To view consumer generated content (CGC) as anything more than consumers itching a creative scratch is silly. That’s not to say consumers can’t do a good job of entertaining and/or even selling a product or two. But if they are not making deposits in the “brand bank” they may actually be diluting brand values.
When this CGC contests are run and “aired” on paid media, good brand managers will select only the efforts that best deliver the brand promise, but they should not overlook all the people generating “off brief” creative and sharing it on their own. If this happens, a brand manager isn’t managing the brand, s/he is monitoring it. And that’s when viral turns to virus.