To crowdsource or not to crowdsource

07Jul09

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about value.  And not just getting more bang for your food buck at happy hour.

Everything in advertising and marketing needs a purpose.  In an ideal world, every dollar spent of client money would translate into more than a dollar in return.  Call it ROI or just good business, but agencies won’t last long without making a return for clients.  The good agencies find the ways to infuse creativity into every step of the process, despite the fact that thinking strategically can often constipate any semblance of creative flow during your average brainstorming meeting.

Mantras and buzzwords are flying through my brain: no idea is a bad idea in brainstorming…strategic brand alignment…landing above the fold…it’s enough to make an intern throw up her hands, right?

However, crowd sourcing is still one of my favorite topics.  Tasks that used to cost tens of thousands of dollars, such as approving a promotional video, can now be handed off to the discerning filters of the internet for a fraction of the cost.  The value of popular opinion as a tool is so up for debate, it’s practically impossible to pin it down.  Sites like the Eternal Moonwalk have made crowd sourcing into a novelty, and engines like the one at Threadless have turned popular opinion into profit.

Crowdsourcing can also mean finding commonalities in the disjointed, such as this YouTube case study:

So in the spirit of crowd sourcing, have you stumbled upon any innovative and (nay I say it) profitable uses of public sentiment lately?

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