The decision to cheaply outsource, sorry I meant to write, "crowdsource" Peperami's latest integrated advertising campaign frather than use an advertising agency worried me. I know that this is going to sound like sour grapes as I work in a creative agency, but I wanted to share my concerns and get your thoughts. Very open to be proved wrong on this and I am genuinely looking for other POVs.
In principle I am all in favour of a policy of Radical Transparency. I believe that opening up issues to a larger audience leads to unusual and unexpected solutions (incidentally it also leads to a lot of shitty ideas that you have to sort through in order to find the half decent ones but that's not the point) and the crowdsourcing approach of Walkers Do Us a Flavour (Win a Packet) and the Netflix $1m algorithm recommendation competition never troubled me in the way that the Peperami case did. In fact I use them as examples of best in breed innovative thinking.
So what's different about Peperami?
It might be to do with the monetary reward that Peperami put up, $10,000 for an integrated advertising campaign. That's 6,000 in UK pounds. Now I don't know about you but I think that it's a bit of a rip off. I have said as much to Nic personally and he pointed out that the fact that they had over 1000 entrants meant that there was a considerable number of people who felt that it was the right level of renumeration. Maybe its a sign that there's a terrible recession going on and a lot of out of work creatives are prepared to work for peanuts? Because let's be honest about it, this initiative wasn't PR-ed in developing countries where that amount of money would be worth considerably more. No it was PR-ed, according to Ideas Bounty, on sites like Brand Republic and to the UK creative industry in general. The winner hasn't been released yet but I was led to believe that it was won by ex-agency creatives.
I also have issues with the creative role that Ideas Bounty take. It's up to them to whittle the 1000 entrants down to a managable number for the client to choose from. Suddenly Ideas Bounty is the creative authority. That just doesn't feel right to me. It takes real skill to ascertain whether there's a brilliant creative idea lurking under the surface of an idea that might not sound that good (meerkat anyone?) I also think that it take real expertise to be able to build and shape a good idea into something extraordinary and I also know from experience that reading someone's creative idea as opposed to having them in front of you and explaining it properly are two totally different things.
Maybe it just troubles me as the logical conclusion of an initiative like this is that you don't need agencies anymore, you simply crowdsource the creative ideas cheaply and then partner with production houses. Maybe that is a good thing - over-paid, over-precious, over-protective are all allegations that can be thrown at some advertising agencies. But I hope they're not allegations that are true for all agencies. I hope that some a proper creative and business partners to their clients.
There's a great article in Forbes magazine The Myth of Crowdsourcing, in it Dan Wood takes issue with Crowdsourcing and writes " let's not ... pretend that 10,000 average Joes invent better products than Steve Jobs." Is he right when it comes to creative ideas and advertising campaigns? I wait for the next Peperami campaign with interest and also to see whether as a client they feel that they ever want to work with an advertising agency again.
(SOMEONE EMAILED ME SAYING THAT THEIR COMMENT NEVER APPEARED - AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FIRST PAGE OF COMMENTS IS A TINY ARROW, CLICKING ON THAT GETS YOU THRU TO SECOND PAGE OF COMMENTS)