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Model examples of video

Benetton and Diesel show how user-generated video content can be used to engage a target audience

This month, Benetton launches a global model casting competition called It’s My Time. A clear sign that the Italian chain is moving with the times, this competition is taking place online.

Marketed as “the first worldwide casting session to find the personal styles of young people and their vision of the future”, the lifestyle retailer’s campaign centres around individuals taking their own photos of themselves and creating their own videos. Entrants are encouraged to demonstrate their personal style and a desire to be different.

The photos and videos can be uploaded to www.benetton.com/casting and then voted on by site visitors. The 100 with the most votes will then be scrutinised by a “panel of experts” and the top 20 will be flown to New York to star in Benetton’s autumn 10 campaign.

The use of social networking sites to promote the campaign and the concept of allowing users to upload videos is in line with the attitudes of Benetton’s younger and forward-thinking target audience.

Videos can also be uploaded and voted on via the Benetton YouTube channel, but the votes will not count towards the outcome of the competition, which raises questions about the value of this idea.

Diesel is another business embracing new technology. The denim brand launched a marketing campaign this month entitled Be Stupid, which uses a video element.

The campaign focuses on changing the perception of “stupid” and celebrating it as actually being liberating, original, brave and passionate. As well as running in print and on billboards, there is also an online video, and web users can upload their own “stupid” videos onto Diesel’s site. The best will feature on the Be Stupid page.

The campaign is also being promoted on Diesel’s Facebook page, which has more than 340,000 fans. Fans are encouraged to take part and win a T-shirt by uploading their own Be Stupid photos.

Both campaigns show how technology can bring a marketing campaign up to date and how the use of video and social networking can attract a young, vibrant audience which works perfectly for brands such as these.

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