Foundry Law Group Blog

Creative Commoners: The Rise of Crowdsourcing Contests in Advertising:

The rise of video advertising spending (projected at $8.04 billion in 2016), has helped to pave the way for open innovation and collaborative creation as a cost-effective, creativity-efficient means to reach the masses. Coupled with the rise in video-enabled social media usage – from Instagram to Vine to Youtube – and its spread across almost every device and platform, crowdsourcing video advertising content has served to disrupt traditional marketing models, forcing advertisers to be quick to respond to change, while keeping their production budgets in check.

Several different types of contest-models exist, some more popular than others. Crowdsourced advertising contests can range from “idea contests” (where advertisers call for original ideas), to “stage-based contests” (where advertisers, often together with a third-party platform work together to channel the theme and direction of the crowd’s creativity, awarding winning video submissions a cash prize). Crowdsourced video contests have risen in popularity, giving even amateur and rising producers and advertising talent the inspiration and opportunity to gain experience and participate in the creation of mass-advertising. Websites like even offer potential contestants guides to producing better quality videos specifically tailored for crowdsourced video contests.

The crowdsourced contest model of advertising is a win-win for both the advertiser promoting a brand, as well as the contestants entering these competitions, which adds to the list of reasons why crowdsourced contests have moved from “internet fad” to “viable marketing solutions”. Contestants are often budding designers, producers and directors who are offered the chance to expand and build their portfolios, while working on projects that might be new and different from their usual fare. It allows such creative minds to gain access to bigger brands and more senior advertising executives and industry specialists indirectly but more easily, rather than forcing creativity from one of the lucky few to land a job at Wieden + Kennedy. It also affords freelancers and others looking to dabble rather than specialize in marketing the opportunity to be paid (often, handsomely!) for their work.

For advertising agencies and companies looking to market their brands, crowdsourced video contests offer, quick-turnaround on creativity at value-for-money budgets. Having clear and comprehendable terms and conditions that are not subject to change after a contest goes live fosters good relationships between the video submitting community and advertisers – important if you plan on doing multiple contests. While existing and smaller businesses have been slow to jump on the crowdsourcing bandwagon, instead producing low-quality websites and using too-traditional modes of advertising, newer and/or larger businesses are making sure that they are paying attention to design and vibrancy in their social presence on every digital and social medium. Provided that they understand the mechanisms by which a successful crowdsourced video contests can help to reap benefits many times what is sown, advertising in this way can quickly become the only way to advertise.

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