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Sunday, October 28, 2007 

User Generated Content Goes Mainstream

With the growth of User Generated Content (UGC) phenomenon that You-Tube and many other sites have brought about, there are definitely interesting after-effects to observe. One such case is of Nick Haley, an 18 year old freshman at a UK university who made an advertisement for iPod touch out of his love for Apple and its products. He uploaded his video on YouTube and it was so good that when Apple Marketing execs viewed his ad, they wanted to go main-stream with his ad and called him down to Cupertino, CA. They made an HD, production quality video out of the ad Nick had produced and now its running on major television networks during football, World Series Championship and Desperate Housewives.

Interestingly enough, there are copyright issues surrounding the issue - the fact that Nick was not commissioned by Apple to create the ad and used the soundtrack "Music is My Hot Hot Sex" by CSS as well as images and video clips from Apple.com. However, in a major boost to UGC and this entire realm, Apple acted very maturely by choosing to not make a big deal out of this and embracing this fan's creation. I can imagine a hundred other ads popping up for products people love to use in daily life. (Heck, even I feel like making an ad for Saturn, the brand of my trusty little car). New York Times ran a story about this on October 26th. "That's the whole point of advertising; it needs to get to the user," Mr. Haley said in the article on Times. "If you get the user to make the ads, who better?". Wired also ran a story on this, which also lists a couple of interesting observations and lessons from this.

The ad that Apple produced, kept the content almost the same (thankfully!), except for some advanced editing and better footage in some of the sections where the iPod touch plays the videos and the web-browsing. Its better aligned to the music, the production version, but the Nick Haley version itself is mind-blowing too. I kept watching it over and over again about 8 - 10 times tonight when I found out about it, its so good! The music is pretty catchy too!

Below is the original ad that Nick Haley posted on YouTube. Heres the link to The Apple Production Version that has been playing on television.

Isnt it cool? I told you so. Now check out the other version. Link: Apple's Edited, Professional version.

Mind-blowing, that this happened, isnt it?

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About me

  • I'm Indyman
  • From Seattle, WA, United States
  • I am a Risk Management Consultant at KPMG. Before this, I was an Investment Associate at University Venture Fund in Salt Lake City, UT. My personal interests are in venture capital, private equity, technology, real estate, entrepreneurship, investing, stocks, india, patriotism, mumbai, hanoi, vietnam and life in the united states.
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