Marketers are increasingly crowdsourcing aspects of their campaigns and bringing fans into the creative process. Over 20% of the ads in the last Super Bowl used some form of crowdsourcing. In February, Hasbro let a Facebook survey pick which Monopoly piece would replace the iron. Surprise, surprise, the Internet picked a cat.
Crowdsourcing can bring higher levels of engagement to a campaign and extend the buzz before and after the actual media buy. But there are different flavors of crowdsourcing. And different tactics may work for some brands better than others.
Before marketers leap on the crowdsourcing bandwagon, they need to decide the best approach for their brand, and just how much control to give away to their audiences. Giving too little control (like Audi’s lame survey to choose one of three endings to their Super Bowl ad) can fall flat. Giving too much control (like the Internet poll that picked Justin Bieber’s next tour location as North Korea) can backfire.
There is wisdom of the crowd, but it all depends on what crowd. Listening to the “crowd” can easily lead to lolcats and the lowest common denominator.
Ultimately, it comes down to the connection that brands have with their audiences. Crowdsourcing done well can channel and amplify that connection. Crowdsourcing done poorly can reveal how shallow that connection really is.
I’d love to hear your favorite examples of crowdsourcing in marketing.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post. I’ll pick one comment at 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)