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Marketplace Report: Super Bowl's Homemade Ads

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Marketplace Report: Super Bowl's Homemade Ads

Marketplace Report: Super Bowl's Homemade Ads

Marketplace Report: Super Bowl's Homemade Ads

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During the next Super Bowl, television viewers will be treated to the winners of homemade commercial contests. Frito-Lay and Chevrolet are holding the contests to try to take advantage of Internet marketing. Janet Babin of Marketplace talks with Mike Pesca about the scheme.

MIKE PESCA, host:

Back now with DAY TO DAY. The Super Bowl is still months away, but advertisers have already begun to think about the big day. This year, two companies -Frito-Lay and Chevrolet, no relation - are trying to cash in on the popularity of the amateur content that's out there on the Internet. They're asking regular folks to make homemade commercials. MARKETPLACE's Janet Babin is here. And Janet, I guess so long as the general public isn't asked to design the braking system on the Monte Carlo, this is an okay idea. But tell me about this do-it-yourself advertisement scheme. How is it going to work?

JANET BABIN: Well, Mike, here's the deal. Frito-Lay's commercial is for Doritos, kind of its young-ish brand, and Frito-Lay is billing this as a way for consumers to sort of crash the Super Bowl, like let the outsiders in. And the ads have to be submitted to Frito-Lay between October 2nd and December 1st, and then the company chooses finalists. And those people will have their ads up online, and people will get to vote for their favorite ad.

Over at Chevrolet, the contest seems a bit more formal. It's for college kids, and college kids are going to have to submit their ideas in writing to the company, and then the company gets to handpick the winner that will then be involved in the making of the commercial.

PESCA: Now, I don't think cost is a problem here, right? Both these companies can afford to make their own slick commercials.

BABIN: That's right. I think the thinking, Mike, is that homemade commercials are going to stand out more during the Super Bowl and present a contrast to the other ads. But also, the thinking is that these homemade commercials are going to get an extended shelf-life on the Internet. And if you think about this -you've heard of YouTube, right, the online video-sharing site. And it gets - it says it gets a billion video views a month. So the companies are hoping that these commercials, even the losing ones, are going to get some play online.

I spoke to Jason Glickman about it. He's the CEO of Tremor Media. He thinks the strategy is a winning one that's going to help to capture a younger audience.

Mr. JASON GLICKMAN (CEO, Tremor Media): If you look at professionally produced content that the Frito-Lays are producing versus what would be produced with this program, and as far as users interacting with it and feeling like it is genuine - feeling like it's content rather than an ad - it's a pretty powerful way to get that out there. And then virally, that's really the only way that you can get users to pass it amongst themselves, when it really does feel like content rather than they're being pushed some sort of promotion.

BABIN: So the ads are going to get to reach another demographic.

PESCA: Yeah. I know buzz is the buzzword, especially with YouTube, but what about empirical evidence? Are there numbers backing this up that online advertising is the way to go?

BABIN: Yeah, apparently a Price Waterhouse Coopers survey out recently found that there was a 36-percent increase in online ad revenue over last year, so yes.

Coming up later today on MARKETPLACE, Mike, we're going to check out the fine print on those exciting annual reports companies put out.

PESCA: Thanks, Janet. Janet Babin of public radio's daily business show MARKETPLACE. It's produced by American Public Media

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