Consumer-generated content

I hate that term. Not quite sure what to call it yet (‘participant’ is a word that rings true for me). Any ways – it refers to when we, the ‘consumers’ make stuff either using an online product and then share it online, or submitting it to a site (be it commercial, beta, or just for fun). For example, when you update your myspace profile you are generating content for Fox (the company that owns myspace). Same when you upload a photo to flickr.

Anyways – I saw this today and had to laugh. [via Shotgun Marketing]. Basically, Chrysler asked folks to submit videos that featured one of the SUVs they produce (the Tahoe):

Users were given some audio and video collateral to work with and given the opportunity to piece them together as they saw fit. Well I don’t think they quite anticipated what might result from giving the kids the keys to the car, so to speak. At least three examples have been found of ads that use the Tahoe as background for rants against the war in Iraq, the dependence of the U.S. on foreign oil and more.

Serves ’em right I say. You let the’consumers’ talk, you have to hear things you may not want to hear…

Of course, as the online manager for the Australian outpost of a multi-national brand who is considering how to enable ‘participant media’, it’s also a good warning bell…

Update: shows the ‘offending’ ads. [via Doc Searls]

Update 06/03: Just had another good’n forwarded to me. Check it out.