Creative Customer Ideas – crowdsource marketing videos

Creative Customer Ideas - crowdsource marketing videosLately my work with senior marketing folks has yielded a consistent message.  They want to tap into the ideas of their customers.

I recently explored the notion of Enterprise Feedback Management (software designed to find out what customers think by providing a platform) and also the Customer Experience Management space (software designed to push out your calls to action).

I’m turning now to the concept of using the Crowd to get creative ideas for your next marketing video.

Creative Customer Ideas - crowdsource marketing videosThere are a couple advantages to crowd sourcing the creative process in producing these videos.

  • One you can do it cheaper.  The Crowd is thrilled to earn $500 to $1000 for the concept (typically expressed in twitter lengths of 140 characters).  Video production teams are equally satisfied with a budget of $30,000 to produce.  A video commercial, whether it is destined to be shared virally or shown on the Superbowl (like the Speed Stick ad this year), can cost hundreds of thousands up to millions of dollars.
  • The second advantage is speed.  With the large amounts of dollars risked when placing ads on TV, a one minute video marketing commercial can take anywhere from months to a year to produce.
  • There is a third benefit, perhaps not tapped into as well.  Just think about it…if you ask a thousand people to give you an idea for a commercial and they each want their idea to “win”, isn’t it likely they’re going to reach out to all their friends on social networks and ask for their vote?

A Vendor Overview

There are a couple of players in this space companies can turn to in order to crowdsource their next video.

Tongal, with a small team hovering around 50, has already left quite a mark on this space.  This is the company whose process is responsible for producing videos commonly shared on social networks for companies like Lego, but also for one video shown as a commercial during the Superbowl.  They have a three step process.  First they ask a Crowd to submit creative ideas for a video (in a 140 characters or less).  The best ones go to a creative team to enrich those ideas and winnow them down to a select few.  Finally a video production company from amongst the crowd is selected and given budget to produce.

At each stage there are winners that get cash prizes.  And at each stage the brand management team curates the process, approving, guiding and selecting the winning results.

Another company, Poptent, claims a Crowd of over 64,000 professional and aspiring filmmakers from around the world.  Their process includes a workflow starting with a Creative Brief, progressing through an Assignment, Submissions, Purchases and Placement.  Their clients include Budweiser, Hasbro and the Girl Scouts.  With offices in Orange County and Philadelphia, they also manage the various outlets for distribution from Facebook, to movie theater ads, to an electronic billboard in New York’s Times Square.

Zooppa claims an online creative community of over 200,000 members.  Working with major brands from Seattle, they have delivered results to NBC Universal, General Motors, P&G, Zappos and many others.  Their process looks similar to the others with stages like content creation, moderation, licensing, distribution and awards fulfillment.

Genius Rocket started out with a similar model (they claim to have pioneered this space) in 2007 but in 2011 reformed their approach to a model more closely aligned with a traditional agency.  They have worked with over 350 brands including the Fortune 100, not for profits, associations, city and state governments, as well as working closely with established advertising agencies.  They are headquartered in Maryland.

Similarly Victors & Spoils operates more like a traditional agency, yet still crowd sourcing the process from the offices in Colorado.  They have worked with Harley-Davidson, Adidas, American Express, Converse and General Mills.

To address the huge market of those who speak Spanish as their first language, adtriboo is the largest Spanish – speaking creative crowd sourcing platform.  They not only crowdsource for videos but also to build Brand Names, brochures, packaging design and more.  They work with a Crowd of over 122,000 professionals from their HQ in Madrid.


Those companies pursuing “innovation excellence”, who want to tap into the myriad of creative ideas to be found in their customer community, have a multitude of choices for software, services and talent.  The notion of crowd sourcing creative ideas is proven and reliable and embraced by many large companies, normally adverse to risk.

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This entry was posted in Build Capability, Creativity, Customers, Innovation, Processes & Tools, Social Media, collaboration and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Creative Customer Ideas – crowdsource marketing videos

  1. AdminAK says:

    For an unbiased review of all the sites mentioned and a directory of other creative crowdsourcing players, check out agencykillers.

  2. Yannig says:

    Hi Ron, thanks for the write up. For a more “academic” stance of the subject, you might be interested in reading a book chapter (forthcoming) that yuo can download here: It’s called “Crowdsourcing in the Production of Video Advertising: The Emerging Roles of Crowdsourcing Platforms,” provides an overview of vendors and crowdsourcing models (we forgot Adtriboo though!)

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