Zooppa Weighs in on the Crowdsourcing Debate

The crowdsourcing discussion has been garnering more and more attention of late. There are strong opinions on both sides of the argument. We here at Zooppa decided it was time to weigh in on the issue ourselves.

First, it is worth mentioning that although the term ‘crowdsourcing’ has only been around for a few years (coined by Jeff Howe in a 2006 issue of Wired Magazine) the design competition has been around for centuries. In fact, some of the worlds most innovative and well known buildings came about as a result of architectural design competitions. Filippo Brunelleschi’s design for the Dome of the Florence Cathedral way back in 1419 is probably the earliest, most notable example. The progressive, beautiful Centre Georges Pompidou was designed by a team of architects and engineers for a competition in 1971. There are plenty more examples listed on Wikipedia, everyone’s favorite crowdsourced encyclopedia

Crowdsourced design and video competitions provide opportunities to up and coming creatives who have not yet been able to establish themselves. Through these competitions, designers and filmmakers build their portfolios, learn about the industry and how to sell themselves in a supportive environment while producing work for actual clients. The experience is a valuable one, regardless if competitors win the top prize. Even for professionals, participating in a crowdsourced competition can be a great way to make extra money, get in front of new brands, and interact with other creatives.

There is a saying that two heads are better than one. In a crowdsourcing environment, a healthy creative community generates dialogue around the content that can only serve to improve the overall quality of the work. Creatives give each other feedback as to which aspects of their content work, and which might benefit from change. They brainstorm together…and the end product is stronger for it.

On the other end, crowdsourcing an ad campaign can really serve businesses as well. The cost-saving aspect of crowdsourcing is widely recognized. What is rarely discussed, is the viral potential and brand engagement that can result result from these competitions. Crowdsourced creativity platforms like Zooppa, and others that incorporate votes or view count into the awards structure, encourage creatives to both spread their content across the web, as well as engage in dialogue with other creatives about their work and the brand.

Agency-made online creative content also can raise brand awareness and drive engagement, however, the reach is limited. Each user-generated campaign involves a number of people creating and distributing content. Each participating creative distributes content to their own network, greatly increasing the number of impressions over more traditional forms of advertising. Designers and filmmakers are actively engaging with a brand’s identity and message, through their social channels as they work to create an ad that captures the spirit of the brand, while offering a fresh creative solution.

I would love to hear your thoughts on crowdsourcing! Please leave a comment, and let us know what you think.

Thanks for reading the Zooppa Blog. Your top destination for all things crowd-sourced creativity. Check out our active video, design, and interactive competitions for top brands. Sign up for Zooppa to submit your ads and vote for your favorites from other creatives.

Jasmine Moore

One Comment

  1. I would like to ad that crowd-sourcing, especially in the context of a competition ads an element not found in other types of competitions. Many traditional competitions for video, such as the Tellys or Emmys, encourage excellence in production and creativity in execution. Competitions based on others in the community voting can tend towards being a popularity contest. Neither addresses the effectiveness of the video. When a client or sponsor picks a winner in a competition such as the ones Zooppa runs, they pick a video that best conveys their message. In many cases this may not be the most creative. Going back to another Italian Renaissance competition for the bronze doors on Florence’s Baptistery. Art historians agree that Brunelleschi submission to the competition advanced art into a new area but Lorenzo Ghiberti won because he gave the sponsors what they wanted. Brunelleschi went onto design the famous Dumo and Ghiberti’s bronze doors have become masterpieces of the Renaissance. Each a winner.

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