Content & Experience, Interactive Content

Vivoom turns user-generated content into user-created ads


The Boston-based firm offers a platform that takes the next step for UGC, embedding selected user video inside the brand’s video.

The biggest difference between today’s advertising and advertising in the days of “Mad Men” is the current importance of users who create and share content about your brand.

A user passing around imagery showing a product being used, particularly if it comes with that user’s implied endorsement of said product, has more value than truckloads of ad impressions.

Often, brands sift user-created content to curate the best photos of real people eating their hot dog or the best videos describing how much they love driving their Subaru. They might conduct a contest and display the dozen best hot dog photos or link to the best Subaru-appreciation video.

Since 2014, Boston-based Vivoom has been taking this a step further, offering a white-label platform so brands can automatically add user content like videos into a brand-created offering. And then the user can share that result, presenting a more completely packaged brand message.

For instance, the band Maroon 5 created Red Pill Blues Tour Confessionals, where fans record themselves on their smartphones and upload videos declaring their love for the group, through Vivoom’s augmented reality filters if they wish.

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Once screened by the brand to make sure it is brand-safe, the video is then automatically sandwiched between clips of the band performing and made available in a shareable gallery. Maroon 5 can also repurpose the user-created videos for other uses, as the fans agree to relinquish all rights when they upload the content.

Maroon 5 also allowed fans to upload a different 15-second video, which was templated into an abbreviated music video for its song, Cold.

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Similarly, charcoal maker Kingsford invited proud parents to upload a video of their baseball-playing offspring, onto which were automatically added some graphics and a selected voiceover from one of three legendary announcers for Backyard All-Stars.

And Crayola employed the platform last December to request that consumers make and post video clips with holiday messages. Several hundred videos were created and offered with overlaid graphics like snowflakes and the Crayola logo, along with background holiday music. Vivoom said its 62 percent completion rate exceeded the brand’s average 52 percent.

In general, Vivoom says, ads made with user-created content through its platform outperform conventional ads by 10 to 30 times, in terms of views and calls to action.

CEO Katherine Hays told me that UGC platforms like Livefyre, Olapic or Social Native are focused on sorting through existing content on Facebook, Instagram and other environments. By contrast, she said, Vivoom gives the brand the initiative by adding user-created content created specifically for the brand messaging vehicle.

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