Pondering Zooppa and User-Generated Content

I think I’m one of the few people that actually looks at the ads on Facebook.  I guess it’s just the curiosity in me that wants to know who is targeting my demo and advertising on Facebook.

One of these ads caught my eye yesterday: Zooppa.com.

I clicked on it and found a website that is basically trying broker creative talent from the masses.  They post a creative brief and ask people to submit videos, print ads and banners(?).  The creative is voted on by the visitors/users and the winners get Zooppa dollars.  Once you a participate accumulates 1000 Zooppa dollars they get $1000 in American dollars.

Zooppa Screenshot

I have to admit: I was kind of excited when I saw this.  I thought it would be pretty cool for brands to harness all of the excitement and energy that consumers have for their favorite brands.

Of course this concept of “user-generated content” isn’t completely new.  Brands have been creating contests for consumers to create their creative for years.  This year’s best Super Bowl ad (viewer’s choiceDoritos) was created by “amateurs.”  And my friends, Owen Mack and Jesse Buckley at Cobrandit (formerly Obtainium TV) have been documenting original consumer brand experiences for years.

But here’s my problem with Zooppa: whether advertising is created by Madison Avenue creatives or by normal Joes in their garage, it’s still CREATED and it’s not making a true connection with the consumer.  Yes, it might be funny, entertaining, emotional or thought provoking.  But if it’s not authentic, it’s not going to work.

Yes, the content submitted to Zooppa could be authentic and it could connect.  But my money is on 99% of the submission coming from video and creative “hacks” that are just trying to game the system to come up with a cheap, gimmicky and/or raunchy joke that the masses think is funny.  In other words, the same old shit will be voted to the top for EVERY brand.  End result: off-brand, inauthentic and ineffective.

What’s your take?