Crowd sourced marketing: CGU show us all how to produce a lame marketing campaign

I try to be positive when I blog. I really do. But sometimes you just have to straight up slam something. This is one of those occasions – marketers, please don’t do what I’m about to discuss. Please don’t think that making cheesy hiphop songs for your ads are cute or funny or engaging, no matter how ironic the songs are meant to be. Particularly if it’s animals or old people who are the emcees – your ad isn’t a crap Disney film, is it?

Aussie insurers are doing a good enough job of making lame ads without adding to the problem. First, there was Maude – the sweet old lady in the RACV ads (click the link to watch to ads) who tells us about how she saved enough on her insurance with RACV to afford a few little things, like this ‘sick subwoofer’ – her car then starts bouncing on hydrolics. AHAHAHA, an old lady with a hoopty on hydrolics blaring hiphop, oooh thats entertaining. Let me wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes. Who saw that one coming?! (please note the sarcasm there).

The RACV ad, however, had nothing on the lameness of the CGU ads (see below), which aren’t even borderline amusing. At least the RACV ads were well acted. But to add insult to injury, CGU are trying to crowdsource content to get traffic going to the campaign’s microsite – http://cgurap.com.au (EDIT: the microsite has been torn down since this blog post was published) . Awesome, so in addition to addition to Bill the Alpaca farmer and Susan the providores ‘phat biggedy beats’ we can upload our own. Sweet! I’m sooo gonna switch my car insurance to CGU for this (note again the sarcasm).

Susan the Providore drops it for the true hiphop heads.

Bill the Alpaca Farmer throws up his set (of sheers)

Anyway, the campaign’s pretty old by now, but what’s changed recently is that they’ve gone all web 2.0 on us and you can now win yourself a chance to be the star in the next CGU ad, aswell as a cash prize, if you submit a rap and it’s chosen as the best. And if you’re stuck for ideas, the CGU site has some great tips – for example, “it’s instantly going to be funnier the more unlikely that person is to rap”. Good to know. They also give you some tips on how to write rhymes – “Sometimes it’s easier to find the 2 words you’re going to rhyme and then work your way back”. I’ll bet thats exactly how JayZ wrote all his albums. Just find 2 words that rhyme and it’s all gravy from there.

Maybe I’m being too harsh here. Both campaigns may be aimed at a completely different target audience than I. Maybe this is funny to an older segment of the market. Or maybe alpaca farmers or providores can strongly relate to it. I dunno. I’d say 7 year old kids would love it, but how many 7 year old kids buy insurance? For me, both campaigns just spell out that these are insurance companies who are completely out of touch. And just because you’re using the tactic du jour (i.e. crowd sourcing) doesn’t change this.

UPDATE: 9/8/09 – I’m willing to concede I may have been a bit rash here – looking on youtube, these videos have both been rated by users as 4.5 / 5. There’s no accounting for taste I guess…

UPDATE #2: 28/08/09 – this guy below flipped it, wrote a rap about being a mugger and needing insurance, and in my books, we have a winner of the $20k.


6 Responses to “Crowd sourced marketing: CGU show us all how to produce a lame marketing campaign”

  1. August 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I asolutely agree with you on this Nick – I can’t stand the CGU ads. When I saw them the first time I was sure that everyone would agree with me. But since then, I’ve asked people what they think of them and the majority of people love them. I don’t understand.

    Very funny about JayZ though. Brilliant opportunity for someone like Hilltop Hoods to get in on the comp and submit an entry either slagging it off or adding to the fun – there’s some talkability in that…

  2. 2 marketingisadirtyword
    August 13, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Hi Nathan… It’s weird how people love them huh… I guess yours and my own good taste and discerning taste in ads isn’t shared by the general public 🙂 hehehe

  3. August 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Hey Nick-

    The reaction I often get from people about this ad is that they love it, if they’ve only seen it once. When you see the add more than a couple of times it becomes the worst thing you’ve ever seen. I’ll admit that when I first saw it I thought Bill was amusing, but I will sheer myself if I see it again. Perhaps the fact that we are talking about CGU at all makes it a succesful campaign…is it so bad that it would really make you switch if you were happy with their service? And if you are one of the people who rate it 4.5, maybe you’ll convert…

    Nathan – your suggestion for HTHs doing a parody reminded me of Pizza Hut hiring Ween to do a song for them – if you remember that fiasco.

  4. 4 marketingisadirtyword
    August 18, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    I hadn’t heard of the Pizza Hut / Ween thing before this, but I found the jingle I think you’re talking about Justin (http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2004/02/weens_unrelease.html).

    It’s a cracker!! Gotta love the explicit version 🙂

  5. August 20, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I hadn’t heard of it either, nice way for it to blow up in your face. Probably not right for HTH but good for an emerging rap artist to submit a killer entry and get their PR that way (kind of like how profesional directors were entering the Doritos make an ad comp).

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