Ads By Consumers

Consumer-generated advertising is getting so big that even traditional marketing and advertising powerhouses are getting in the act, in an effort to reach a very connected online audience that has little patience for traditional ads.

From Post-Gazette.com: "Maybe the writers finally ran out of ideas for the MasterCard "Priceless" ads. That's what it looked like earlier this year when they sat an actor down in a chair and had him type out empty spaces, inviting viewers to try filling in the blanks themselves. Apparently, the ad copywriters were just up with the latest fashion.

This is the moment of in-your-hands consumer advertising -- the kind generated by the masses rather than for the masses. From Emerald Nuts' make-your-own contest to Mozilla FireFox's posting of consumer-produced spots at firefoxflicks.com, the creative directors seem to be handing over the work to us common folk.

There's marketing powerhouse Procter & Gamble, responsible for such memorable ad icons as Folger's Mrs. Olson and "99 and 44/100 % pure'' Ivory soap, offering a $1,000 prize to food-service professionals who can come up with the best pitch for the Dawn Grease Fighting Arsenal used in cafeterias and restaurant kitchens."