Today's NYTimes has an article on the Firefox advertising co-creation. I have been lukewarm to the phenomena of asking consumers to "create" advertising for a presumably beloved brand. Firefox is the anomaly or, perhaps, the case done well.
Chris Lawer is trying to organize our thinking about the different ways customers can co-create in his blog. He breaks down the possibilities into "8-styles of co-creation." His goal is to better understand/research/classify "how firms can co-create knowledge with their customers." The advertising co-creation is more about giving amateur ad-folks and storytellers a chance to wax poetic about again, a presumably beloved, brand. In Chris's framework, they are not creating knowledge unless you consider brand expression knowledge.
I actually like the Firefox example. The brand managers let go of control. Too many times this idea is held too tightly by the advertising-centric campaign managers who only want to give up enough control to give the consumer the illusion of authorship.
Another good example? The Jet Blue Storybooth. This is written up in this month's Fast Company as part of the cover story on the reinvention of JWT (disclosure: common parent = WPP). It's great cause they make testimonials fun. They take the model of the Story Corps and jazz it up in a way that only an ad agency could do. It's traveling the country (I missed it a week ago in DC).
What's this got to do with Chris's idea of co-creation? I believe his point about knowledge is really about creating value. And entertainment and creativity are valuable experiences that might as well come from commercial brands as anywhere. But that's coming from a guy who loves the creative innovation and to-the-point nature of the :30 spot.