To promote its new model of laptop, Toshiba is having 11 average people uploading video to tell consumers how they use the product – rather than have the computer maker publicize it themselves. In the user-generated content (UGC) campaign Boring vs. Normal, the two American towns will compete to prove which town represents the bigger misnomer.
“Normally with a marketing campaign we do a lot of telling about what our products can do,” said Terry Cronin, VP of marketing for Toshiba. “It’s one thing when Toshiba tells you about a product; it’s another thing when you get a chance to see it live by someone who is disconnected from that marketing function.”
Participants from both Normal, IL and Boring, OR were chosen based on their ability to tell an engaging story. The wildly diverse group range from a fireman to a woman referred to as “The Ghost Lady” who shares her ghost hunts with viewers.
Each week and edited video of the town’s events will be uploaded to the campaign MySpace page. Here, visitors to the site will be able to vote on their favourite video. Voting will continue until September 13 with the winning town announced the next day. The town with the most votes will receive $15,000 toward upgrading their school district’s technology.
“We wanted to demonstrate the advances Toshiba has made for real people, and what better way to do that than to talk to ordinary Americans,” explained Anthony DiBiase, executive creative director at Young & Rubicam Southern California. “We believe ordinary Americans can get very creative, and what better place to do that in Boring, OR and Normal, IL.”
The campaign’s overall marketing strategy also included a festival event, one held in each town, as well as online advertising and press outreaches by Toshiba’s PR firm, Access Communications.