In my opinion, people go about “user generated” ads in exactly the wrong way.

They go about it the lazy way, which is to say they pitch all the work over to the users and customers and then expect the perfect, crowd-sourced ad to appear in their in-box, thanks to some idiotic “create our ad” campaign.

Well, maybe if you’re Harley Davidson or Apple, you can get away with that. But for most bands, this results in some pretty crappy ads.

The right way to leverage your user reviews to:

  • Ad instant “user review” credibility
  • Determine the products major appeal — as seen by actual customers
  • And leverage customers natural comments to increase the authenticity of your own copy

Now, to demonstrate what I’m talking about, I’m going to use this Victoria’s Secret ad I found on my wife’s Facebook page:

A Facebook Ad for Victoria's Secret

OK. So, other than the obviously attractive image, this isn’t a very good ad. The copy sucks, quite frankly.

“The World’s Best Sport Bras” isn’t the most creative or credible claim. Nor is “Explore” the best call to action.

So, to take my own advice, let me:

1)  Go to the Website and look at the reviews for some of their products

2)  Scour the reviews for which elements or characteristics of the VS Sport bras seem most appreciated and appealing

3)  Pull out some phrasing that sounds genuine and persuasive

First, here’s the Website for the product I picked:

The website landing page for the Victoria's Secret ad

Note that the product has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Pretty darn good!

Then, in looking at the reviews, here are the phrases that seemed both representative and authentically persuasive:

  • “…found this bra and thought I would give it a try. it is AMAZING! I get the support I need plus a nice lift and it is so comfortable!
  • “I’ve never been so comfortable and didn’t need to constantly readjust.”
  • “…hands down THE BEST sport bra I have ever worn.”
  • “I run a lot and love that this bra is supportive, yet doesn’t make me look flat”
  • “Love the gel padding on the underwire!”
  • So comfortable I’ve even slept in it! I also love that I can wash it and dry it in the washer and dry

OK, so let’s go back to the old ad and create a user-generated version of it:

Our improved version of the Victoria's Secret ad

Because of the 90-character limit for body copy, I was unable to use all of the cool review quotes I pulled, but you should see how I managed to fit one into the picture and use the sentiment of another in the body copy.

And not using all of the quotes is more than OK, because that means I can create a campaign of user-generated ads, using different images and quotes, in order to combat ad fatigue.

Yet the most important part of this ad is the added credibility from the reviewer’s star ratings and the customer’s own language.

“So comfortable I’ve even slept in it!” is a lot more believable than “The World’s Best Sport Bras,” isn’t it?

And what makes the bras so comfortable? Well, according to the body copy, these bras support rather than flatten. An answer that gives further credibility to the claim of comfort. And also hints at the “sexiness” most people expect from Victoria’s Secret. Perfect.

So that’s how you really SHOULD do a user generated ad. And anyone who has user reviews can take advantage of this process.

Which begs the question: what’s stopping you from doing it?