The future in a crowd sourced world

Crowd sourcing has become a key trend this year and is poised to potentially revolutionise the creative, design and marketing industries in one.  It’s been dabbled with for a while now, but media proliferation and transparency is allowing it to really come into its own.

The premise that we can seek out new ideas and insight from the everyday people around us does however raise the question of  creative integrity and whether this form of ideas generation and creativity actually does our creative industries a disservice.  Consumers are not only in the driving seat, they’re building the car.  So what does this mean for the our industry?

We’re living in a stressful, busy world.  The economy is still in a bit of a mess, we’re living in a risk society.  My mam always says ‘We’re a team, we do everything as a team’ and I think this sentiment is really valid in these difficult times.  We want to feel comforted and secure and brands that open their doors to us and listen, not just by having a dodgy Customer Care Line in Sunderland, but by crediting audiences with some creative intelligence and a greater purpose that a receptor of information and I think this really positivises the world we’re living in.  It makes customers feel empowered and brands feel relevant.  But then what does that mean for agencies if consumers are co-creating what we’re being paid to do?

I think the important point is for brands to maintain that balance between understanding where fresh ideas can add value and where participation can work, but also ensure that an agency can properly understand and manage the brand’s strengths, priorities and objectives – and therefore guide the process.  Though finding our role in this new model environment may be tricky.


  • Martin Thomas

    The best crowd sourcing initiatives are driven by smart agencies. As Doritos’ client Ann Mukherjee said of Goodby Silverstein’s role in the crowd sourced Superbowl ad competition, “we couldn’t have done it without them.”