Last night's MTV Movie Awards was just another glimpse of how MTV has completely turned to Consumer Generated Media to help boost ratings. After last years Music Awards where one "lucky" winner got to sing with Justin Timberlake, last nights Movie Awards showcased User Submitted Movie Spoofs, Vote on Lauren's outfit (from Laguna Beach Fame), and a few other features that received prominent exposure during the show.
Over the last few weeks (sorry for not posting during that time) we have been working diligently on producing some forthcoming videos for a new social media product (stay tuned) and also created one of the aforementioned video spoofs for the MTV Contest. Unfortunately, we did not win a finalist spot and didn't attend the show.
The interesting thing about this contest was that some of these films looked like they spent a pretty penny on execution, and I am not the only one who thought so. People were buzzing about how professional these spoofs looked and that they didn't really encapsulate Consumer Generated Media. Sure, we are a Social Media Marketing and Advertising agency and we submitted our own spoof, but we shot ours for less than $200 in an effort to not discourage actual consumers from participating. Who wants to go up against a Juggernaut that spent $20k on a movie spoof?
Anyway, MTV made it a point during the show last night to mention how much was spent on each spoof. One of the finalists, a spoof on 300, featured a cast of 30-50 and was shot inside an airplane. According to MTV, the person who submitted the film spent $600. Is it possible? absolutely. Probable? Not likely. However, if you are passionate and know the right people, anything can be done for $600.
The question is, does the involvement of professionals in CGM contests defeat the purpose? I don't necessarily think it does, but should advertisers and marketers tone down their talent to blend in, or use the full scale of their arsenal to attract eyeballs?
To date, there has been some terrific viral videos for Sneaux Shoes and Ray Ban that have shown extreme talent, but not appeared over produced. Maybe the appropriate question is, should professionals looking to submit video focus more on execution and script then visual effects? Based on the success of YouTube, it would be hard to say otherwise. After all, if a 16 year old girl talking to a camera can attract 10 million viewers, maybe content is King again...or there are more dirty old men out there than anyone ever imagined.