I read on Twitter (@bbhlabs) and Campaign Magazine where Unilever is crowdsourcing a creative brief for its Peperami brand, seeking a TV campaign idea that will go global later this year. The winning creative entry gets $10,000. On the one hand, it seems like a brilliant, game-changing wake up call to agencies (They let go Lowe Worldwide just prior to announcing the “contest.”), yet really this shot over the bow will put a pox on the business the likes of which we’ve never seen.
The biggest problem with crowdsourcing creative is it puts clients in the production business and when marketers have to balance art with cost, the spots suffer. Directors will be chosen by clients, shooting boards managed and approved by clients. Music, editing, and the soul of the spot will be in the hands of business people. Pre-pro meetings will be a joke.
Unilever got some good press this week for earnings, leadership and so-called product innovation. This is not an example of leadership or innovation. Peace!