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crowdsourcing – good vs bad – GetUp vs CocaCola


There’s ethical crowdsourcing for user generated advertising such as GetUp.org‘s ozin30seconds:

We’re starting something brand new for Australia. It’s GetUp’s ground-breaking competition: “Oz in 30 Seconds” – a chance to show us your Australia by making a 30 second political ad , which we will air on national prime time television during the lead up to the federal election.

The competition begins today. Check it out now at www.ozin30seconds.org and get filming!

and then there is unethical crowdsourcing a la exploitation by Coke and Singleton Plush Films:

Ad agency Singletons have asked 20 TV commercial directors (whom they consider young & groovy etc) to submit treatments for a 1-3 minute film … featuring … Coca Cola.

They will then choose 10 directors from their treatments and fund them to $30,000 to make their films. Apparently the Coca Cola stuff is be featured as “revitalising” (whatever that means).

All this is “top secret” of course and the invited have to swear secrecy. The Singleton owned production company Plush Films is involved. The films are to be released on the internet and will remain the property of Coca Cola.

OK, what it means: 20 young Directors, paranoid about the current lack of work in the industry, will all be killing each other to get their scripts together in the hope of staying young and groovy in the eyes of the agency and the production house. They will be “buying” the jobs.

There is no way that they can create these films on this sort of budget unless they cash in all their favours with crew and editors etc. They have to provide all the services for the $30,000. Most 45 second commercials cost at least $150 – $200 thousand to produce. Minimum.

Who is the beneficiary? Coca Cola. They get to run a hip and groovy viral internet campaign at a bargain basement price! And Singletons for getting all this exposure (which will be trumpeted in all the trade mags etc) for the 3rd World price of $300 thousand – total. They’ll make a million miles out of it.

The directors who are put in this melee will think they are being positioned for future jobs … but there’s too many of them for any benefit to flow back to an individual. It stinks. Coca Cola goes Tropfest.

And the poor bastards “invited” to submit are too scared to refuse – thinking they’ll be seen as not excited/team players etc and will miss future pitches for one of the world’s biggest advertisers.

It’s the sort of idea only a couple of creatives on a long lunch would dream up. If ever an Agency needed an outing, this is it.

Crikey‘s “advertising insider” report.

Yes these are disruptive technologies. Yes that means that directors and producers are going hungry. But putting the boot in is a bit much, don’t you think? Please pass this around, it shouldn’t be hidden away in one emailed newsletter and my little blog.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

4 thoughts on “crowdsourcing – good vs bad – GetUp vs CocaCola

  1. I wouldn’t call Coke’s effort crowdsourcing, because they’re “inviting” a designated number of creatives to submit work. Crowdsourcing implies an open call. –Jeff Howe (coined the term)

  2. Cool, then I’ve got a job for ya kiddo! :p Wikipedia says Crowdsourcing is a neologism for a business model in which a company or institution takes a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsources it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call over the Internet. The work is compensated with little or no pay in most cases. However, in a few examples the labor is well-compensated. In almost every case crowdsourcing relies on amateurs or volunteers working in their spare time to create content, solve problems, or even do corporate R&D.
    So off you pop and correct it, Jimmy Wales will thank you.

    But seriously, while I had some doubts over the term *crowdsourcing* in this case – it’s not an open call over the internet, and they aren’t really amateurs – it’s still taking the crowdsourcing model and bastardising it to rip young directors and producers off. We are undergoing some major shifts here in australia to do with labour and employment laws including minimum wage. None of it good…

    btw 🙂

  3. P.S. perhaps “ideagora – good vs bad” is better than ‘crowdsourcing’. I’m not sure, the term has to reflect the fact that this isn’t a simple oldfashioned request for a pitch (where good ideas still get stolen) but using current trends where people create with passion (usually with no profit in mind) and manipulating it, well that’s twisting those concepts for overtly mercenary ends.

    Yes I’m naive, but the blogosphere loves to grab stories like this and turn them into anti-marketing campaigns. Business ethics must change before the onslaught and long may it be so!

  4. It seems that this is a good time for an Internet ad agency to do business. Online marketing and advertising is ever on the rise, providing a lot of opportunities to those who want to earn a profit on the Internet.

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