Homes version of a living space, or anything like what is shown on ads.

Take a close-up face photo of 10 people on the street, and you see that the image we've been sold by ads is completely fake. People simply do not look like they do on tv and in magazines. Lately this has gotten worse with the fsck-doll 23yo models reading the news on cnn and fox.

The whole image and world these ad-oriented people live in is fake - their whole career is about overtly lying to people to get them to buy stuff they don't want or need. "Boo hoo, the real world won't sell our red-colored corn syrup mixture with processed tomato paste..." yes, boo hoo.

</rant>

Re:polished fake world of TV (1)

Hyperspite (980252) | more than 7 years ago | (#19293959)

It's really bad. I recently got into using GIMP to create terribly executed practical jokes on my friends. However, it did teach me about image manipulation a LOT. I was looking at some underwear model ad with my cousin and I started pointing out all the things that were wrong with it. Look, the bags under her eyes cut out suddenly, she's smiling, but her skin doesn't wrinkle around he mouth, if you look at the divider between light and shadow, you'll notice that her color tones get richer in the shadowed section - they probably played with levels/brightness/contrast/etc, the rose makeup on the shadow side is much brighter than on the normal lit side.

I can't walk around without seeing these things in every single advertisement that I see. My friend remarked to me that she wishes that some companies would just use makeup from time to time, at least its a bit more honest. In any case, I'm disgusted with marketeers - where are the ethics? (haha)

Svelt Athletic people -- not big Ketchup market (4, Insightful)

cathryn (133574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19292659)

Maybe they're just shocked at finally finding out who the core market for ketchup really is. It's not those thin and toned muscular people like on TV. That's a rare breed, I've never even met one myself, though I see them on TV and in the movies. It's your good ole' fat, diabetic, round-bellied, yellow-toothed American. Slaving away at some crappy job, coming home exhausted, and collapsing with the TV and Jim Beam. That's who is guzzling down those giant Walmart-sized ketchup bottles. More power to 'em!

Good question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19292941)

What is the single strangest thing I can do with ketchup?

What happened to the YES tag? (1)

it0 (567968) | more than 7 years ago | (#19294377)

What happened to the YES tag?
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