Friday, 6 November 2009


Over the last few months the advetising industry seems to have experienced increasing competition from crowdsourced advertising solutions.

First there was the story about Unilever dropping their long time collaboration with advertising agency Lowe back in August. Instead Unilever put up a $10.000 prize for creative ideas for the new Peperami TV commercial on the Idea Bounty web site.
Then there was the launch of the new agency Victors & Spoils in October that claims to be the first crowdsourced ad agency in the world.
And finally Pepsi owned brand Mountain Dew is asking consumers to vote for the best advertising idea on their web site. Both agencies and other creative individuals can submit their ideas.

And there's probably been lots of other similar examples that I haven't noticed.

A couple of years back London agency TBWA had a go at crowdsourcing ideas for some of their briefs. They called it The Big What Adventure and encouraged people to submit their ideas for different campaigns. I don't remember all the details but it's safe to say that it wasn't well received. Advertising bloggers all over the world lined up to have a go at TBWA and acused them of fishing for free ideas and exploiting consumers.

I don't know if it's a question of us becoming more used to the idea of crowdsourcing now or if TBWA really didn't offer a fair deal back then. But people definitely seem more open to crowdsourcing in an advertising context today.
It's going to be very interesting to see how the advertising industry will adapt to this potential threat, and if the corwdsourced business model will be more succesful this time round.

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