Seen this?
It's a Nintendo game theme rendered by a chorus. Or this?
Punch-out rendered by a band and actors.

Neither of these was intended to be a commercial, but both demonstrate that mythical thing Madison Avenue keeps telling businesses they want to create: brand awareness and brand loyalty.

The notion of consumer-created anthems to their favorite brands, aka "commercials" has not escaped some of the savvier corporate marketers.

Over at Geico, consumers are invited to create their own 15-second spots based on the very popular gecko TV ads. Check out www.goldengecko for consumer's "fame in fifteen" essays into the world of tv advertising.

Of course, GM did the same thing, handing consumers the "Apprentice task" of creating spots for Chevy Tahoe. Launching a websites which allowed visitors to take existing video clips and music, insert their own words, and creat a customized :30 spot for the 2007 model.

The idea was that a visitor would create a spot, then send the spot around to friends to show it off - essentially, engineered viral marketing. And from that standpoint, the trick was successful. Unfortunately, many if not most of the ads commented acidly on the vehicle's poor gas mileage. The website,, appears to have been pulled.

Still, the idea has real merits - and in a world with inexpensive digital cameras, easy-to-use digital post-production, and at two generations media-fed from infancy, the results can only be both more creative, and more heartfelt, that most of the dreck coming from the pros.

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