Adapted from Michael R. Solomon, Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having and Being 9th ed, Prentice Hall, to be published January 2010:
Consumer-generated content, where everyday people voice their opinions about products, brands, and companies on blogs, podcasts, and social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and even film their own commercials that thousands view on sites such as YouTube, probably is the biggest marketing phenomenon of this decade. The ad a pair of brothers created for Doritos that ran during the 2009 Super Bowl scored top honors as the spot the most viewers remembered – it beat out other expensive entries by a lot of ad pros (many of whom are getting a bit nervous as they look in the rear-view mirror).
If you’re reading this blog, you probably know that already. Still, even grizzled veterans of Web 2.0 (well, I’m grizzled anyway) need to step back now and then to let the enormity of this cultural shift sink in. Simply put, we’re seeing a fundamental transformation in the way people on the street relate to popular culture. Why? Because increasingly we see ourselves not just as consumers of culture but also as producers of culture. Indeed, a recent survey reported that fully 1/3 of young people who use social media such as Facebook and YouTube consider themselves to be broadcasters in addition to audience members!