I spent a very sunny weekend outside. Which is, of course, what happens when Seattle’s summer arrives in the fall. One of my weekend activities, however, was unique and entirely a product of crowdsourcing.
A small group of my videographer friends have gotten in the habit of spending a portion of their weekends shooting and editing commercials as part of crowdsourced creative competitions on sites like Poptent or Tongal. They find a prompt that excites them and then begin the quick and dirty process of creating advertising art. My friends have yet to win a competition (some of which offer upwards of $15,000 as rewards for the chosen video), but they have a great time doing the work. And after spending an evening working with them, I know why; they laugh, spend a few hours together doing creative problem solving, and feel like their work is training for whatever art film they work on next. And over the past several years, we’ve seen sites soliciting for commercial content proliferating: MusikPitch, Zooppa, DesignCrowd, etc. There is no lack of opportunities. Perhaps artists will soon rule the field of advertising…
Neil Perry’s recent Mediapost article, however, makes a case for the agency – saying that no matter how many crowdsourced ads we see, the role of the agency will never die out because they provide professional objectivity, all-up strategy, and experience (among other things).
Still some of the commercials that have received the most attention over the past few years have included the work of the crowdsourced community: the Super Bowl Doritos commercials, the Harley “No Cages” concept, or one of my favorite recent commercials – the Tron/Duck Tape commercial. Sometimes these ads are talked about for their hilarity and sometimes simply for their novelty.
In any case, the fruits of my weekend yielded a 30-second commercial. Fingers crossed for being a finalist, but even if the team doesn’t win the contest, it’s still a great way for young filmmakers to practice. And a great way for me to learn that I am the props MASTER.
Do you think that agencies will continue to play a role in the future of creative content? Could crowdsourcing prompts be a great proving ground for young artists? What is your favorite crowdsourced ad?