BlogCivilized Crowdsourcing News & Views

What We Talk About When We Talk About The Future

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In an AdAge article published May 4, 2015, “Mad Men” 2025: Ad Leaders Predict the Future of the Industry,  notables in the industry dare to look into the future. We’ve lifted remarks from their contributions that argue for models such as that of Boom.

Ideas and creativity remain the cornerstone of their visions:

QUOTE: “Technology will make things easier for sure, but the need for human creativity across the marketing landscape will still play a critical role in tapping into consumer psyche and driving action.” – Sarah Hofstetter, CEO, 360i

NOTE: Human creativity — Almost strange that the most unassuming word in that statement is the word “human.” Boom keeps the humanity in crowdsourcing. It’s not all technology and expedience. We never forget that people are creative, people are the source of ideas, not some digital ISP scattered around the globe. Unless we’ve crossed into The Singularity by 2025, the human mind will still be the wellspring of ideas.

QUOTE: “There will still be creative ideas that play out across multiple channels, and the smart ones will transform their clients’ businesses. So at its core, not much change. But the window dressing will continue its breathless pace of transformation. Faster, cheaper, better …” – Robert Senior, worldwide CEO, Satachi & Saatchi

NOTE:  Faster, cheaper, better. — Echoing one of the mantras of Boom: More. Better. Faster. Cheaper. We share more ideas. We have disciplined creators. We move fast. And — We don’t cut corners. We cut waste.

QUOTE: “When the riots are in full swing, the streets are burning and all seems lost, an ad-guy pipes up and says “I think I’ve got an idea….”” – Rei Inamoto, chief creative officer, AKQA

NOTE: When called upon, everyone has ideas. Ideas really can come from anywhere. Boom welcomes you to Anywhere.

QUOTE:  “There will continue to be more ways to reach people — and yet people will never be harder to reach, making the power of ideas even more important.”– Pam Hamlin, global president, Arnold Worldwide

NOTE: Power of ideas. There’s no question that ideas intrigue, appeal, captivate, motivate. Boom taps into boundless idea energy to generate those ideas.

QUOTE: “In the advertising industry — whatever it will be called then — we will still discuss the importance of creativity. If anything, creativity will only become more important, despite the influence of data.” – Harris Diamond, chairman-CEO, McCann Worldgroup

NOTE: Importance of creativity.  There’s an extraordinary pool of idle creativity in the world. Boom is all about tapping that creative surplus – offering members the opportunity to apply their creativity in productive ways.

If those quotes indicate the future, Boom is ahead of the game — hosting creativity, delivering ideas. Now.

Click here to download our new eBook on how to build the creative Department of the Future Now.

Crowdsourcing a company name?
(Or anything else for that matter?)

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Naming a company or a product or an event or a promotion can be a daunting exercise. And some brands invest extraordinary sums in bringing science to the naming process. But to put it rather crudely, there are times when brute force can win the day. Times when hurling a volume of naming ideas at the target and seeing what sticks may get you to a wholly unexpected, yet rewarding place.

24 Ideanet members generated 502 company names in 72-hours for a restaurant launch.

Boom created 502 company names in 72-hrs for a restaurant launch.

Of course, you wouldn’t do that without some parameters. But you can do it quickly and affordably with the Boom model. Imagine crafting a succinct brief that defines the object/entity/activity to be named, provides guidance around personality and tone, and sets a few loose parameters. Then activating a world of bright minds to generate naming ideas.

We smash the idle energy of bright, disciplined minds into a targeting brief and see what the collisions yield. The network finds these challenges to be very stimulating. Not to mention downright fun. And clients love to dig into the candidate names, seeking out gems to be refined or uncovering outright winners.

Here are some company name examples:

  • A restauranteur turned to Boom to generate naming ideas for a new casual dining concept (over 500 name ideas).
  • An entrepreneur tapped the Ideanet to generate names for a marketing strategy start-up (over 1200 candidates).
  • An advertising agency tapped Boom to rename an umbrella company that was integrating its various subsidiaries (250+ names from six assigned talents).
  • The very name of Boom Ideanet was generated by its initial talent network — as well as the logo.

B2C. B2B. Anything goes. Find out more about Boom Ideanet’s company naming power.

It’s Time To Actively Connect Crowdsourcing Work Models and Shared Value

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Michael Porter and Mark R. Kramer published the essay, “Creating Shared Value,” in Harvard Business Review in January 2011. A seminal statement in that essay: “Shared value, then, is not about personal values. Nor is it about “sharing” the value already created by firms—a redistribution approach. Instead, it is about expanding the total pool of economic and social value.”

That pool, in a very real sense, is defined by an expanding population of workers around the globe performing tasks, solving challenges, driving innovation in crowdsourcing platforms. While it may be a simplistic view to connect their framework for “Shared Value” to crowdsourcing, it may also be legitimate.

Even while Porter promotes notions of clustering and local sourcing, the reality is that new connectivity can make almost anyone anywhere “local.” Perhaps it is easier to demonstrate the societal value in a local setting and easier to hide inequality when a worker is thousands of miles away. But connectivity also facilitates transparency and communication, so a worker and his well-being can be just as “present” as is the work performed.

In the essay, there’s no mention whatsoever of crowdsourcing. But one could hardly fault the authors for neglecting this labor model even four short years ago. In that interval, the number of crowd-based platforms has increased, the kinds of work being assigned to crowds has expanded and the number of workers looking to crowd platforms for earning prospects has climbed into the many millions.

As such, the model won’t stay in the shadow for long. A recent column in The Wall Street Journal, “On-Demand Workers; We Are Not Robots,” hits broadly at fair labor practices, notes current litigation, and stirs up semantics issues as basic as the definition of employee, contractor, freelancer. The controversy has only just been initiated. Will crowdsourcing platforms be exploitative and exhaustive or will they be respectful and productive?

What the situation calls for is a willingness, teased at by Porter and Kramer, to establish ethical practices for all contract labor, particularly that hosted by crowdsourcing platforms. Self-interest is actually better served when businesses respect the society that fuels its profits. And those profits need to be redefined, per Porter & Kramer, in terms of positive societal impact, rather than merely short-term returns. From their essay, “It is not philanthropy but self-interested behavior to create economic value by creating societal value. If all companies individually pursued shared value connected to their particular businesses, society’s overall interests would be served.” Crowdsourcing can be a contributor to that societal value, rather than a exploiter.

It’s time to promote ethical crowdsourcing models — in which the hirer, the hoster and the worker all benefit equitably. To learn more and engage in the discussion, visit Medium Channel “Ethical Crowdsourcing.”

Pressed for Campaign Concepts, Ad Agency Taps Boom as Instant Creative Department.

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A regional ad agency (who prefers to remain nameless) recently ran headlong into an opportunity to pitch a telecom (also to remain nameless) assignment with, shall we say, a pressure-cooker timeline. Not only that, the endeavor straddled Spring Break and the agency’s creative department was lightly populated. So the agency turned to Boom Ideanet. Within 36 hours, we had a brief and the network was off and running.

Five days later, Boom turned over 75 campaign concepts. The agency team reviewed the ideas, did some remixing of its own and went back to the Ideanet for a round of iteration and expansion. Seventy-two hours later, Boom turned over another 50+ ideas and the agency creative team reviewed, incorporated and prepared final concepts for presentation. All in less than two weeks!

Maybe it’s a bit sketchy that we can’t identify the agency or the brand. But just as anonymity is a value to many creative people in the Ideanet, it is a value to agencies and even brands. It means, they can tap into instant creative bandwidth without missing a beat. And without missing an opportunity. Boom’s crowd of vetted, NDA’d creators steps in seamlessly and generates a wealth of fresh, disciplined, on-brief thinking. The agency controls the ideas and decides how to use them.

Boom doesn’t demand the limelight. Boom just thrives on creative challenges, from campaign concept to naming, from brand identify and logos to videos, not to mention content, content, content.

For a similar scenario, with brand names included, check our our campaign concepts page or this blog post.

Kansas City Business Journal Raises Awareness of Crowdsourcing

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Wherever you look in business today, you’ll see conversation around “cultures of innovation.” Brands languish without new ideas — and new ways of generating them. Idea categories include process, product development and certainly marketing.

Marketing teams are being challenged to find new ways to keep the brand fresh and engage consumers. More organizations are starting to consider crowdsourcing as a way to meet the demand for ideas and content. The recent crowdsourced spots from Doritos aired during Super Bowl XLIX and other advertisers in the past, solidify the promise of such a model.

However, creative crowdsourcing goes far beyond commercials. The model can be used for creating branding, logos, naming, direct mail, landing page design, social copy, video, any marketing communications element.

The Kansas City Business Journal recently interviewed Boom Ideanet about this trend, and touched on further insights into how the approach can benefit companies by saving time, money, team stress, and more. Boom Ideanet members shared their perspective on where crowdsourcing may be headed.

Check out the article on the Kansas City Business Journal here.

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Super Bowl Advertising – Crowdsourced Creative Among Top Spots

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As you know, there were many themes apparent in the SuperBowl XLIX commercial portfolio.

There was dad-dom (Nissan, Dove Men+Care). Puppy-dom (Budweiser). There was overcoming-disability-dom (Microsoft, Nissan). And scantily-clad-dom (T-Mobile. Victoria’s Secret). There was also borrowing celebrity-dom. (Kia. Snickers. Wix).

Plenty of “doms” to go around.

But the surprising results from the night belong to Doritos. According to Ace Metrix research, Doritos’ crowdsourced spot appears among the year’s Top Spots. AdMeter seemed to agree, ranking Doritos’ crowdsourced creative in the top 5. Yes, it’s fan-based creative. And not every company is in a position to turn its brand over to its consumers. But the Doritos fan crowd does suggest that there is certified creative power in the crowd.

In light of this, if your CEO is asking you, “Should we be doing this crowdsourcing thing?” you’ll want answers.

We can help you with answers. We can help you decide if a crowd can work for your brand. Even if you aren’t airing a Super Bowl commercial! And suggest how you can test the crowdsourcing waters.

Visit this link and download our free eBook about “Everything You Need To Know About Crowdsourcing Before Your CEO Asks.”

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It may just come in handy!

Crash Course: Everything You Need To Know About Crowdsourcing … Before Your CEO Asks.

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This weekend, its the Super Bowl® and The Ad Bowl, all wrapped up in one super-hyped package of anticipation. Regardless of how the game goes, the advertising will stir attention and conversation. And maybe even drive some business! Doritos®’ “Crash The SuperBowl” campaign will be part of the conversation, in particular because it is “crowdsourced.” And Doritos is not alone. Lincoln, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Pizza-Hut and others are spinning crowdsourcing, too.

Could your company use crowdsourcing? How did Doritos do it?

Fortunately for you, today, there are platforms out there that can serve as your short-cut to crowdsourcing. And we’ve prepared an epaper to help you prepare. But Frito-Lay® had to invest a great deal of time, money and operational structure to mobilize its fan base.

Beginning in 2006, Doritos established a contest for a “fan-made” commercial that aired in Super Bowl XLI. They used advertising and other channels to assemble the crowd, which is renewed each year. Crowd members are self-selected. Fans invest not only an idea, but a finished video. An even larger, secondary crowd of voters determines how far an idea goes in the contest.

In year nine, “Crash The Super Bowl” is far more a marketing strategy than a creative strategy. The brand likely spends as much assembling each contest’s crowd as they do in airing the winning-spot. Not only is Doritos paying $4.5M for a :30 spot in Super Bowl XLIX, they are promoting participation in 29 countries, hosting a website, polling and paying out prize money and benefits totally over $1M for 30 finalists.

Chances are, your company doesn’t have those kinds of resources to apply to one advertising event. Even one as “commercially” relevant as The Super Bowl.

But this “crowdsourcing” thing appears to have legs. You hear the term more often now. You think, “Our company will never do a Super Bowl spot. Maybe it works for Doritos, but can it work for other brands, retailers, even B2B companies?” Or you ask, “Do we really want our users creating our advertising? Are there crowds that aren’t “fan-based?” What kind of challenges can we give a crowd? Is it a good thing to “get one great idea from hundreds of entries and just pay the winner?” Can crowdsourcing really produce useful results, or is it more trouble than it’s worth? Why would I share my business challenges with a bunch of people we don’t even know?” Wow!

But you do know that on the Monday morning after SuperBowl XLIX, your CEO may ask, “What is this crowdsourcing thing? And should we be doing it?” Are you prepared to respond?

Check out this eBook to be ready with all the answers:

“Everything You Need to Know About Crowdsourcing Advertising Before Your CEO Asks.”

Doritos has been tapping the crowd for years. But it’s still anyone’s game out there in crowdsourcing country. Read the paper. Be the MVP. Or at least be ready to play when your CEO asks, “Should we be using “the crowd?”

28 Creators. 100+ Ideas. Back-To-Back Campaigns. Boom.

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Sergeant’s Gets More For Less With Boom.

Sergeant’s engaged Boom Ideanet to develop broadcast advertising for its Fipronil® flea & tick products for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The network generated dozens of ideas against both the 2012 and 2013 briefs. Sergeant’s internal brand team reviewed the ideas, narrowed the set down to three finalists, which were tested, then a winner was chosen.

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AdAge & Ace METRIX Recognize PetSmart Holiday TV Created by Boom Ideanet

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It’s one thing to make a top ten list for entertaining creative. It’s another thing entirely to make a top ten list for effectiveness. Both the left brain and the right brain can celebrate!

“It’s not what the brands are trying to communicate, it’s how they communicate,” said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix, which tracks ad effectiveness based on metrics like “likeability,” “attention,” “relevance,” and “desire,” or purchase intent. “A lot of these brands, especially on the retail side, are very good examples of using a story to spread their message.”

The brief came from PetSmart. The ideas for campaign concepts and production came from Boom Ideanet. And the results came from pet parents everywhere. Check out spots and the story here: Watch The Holiday Season’s Most Effective Ads.

See the PetSmart ad below, and read more about the PetSmart campaign at this earlier Boom Holiday TV blog entry.

Crowdsourcing, Civilized. What’s that about?

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Boom Ideanet recognizes that there are elements of crowdsourcing that are controversial: per unit compensation can be low, few or often only one, contributor may be paid, the approach is often charged with inviting “spec-work,” not to mention that it disrupts the traditional ad agency model for creative development. The Boom model is designed to address those issues. We believe that crowdsourcing will only survive if it is ethical in its principles and practices. Our goal is to operate such a platform.

We strive to achieve the following:
1. Award more contributors, in line with the freelance market.
2. Seek a balance between competition and compensation.
3. Protect the confidentiality of the brand, while respecting the intellectual property of the contributor.
4. Mash-up agency-level quality with crowdsourcing agility.
5. Offer a cost advantage to marketers without taking advantage of creators.

So Boom Ideanet is doing more than just challenging the status quo of advertising creativity. Boom is challenging the status quo of crowdsourcing.

MARKETERS: When you issue challenges through Boom Ideanet, you get a volume of high-quality ideas developed by vetted, creative talents at a fair cost. Clients are delivered a wealth of ideas that come from veteran thinkers, as well as from those who bring an utterly fresh perspective. It’s a low-risk, high-reward proposition for both busineses and creators.

CREATORS: When creative people accept a challenge, they always know the compensation structure at the outset. So every participant has a clear understanding of the terms before ever choosing to invest his or her time and energy and to enter ideas. Many crowdsourcing models operate on a “winner-takes-all” basis. Boom distributes award dollars more equitably. We typically offer compensation for finalists, as well as winners. In many cases, we diminish the degree of “spec” work by assigning creative talent and offering compensation to multiple creators.

NO SURPRISES: At Boom, that’s our goal. The only surprise should be the spontaneous reaction to a great idea!

Of course, in all scenarios, we want to charge fairly and pay fairly. A more rewarded “crowd” delivers more rewarding work to the client.

CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY:  Every member of the network is vetted and signs a non-disclosure agreement. We want to assure the confidentiality of the client’s business information, which is crucial to setting the stage for productive thinking.

As a creator, almost every other crowdsourcing business requires you to give up your intellectual property at the time of entry. When you participate in a Boom brief, your retain the IP until purchased.

Boom is doing everything in its power to respect creative work and to operate ethically, advancing the principles and the practice of crowdsourcing. Here on the frontiers of crowdsourcing, Boom Ideanet intends to be a civilizing force.