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.