Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Marketer Asks Consumers To Create Ads

Marketer Asks Consumers To Create Ads




If an agency can't deliver the kinds of commercials you want, just ask your customers to do the job. That's the approach being taken by Kao Corp., which markets Ban deodorant, in a contest designed to create ads that appeal to teenage girls. The contest was announced in magazines like CosmoGirl and Teen People and has already drawn about 4,000 entries from kids 12 to 20 who were asked to submit an image and fill in the blank in the company's "Ban It" slogan. Nine winners will be chosen and will run in an ad in March in US Weekly. The tactic is a smart one, especially when trying to reach teens and people in their 20s--a desirable demographic for advertisers that is particularly resistant to hard-sell advertising. "Younger audiences have become incredibly cynical about advertising,'' says Steve Thibodeau, an executive with Dotglu, a New York ad agency owned by MDC Partners, Toronto, which is creating the Ban campaign. P.J. Katien, Ban's assistant marketing director, adds that reaching young female consumers is especially challenging. In the past, he said, consumer-product companies followed a simple formula: "you explained the benefit and explained the product and they would buy it. Now it's about getting her to feel like she is involved. No more one-way messaging."

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