Sunday, July 11, 2010

Crowdsourcing a Campiagn

For the past four years Doritos has hosted Crash the Super Bowl, a contest for consumer generated ad’s. Doritos gets thousands of ad's and picks six finalists.  The top three are picked by the public.  The top three get aired during the Super Bowl.

There is potential of winning up to $5million prize money if the ad scores in the top three spots the Ad Meter and additional advertising meters. The cost of the incentive is well worth it. As Rudy Wilson, vice president of Frito Lay highlights in a press release announcing the finalists.

“Time and time again our fans have proven they have the creativity and talent to match up against the best in the advertising business, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for this year’s Crash the Super Bowl winners.”

These commercials could not be conceived in an advertising agency, they are expressions of the relationship the consumer has with the product, and it works. The Crash the SuperBowl campaign generated more than one billion media impressions and over $35 million in ad equivalency with roughly one half of the impressions coming from non-traditional media outlets.

Business trends of crowdsourcing are very exciting for the world of politics. Crowdsourcing is a way to tap into the collective intelligence of people. It allows you to get the involvement of your target audience and create buy in through their participation. There are some great business models like are worth exploring. The basic idea of “threadless” is that customers vote on the T shirt design they feel should be produced. The incentive of seeing your shirt be mass produced and sold, promotes the designer to get people involved in the website so they will vote for their design.

This concept is easily translatable for a political campaign that has a base of support to involved. Do it right and it will lead to an authentic way to resource aspects of your campaign and the added value of deepening relationships with your potential voters and people in their networks who have the potential of being a voter at least, and at most an active supporter of your campaign. Saying you are committed to voters does not go far enough in ensuring they are included. Here are some steps to including more voters in a more meaningful way.

Try this:
Have your base help create your message:
Having a contest around posters, t-shirts and commercials for your campaign could give you a lot of creative content and promotion for your campaign. Offering the winner a chance to see their product mass-produced and organizing a high profile PR campaign event to unveil the winner should enough incentive your community will need to create authentic messages.

Having worked on a lot of local campaigns that do not have the money of Doritos or the excitement of a presidential election I caution you to keep your perspective. Smaller campaigns want to evaluate how this could be applied.  The most important questions to ask yourself are 1) do we have a community that will want to get involved in the contest 2) Do we have the means to reach them and 3) is our prize enough to motivate.  Do not organize a contest for making commercials if you're community or your campaign do not have resources to develop and distribute a commercial.

A poster contest is a great one, you can get kids, families and local artists involved and your campaign should be able to produce and distribute them... if not you got bigger problems in your campaign than excitement.

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