Category Archives: User-generated content

E4 SKINS – user defined programming

I picked up a flyer for an interesting project that E4 are running in January.

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“SKINS is a brand new drama from the makers of Shameless, launching on E4 in January.

We are looking for people to create a music track for a scene in the show, style the cast for a fashion shoot, design a version of the SKINS logo or make a film about the characters. There are some really great prizes to be had, including the chance to come and work at E4.”

Reminds me of Dubplate Drama, which was “the worlds first interactive TV drama.”

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Vodafone Receiver – connecting to the future

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Here’s an interesting site that I came across, in association with Vodafone, called Receiver.

Its been going a fair old while (its up to issue 17) so its either too cool for school, or more likely they just haven’t a good job of promoting it.

“Vodafone’s receiver magazine is a neutral space where pioneer thinkers challenge you to discuss exciting, future-oriented aspects of communications technologies. Started as a platform for exchange about how innovations in this sector affect societies worldwide, receiver has become one of the industry’s key idea generators.”

Stella Artois drops Channel 4 sponsorship

Stella Artois has has ended its sponsorship of Channel 4 Film, despite recent activity strengthening its ties with cinema and film, notably the outdoor film festival Studio Artois Live (put on by the folks at Exposure).

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The Studio Artois activity has also been backed by a new Studio Artois website which goes a little bit deeper than “check out the latest film from Hollywood”, and offers quite an involving experience – but only if you’re a film buff.

So it seems like Stella is moving away from mainstream awareness of its film activity, whilst keeping a credible finger on the pulse in the film world. Question is, what will they spend the estimated £1m pot that they’ve saved from the Channel 4 deal?

MySpace foray into publishing

“MySpace is making its first UK foray into print publishing with a deal to provide content for Marmalade magazine.

The March 2007 edition of style magazine Marmalade will be entirely made up of user-generated content drawn from the social networking website.

Users will be able to put forward their work via Marmalade’s MySpace page, while the editorial staff of the magazine will be on the look-out for interesting content from pages across the social network.”

Whilst the MySpace idea may work in the online world, providing a portal to otherwise inaccessible content (particularly music and niche social groups), I’m not sure that a print-based version offers the same immediacy or authority – certainly no more so than the already accepted (and trusted) fanzine culture. I can’t help thinking that by offering an opinion via an established magazine, MySpace is falling into the trap of being little more than a columnist with an opinion that could easily become irrelavent to many.

Coca Cola brands YouTube

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Following the many branded page takeovers in MySpace (Lynx being the best example that springs to mind) it is now the turn of YouTube to ‘suffer’ a brand invasion.

We all know that YouTube has been subjected to months of brand subversion (Smirnoff Tea Party etc) but nothing as overt as this.

Coca-Cola is one of the first YouTube co-marketing efforts with the Holiday Wishcast; a mini-site which allows visitors to upload and share their video greetings.

Levi’s has also opened a channel for its Levi’s One To Watch Tour 2006, featuring live footage from its series of gigs.

What will be interesting to watch is how the users of YouTube react – will there be a resistance against this kind of activity? I don’t think there will be – in the past, brands have been responsible for some of the most entertaining and well-received content. Therefore, as long as the brand is offering something of interest, why would people care?

Absolut Lomography

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I’m really pleased to see that Absolut are using lomography in they’re new campaign, with the Absolut LOMO photography competition. Lomography is a stunning photographic style that makes even the dullest or simplest subject look stunning, and the competition covers four categories – Absolut Bottle Shape, Artwork, Companion and Freestyle. A great example of user generated content, all of the entries will be on display online, with winners selected every four weeks. The overall winner will get a trip to the 2007 Lomography World Congress.

Philips Design enter Second Life

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Philips Design is preparing to enter SL, with the team at Rivers Run Red. Philips Design intends to use it’s presence to gain feedback on innovation concepts, engage residents in co- creation and gain a deeper understanding of potential opportunities in this virtual environment. Philips Design will have a space where virtual concepts can be tested and residents can participate in co-design projects. Therefore SL residents can have a greater say in the kind of colors, ergonomics, functionality and other features of products they may wish to buy, enabling Philips Design to find new ways of relating to end users.