Crowdsourcing Creative Ideas


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This presentation outlines what crowdsourcing is, examines how it has effected the advertising and marketing industry and examines whether or not it offers up a new model for creativity.

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  • Thousands of volunteers submitted entries on slips of paper: source: Wikipedia
  • And Global
  • With various technology (digital cameras, photoshop, garage band) and online publication tools, (youtube, flickr, myspace), people can both create content and publish it for a global audience.
  • Article URL: CrowdSourcing: A Million Heads is better than one
  • Where the crowd's knowledge is used to better a product, and consumer interaction also provides a valuable branding effect.
  • Quoted from their about page: “The goal is for you, the customer, to tell Dell what new products or services you’d like to see Dell develop. We hope this site fosters a candid and robust conversation about your ideas.”
  • CrowdSourcing business ideas and often funding, or even just connecting the two.
  • Advertising ideas, design work, film work, music – anything communication related can in theory be CrowdSourced – even though it shouldn't always be.
  • : For Buyers: Post a Creative Project (logo, website, marketing materials etc)‏ World Submits Ideas (actual finished work)‏ Choose the one you like For Creatives: create your profile participate in projects earn money (100% payment for work)‏ because CrowdSpring uses spec work : i.e. work upfront, many designers are incredibly angry about it – but you'll return to this later in the presentation
  • Give an example of this.
  • Cambrian House should have been community controlled – but there was no community – which is why it failed – the organisers were too optimistic about sourcing the right community (see next slide).
  • After the last slide, you'll want to intro this one with something like : “given the challenges, why is...?
  • Gary Willmot wins $3000 for the BMW brief - Urbian small agency employs 5 people. Massive opportunity for them.
  • It also connects people with customers from all over the world. Can point out that there is no way a creative of any level in an agency is going to get paid $10 000 for a single idea - his salary does not even cover this! Remember with idea bounty there are no finished or crafted pieces of work.
  • In answering whether or not this is good for the crowd,we may want to investigate why these models have emerged (or something along those lines)‏
  • Jeff Howe discusses access and an increase in leisure time contributing to amateurs being on an even playing field. Chapter 2: The Rise of the Amateur (for further reading just check out his intro)‏
  • You can't beat passion,
  • Because of technology, the great enabler, ideas and content are traveling around at a faster pace and available to the world.
  • An example of student work that was ripped off by an agency (and the agency were shortlisted at the Cannes Advertising Festival).
  • According to Ian at crackunit, this campaign has generated over 800 000 ideas for new flavours of Walker’s crisps. If you are in the UK, you would have seen the great supporting advertising, but I’d say it’s the idea at the core of the campaign that has made it so successful - ask people for ideas and pay for the ones you like the most. Quoting Matt's blogpost
  • The designers are the community – and likely the people who buy the shirts as well – the brand is owned by a community that shapes its designs.
  • “ Melcarek solved a problem that stumped the in-house researchers at Colgate-Palmolive. The giant packaged goods company needed a way to inject fluoride powder into a toothpaste tube without it dispersing into the surrounding air. Melcarek knew he had a solution by the time he’d finished reading the challenge: Impart an electric charge to the powder while grounding the tube. The positively charged fluoride particles would be attracted to the tube without any significant dispersion.” - quoted from The Rise of CrowdSourcing by Jeff Howe (the original article)‏
  • Andrew Hyde wrote this post as a reaction to CrowdSpring, which we discussed earlier – he views the practice of asking deisgners for upfront work as not only taking advantage, but leading to terrible work. I suggest you read the post: basic gist: “ Design, unlike other industries is unique in that the intellectual property is put into your deliverable, and when the client asks for you everything you have to put into the project to think about purchasing. I am a designer and this is by far the easiest way to end a friendship with me (asking me or someone else).”
  • Aquent is a recruitment agency for designers, who posted a brief on a site called 99 designs for anyone to re-design their homepage for $500 in August this year. Suffice to say the designers were livid – they saw it as a measly amount and an insult to their profession.
  • A comment from the forum discussion in response to Aquent's campaign.
  • An example: Unilever drops Lowe after 15 years! They created the Peperami brand and all advertising since the beginning.
  • Smartworks - A creative production house in the UK. Others like them - Department of Doing Reenforce here that its the idea we are after not a complete bit of work - cut out the no spec argument.
  • Question: Why did Lowe not see the opportunity to take the Peperami brand further? They developed the brand and in the eyes of Unilever “ran out of fresh ideas after 15 years” why did they not see the opportunity to keep the account and ask the crowd for ideas?
  • Crowdsourcing Creative Ideas

    1. 1. CrowdSourcing Creative Ideas: An exciting future, or an evil demise? Rob Stokes Stream09
    2. 2. What is CrowdSourcing?
    3. 3. CrowdSourcing is...the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor , and outsourcing it to an undefined , generally large group of people , in the form of an open call . Wikipedia
    4. 4. The term was coined in a 2005 Wired Magazine article by Jeff Howe
    5. 5. “ The application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software.” - Jeff Howe
    6. 6. But it's not a completely new idea
    7. 7. In the 19th century the first Oxford English Dictionary was CrowdSourced
    8. 8. With technology, the crowd is:
    9. 9. Larger
    10. 10. More connected
    11. 11. Able to contribute in many ways based on a range of skill levels
    12. 13. There are a number of ways to divide and understand the different models
    13. 14. : 3 types 1. Creation (Wikipedia, Cambrian House, Idea Bounty)‏ 2. Prediction (Yahoo Buzz, PicksPal)‏ 3. Organization (Google, Digg, StumbleUpon, Amazon)‏
    14. 15. A few cool examples…
    15. 16. Product Development
    16. 18. New business initiatives
    17. 20. Marketing communications
    18. 23. There's another level of division to consider:
    19. 24. Those that are centrally moderated
    20. 26. Those that are community moderated
    21. 28. Why CrowdSourcing?
    22. 29. With traditional models...
    23. 30. You pay per person per hour
    24. 31. But with CrowdSourcing...
    25. 32. You pay a fixed cost for an unlimited amount of people
    26. 33. * Brief for new TV & Print Ad * 7000 creatives have seen the brief * 1 month in, almost 300 ideas received
    27. 34. You only pay for what you use
    28. 35. Which is obviously excellent for the client
    29. 36. But what about the crowd?
    30. 37. It provides new-comers with a chance to show their skills
    31. 39. ...and established practitioners with the chance to earn cash for a small time commitment
    32. 40. Why have these models emerged?
    33. 41. The 'rise of the amateur'
    34. 42. “ is way too important to be left to professionals. Every person is a marketer, and anyone crazy enough and passionate enough to start something is definitely a marketer. “ - Seth Godin
    35. 43. The “Ideas Economy”
    36. 44. Supply and demand are not regulated by money or time...
    37. 45. But rather on the VALUE of what's on offer
    38. 46. A great idea can come from anywhere
    39. 47. How is this changing things in the communications industry?
    40. 48. A BIG question… Is the VALUE of an idea in the creation or implementation?
    41. 49. Source:
    42. 50. Which brings us to the good and bad of how CrowdSourcing is being used
    43. 51. The good: handing over the ownership of your brand and encouraging consumer involvement
    44. 54. The good: inter-disciplinary collaboration
    45. 55. Colgate had a problem their R&D couldn't fix
    46. 56. “ It was really a very simple solution,” says Melcarek. Why hadn’t Colgate thought of it? “They’re probably test tube guys without any training in physics.” Melcarek earned $25,000 for his efforts. Jeff Howe - The Rise of CrowdSourcing
    47. 57. The bad: Taking advantage of amateurs and professionals
    48. 59. The bad: No control over production value
    49. 60. Disaster story:
    50. 61. "CrowdSourcing" is just another word for "slavery." - ComplexFruit
    51. 62. The designs weren't great (with all due respect to those who submitted them) and the hate mail etc. was, of course, a bummer. - Matthew T. Grant from Aquent
    52. 63. With Spec work - as opposed to purely asking for an idea - your risk/reward ratio is fairly high
    53. 64. How does this all impact agencies?
    54. 65. An example
    55. 67. The new agency model?
    56. 69. Role of the agency? Can’t put just anything out there - agency needs to give strategic guidance and a ensure a good brief
    57. 70. Understanding the effects of communication and developing the idea in line with the business/brand strategy
    58. 71. Agency is able to develop the idea and control the production value
    59. 72. Other benefits to crowdsourcing
    60. 73. Independent audit by Fleishman-Hillard found 1600% ROI from PR alone
    61. 74. Consumer insight and interaction “ Idea Bounty has exposed us to a plethora of great ideas and more than a little insight into how the world views our brand” ~ Charl Bassil, Executive Brand Manager Castle Lager, SAB Miller “ Staying truly 'fresh' is a 365 day a year challenge and we're very clear that two of the secrets to achieving this, are celebrating great ideas; and staying in touch with your consumers. What's great about Idea Bounty is it does both”. ~ Mike Leslie, Innovation & Sponsorship Manager of Levi Strauss
    62. 75. Three points for debate:
    63. 76. Is CrowdSourcing really a threat to the traditional agency model?
    64. 77. Is there an opportunity for agencies to embrace CrowdSourcing and adopt a new model?
    65. 78. Is CrowdSourcing sustainable?
    66. 79. Thank You