Cosmedicine offers big bucks for your spoof beauty commercial

23Sep09

Cosmedicine offers big bucks for your spoof beauty commercial

The article by Brandfreak (linked above) speaks directly to the notion of convergence culture logic.  Convergence culture logic takes the progressively participatory quality of the media audience one step further by actually including the intended audience in the creative process of media organizations and media work.  In this case, Cosmedicine is running a contest encouraging users to submit videos spoofing the hype in the beauty industry.

One of the biggest questions that I have in regards to convergence culture logic is: how does a company harness the power of the masses in a way that will be beneficial for both the company and the audience?  One of the challenges with moving into new media and new paradigms for media is trying to figure out what will work.  All too often it seems like companies try to take “what works now” and apply it wholesale to new media.  Not surprisingly, it doesn’t frequently pan out particularly well.  This was illustrated quite clearly with the move of advertisers into Second Life.  Too many brands did not take the time to understand this new landscape and instead created campaigns that were akin to ones they were already doing elsewhere.  The truly successful advertising that eventually surfaced in Second Life was created by brands that integrated themselves into the world and implemented a campaign that users could interact with.  In other words, the most successful campaigns took advantage of the strengths of the medium – in this case interactivity.

Cosmedicine’s contest is intelligently done because it is taking advantage of the strengths of their users.  They are not asking users to submit ideas for real ads, or to create professionally shot video.  They are asking their users to submit home videos – something YouTube has shown that millions of people can and will do – making fun of the cosmetics industry.  They are playing to the strengths of their audience in terms of content as well; it seems that parodying something is part of the riffing off of content that most internet-literate users are familiar with.  In addition to that, it conceptually lines up perfectly with their brand, which bills itself as a no-bullshit beauty product.  Cosmedicine thinks that the claims made in the beauty industry are outrageous, and they want their users to agree with them. While the end result is not an ad or a product, there is immense value to Cosmedicine in encouraging users to interact with their brand in this way.

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