May 17, 2017

What industries are using UGC?

The incorporation of UGC as marketing strategy has permeated most industries today as the buyer now has more control over what content they consume. As younger consumers begin to form their own entertainment consuming habits, marketers and advertisers must adapt and devise new methods to get their attention.

The effectiveness of traditional paid advertisements has weakened recently. People want to see more authentic experiences tell the story of a brand. Save your time and money on an expensive photo shoot. The consumers aren’t buying it. However, as a professional marketer, it can be difficult to convince upper management to hear your plea for change.


In this post, we’ve compiled what we believe to be some of the best UGC ideas from the last few years. You’ll probably recognize a few because of their effectiveness. Maybe with the help of this list, you’ll be able to express and convince strongly enough to incorporate UGC into your next marketing initiative. You won’t regret it, and neither will your company.


Our favorite examples of UGC in the last 5 years:


Spotify, the music streaming service, launched a unique ad campaign that draws inspiration from user-generated playlists (and yes, a playlist is considered UGC!) on the streaming service. For example, one Spotify user titled a playlist of hers “play this at my funeral,” which included a track from the band DNCE. The commercial then reenacted what it would be like if someone actually played the pop song at a funeral in a lighthearted manner. Watch it here for yourself. 


We like this campaign because it takes UGC made by the everyday Spotify listener and connects them to an artist they personally included in their playlist. People watching the commercial identify with specialized playlist, and if they haven’t, they might want to make one now.


Clif Bar


Clif Bar maintains a beautiful Instagram account, where the majority of images posted are user-generated. The scenic pictures are incredible, and Clif Bar helps shine light on the aspiring photographers that tag the company in pictures.


Clif Bar’s dedication to UGC doesn’t just stop with its own Instagram account. It helps foster other UGC contests, like the one for NYSEA, a New York-based surf production company. The Cold Shot Challenge, as it’s known, is a photo contest of waves in New York and New Jersey during the winter, showcasing the many talents of the unknown surf photographers in the area. For some scrolling pleasure, we recommend checking out the rad posts on the NYSEA account, like Joe O’Connor’s picture, posted below. We acquired the image with the ShareRoot platform!


Photo Credit: @joeoc_photo


Apple (“Shot on iPhone”)


One of the most classic advertising campaigns in the last five years has been Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” series. The concept was simple; Apple wanted to showcase the high-quality camera in every iPhone, so it sourced pictures from around the world of just that. Since then, almost every iPhone commercial in recent memory has featured stunning UGC, all taken on an iPhone.


Apple recently expanded this campaign for the iPhone 7. Cell phone cameras have been notoriously bad at photographing at dusk and dawn, and Apple knew this. That’s why its new series “One Night on iPhone 7” focuses on images taken around the world after sunset on one particular day. If you have a product that does something once thought improbable in your industry, expand on that. You’ll find that people are excited to share the discovery!


ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


If you were on social media in 2014, chances are you heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised money and awareness for ALS research. Those that participated ranged from children, adults, pop stars and even George W. Bush, pictured above, after realizing how much money was being raised for the degenerative disease.


The effects of the viral campaign seemed unclear at first, with many people wondering if dumping ice water on people would generated enough awareness. Turns out, according to the New York Times, the campaign raised so much awareness, the A.L.S. Association announced that $115 million had been donated. What’s even better was “the discovery of NEK1, which scientists say is among the most common genes that contribute to the disease and is associated with 3 percent of A.L.S. cases. Not only can UGC raise brand awareness, but in this case it’s helping to find a cure!


Disney’s Make-A-Wish #ShareYourEars


Disney is no stranger to UGC. With its “Let the Memories Begin” campaign in 2011, Disney incorporated the home videos and snapshots of guests planning their trip or enjoying the rides in television ads. These videos, capturing heartfelt moments of excitement, expressed the human emotion behind a trip to a Disney park, better than any actor could.



Disney recently adjusted its UGC strategy to a more contemporary landscape, capitalizing on hashtags to collect thousands of pictures and videos for its “#ShareYourEars” campaign. The contest, which was dedicated to raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, was started to honor the 100,000th wish granted since it began in 1980. Every picture that included the hashtag “unlocked” a $5 donation from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. At the end of the campaign, Disney announced it was doubling its initial promise of donating up to $1 million because of the outpouring of support. Not only did this UGC strategy raise millions, it also strengthened, even more, the humanitarian reputation of Disney Parks.


How to start your own UGC campaign

After brainstorming with your team about the different end uses for user-generated content, we suggest looking into a tool that can help you search and acquire them. Manually searching through social media is often more cumbersome than it is rewarding. Also, make sure you are legally obtaining the content. The fewer problems down the road, the better.


About Us

ShareRoot is the most legally secure UGC platform on the market, and it is the only platform that automates the legal agreement process for acquiring rights to user generated photos and videos. If legal is a major concern hindering your UGC efforts, contact us today to learn how you can quickly legally access rights to user generated content.


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