The Pros and Cons of Crowdsourcing Ads

Crowdsourcing ideas and content for advertisements from the public has become a common tool in advertisers' tool kits. But not all companies are using crowdsourced content to its fullest advantage. Read on to find out what makes an ideal crowdsourced ad—and how to get the most out of it.

Intel recently conducted a crowdsourcing contest that aimed to get millenials to share their concepts of what Intel meant to them. Intel received 116 videos and 345 print submissions, and a wealth of creative ideas that it shared on its Pinterest page, further increasing engagement with this influential group of consumers. Intel’s success demonstrates that asking customers for their opinions and showcasing their contributions is a smart way to keep your brand fresh and in touch with consumers. It’s also a great tool for gathering a collection of ideas for promoting your product from many minds.

But crowdsourcing’s strength—collecting the talents and knowledge of the crowd—can also be a detractor. To find excellent content, someone must first sift through piles of submissions, and there is no guarantee the search will be successful. Also, ad agencies think crowdsourcing ads undermines their traditional role as arbiters of how a company’s brand gets presented to the world. Crowdsourcing provides a wealth of ideas, but few of them may be of the quality that the ad agency could provide. Proponents of crowdsourcing say that’s okay, however – because what consumers are looking for in today’s world of social media – where anyone can produce content inexpensively – is authenticity, which home-grown ads often provide.

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