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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Trend: User-Created: Characters Wanted

Have noticed USA Network has undertaken a new positioning around the idea of "Characters Welcome". All the shows are highlit less about "drama" or "funny" and more about the quirky character styles from Monk and Law+Order, to WWE to retread movies like American Pie and Bring It On that make the USA content interesting (and differentiated from the other commodity channels showing the same retread shows and movies) and ties them all together as a network idea. Good one.

Further, thoughout the network viewers are invited to "Show Us Your Character" and submit themselves by describing their own unique characters and becoming content on the network.

Check 'em out at


Adrian said...

I think user created whatever is going to be the quickest ever trend to flourish and die. I'm already sick of it. USA Networks, Jet Blue, from the NYT, "A central focus of the campaign will be JetBlue's efforts to encourage consumers to help create the advertising. Starting next month, the airline and JWT New York plan to set up "story booths" in eight cities, where passers-by can enter and record recollections of their experiences flying on JetBlue. The airline will also place postcards in seat pockets of its aircraft, which passengers can use as mini-journals for their JetBlue journeys."

It's over already.

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

i would prefer to think that us marketers just need to DRIVE CAREFULLY and not throw a "user-created" hat on everything and every brand. obviously there are many brands that always cultivated user passion and community and co-creation. those brands are still sticking around (say Harley and Converse) and never are going anywhere (barring they don't do something stupidly stupid).

i agree that the current jump in experimentation is perhaps fad-ish...and there will be a big shakout as advertisers and brands get bored (cuz fundamentally, this idea requires COMMITTMENT) and they will go back to their old ways...consider the HIGH-DESIGN FAD is dying back down to those who do it best and commit, not just slap a rounded curve and translucent shell on their gadget and call it "design". the shakeout is good for the brands that really mean it, and the approach is valid and powerful when it actually fits the brand and the target DNA.

but the fact will always remain that people want to transcend and be bigger than their mundane lives...and products and brands that can fuel their transcendence even with a little pseudo-fame or just a little communal collaboration can score big and long term.

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

oh, and VIVA LA USER!