Crowdsource your ads! Could this be the elusive free lunch?

Marketing budget a little squeezed? Agency asks a little much? Here’s an idea:

Run a cool, crowd-sourced competition for your next campaign, you’ll get to look right up-to-the minute PLUS you get tons of ideas for nothing! OK you’ll need to put up a paltry amount for the winner, but you’ll flush out that under-employed genius at bargain basement rates.

Or, maybe, as two organisations discovered you might just open yourself up to a world of very public pain!

Case study #1: Chevrolet’s contest to get the public to create an ad for its Tahoe SUV. Didn’t go entirely as planned. Of the 30,000 entries posted on Chevy’s site, plenty were scams that included references to global warming, social irresponsibility, war in Iraq, and the psychosexual connotations of extremely large cars. Standouts included “Enjoy the Longer Summers!” which blamed the Tahoe for heat-trapping gasses and melting polar ice caps. An entry called “How Big Is Yours” declared, “Ours is really big! Watch us fuck America with it.” Here’s an example of what happens if you open up your creative brief to the world:

Case study # 2 is closer to home. Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum is a champion of all things design. So when it briefed all and sundry to compete for creating the imagery for it’s planned ‘Sydney Design’ expo with a $1000 prize for the winner, it should not perhaps have been surprised at the response: a flood of angry responses from real designers. A couple of ‘prize’ examples can be seen below (the first two complete with crappy stock images and el cheapo fonts) and there are more here.

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One Response to “Crowdsource your ads! Could this be the elusive free lunch?”

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