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Microsoft tries to mitigate pitfalls of user-generated content

Microsoft and Best Buy are partnering for a campaign to spread promotion of the benefits of Microsoft Office through a user-generated campaign that tries to maintain control and prevent rogue content from being distributed.  

The software developer is encouraging users to share videos of how Microsoft Office benefits them in return for a Best Buy gift card. But Microsoft is keeping a tight lid on the UGC campaign through a partnership with Vivoom in an attempt to prevent mishaps such as negative content, something many brands have fallen victim to. 

"Vivoom aligns with two of Microsoft's areas of focus, mobile-first and digital," said Katherine Hays, CEO of Vivoom. "User-generated marketing (branded content created and distributed by audiences themselves) is so successful and what may win on mobile because it is personalized, relevant and welcome and, therefore, watched, trusted and remembered. UGM is also ad-blocking immune.  

"The overall goal is to engage with consumers worldwide on mobile to promote Microsoft products and services in a way that is highly personalized, authentic and relevant," she said. "Campaigns will consumer to shoot and share videos with that include embedded calls-to-action, which can be shopable but the calls-to-action can be anything: coupons, contests, informational, entertainment, etc."

Mining consumer content
Best Buy and Microsoft are attempting to reap the benefits that a user-generated campaign is known to produce without the added risk of consumers running rogue for its latest campaign for Microsoft Office. Users on social media are encouraged to share videos regarding Microsoft Office and in turn receive a gift card to Best Buy. 

Through pushes on social media and Web, Microsoft will direct users to a landing page where they can create content after logging into Facebook or Twitter. The videos will have a Microsoft-branded filter and can be shared directly to outward social networks. 

The brands partnered with video platform Vivoom to track content shared regarding the campaign and filter out any negative material. The platform also lets Microsoft save its campaign content for future use. 

Best Buy is starting off the campaign by having its own team members share their campaign content on personal social media platforms. 
The campaign is a reaction to the pitfalls of a user-generated campaign on social media, which can allow users to run wild with sarcasm or negative content. For instance, a McDonald?s Twitter campaign backfired when the brand wanted users? to share experiences at its stores, but the results were all negative. 

Microsoft wanted a Snapchat video format but without the inability to monitor and control the campaign content. 

Social media campaigns
User-generated campaigns on social media are growing in popularity with brands. For instance, L'Oreal's hair color brand Dark and Lovely saw a jump in sales since after it launched an empowering social media campaign in which users share images from a mobilized selfie generator that encourages consumers to "love their color? (see more). 

Iced tea brand Honest Tea also drank up the benefits of mobile video, social influencers and ecards to ramp up awareness during its busiest time of year with a campaign encouraging consumers to share their honesty (see more). 

"Microsoft is shiftings its focus company-wide to mobile and that was a key driver for the Vivoom partnership, to engage consumers on the platform that matters most, mobile," Ms. Hays said. "These campaigns are all about mobile users, creating and sharing branded mobile videos that include Microsoft brand assets, building on the filter craze that is all the rage right now."