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Chevy's write-your-own-ad approach

Chevrolet has made news for taking on a user-generated advertising approach in creating ads for its 2007 Tahoe SUV (pictured inset). This type of advertising is apparently catching on lately as companies look for new ways to create interactive advertisements for their products.

Last month, Chevrolet introduced a website that allowed its visitors to use existing video and sound clips and stitch them together with their own customized message to form a 30 second ad for the new Tahoe. These advertisements could then be sent via e-mail to friends around the world using a popular technique known as viral marketing.

Naturally, however, the most popular advertisements were the ones containing anti-SUV messages, such as the one submitted by one visitor using a scenic wintery backdrop in the ad with the message: "Like this snowy wilderness? Better get your fill of it now. Then say hello to global warming."

Nevertheless, the company understood the risks involved with taking on a user-generated ad approach. Said Chevrolet spokeswoman Melisa Tezanos on the new approach: "You do turn over your brand to the public, and we knew that we were going to get some bad with the good. But it's part of playing in this space."


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