Great Social Media Idea: User-Generated Content Commercial!

When I was a kid, my sister and I teamed with our friend Jeff down the street to create JTJ Productions, easily the best late 80s/early 90s childen's home video sketch comedy series to come out of the Arbor Lodge neighborhood of North Portland. As the youngest member of the trio by a few years, I was relegated to grunt duty most of the time, but I did catch the video production bug, which has served me well in my professional work - I get to make some fun videos (like this and this) and I've even had the opportunity to help make a few TV commercials in-house, which has been pretty awesome.

Why I'm telling you all this I can't say for sure. I guess I have an unrelenting urge to share my childhood with you all. (Just wait til I start getting into Little League baseball highlights... my nickname was Dirt-Eatin' Joe!) But I suppose it's a preface to say that I love video and I get really excited when I see really awesome videos.

For a while now, I've been admiring the amazing social media work of Cara Rousseau at Duke University. I have a growing list of examples from Duke that I've wanted to write about for the blog, but if you haven't noticed yet... I'm a pretty lazy blogger. Not quite as lazy of a blogger as I am horrible at Twitter, but close. 

So I'm really happy to finally be sharing something from them, and let me tell you - it's a doozy! Duke crowd-sourced a TV commercial using social media. Just digest on that for a bit while you watch it: 

One day in April, Duke encouraged its community to use a special hashtag for all social media activity from that day. (See all the great content here on this slick "One Day at Duke" microsite.) They also set up a special website for people to upload videos taken during that day. Here's a great article that explains a bit more about this project and how it was accomplished.

I've seen a few colleges do a "day in the life" promotion like this, but never have I seen it taken to the level of making a broadcast commercial out of it. I mean... SO COOL, right? I love how it just allows the community to tell the story of the place, and it empowers and involves them in such a neat way.

Any time you can "reward" your followers by highlighting their work in a truly meaningful way is always a good thing. It validates them spending time to engage with you, and it makes them feel like they are an important part of what you are doing - which, of course, they are. The importance of taking care of your "One Percenters" (i.e., your most passionate fans) is something I learned about from Jackie Huba, and that notion really resonated with me when I watched this commercial.

Major props to Duke for being bold and brave and innovative and taking a leap of faith to give the keys to a TV commercial to its social media community. Bravo!

Great Social Media Idea: Campus Legends

Music at Midweek: Wait!