Many people see ads and think they could do better. According to the New York Times, no, they can’t. The Times is following the struggle of H.J. Heinz to find five user-generated ads to air on TV sometime this September. Companies like Heinz are discovering that user-generated content doesn’t save time or money. For the foreseeable future, Madison Avenue will be responsible for creating the ads we love to hate.
Many entries are mediocre, if not downright bad, and sifting through them requires full-time attention. And even the most well-known brands often spend millions of dollars up front to get the word out to consumers.
We prefer YouTube’s user-generated content to the schmaltz spewing from Madison Avenue. What do you think: is the content really worse, or are companies unwilling to step away from their comfort zones? Tell us in the comments. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER