16
Nov
13

IdeaHunting.net – A Contestant’s Perspective

IdeaHunting is a Portuguese site, but they are kind enough to also accept submissions in English. I won 400 Euros for an idea for Volkswagen and I was thrilled to receive the prize. The best thing about it, is that they celebrate each winner with a mentioning on Facebook. This lends a lot of credibility to a crowdsourcing operation – announcing winners fairly fast, fairly openly and most importantly, fairly.

Their system of reviewing ideas is very good, too. They have a moderator who they call a “Hunter” (coz their site name is IdeaHunting). S/he does a great job of giving comments on each idea entered. The site is extensive, but very easy to use. They use precise long numbers to code each submitted idea. The briefs are also very detailed and the community interacts and posts comments and clears all doubts rather well. They are not running as many live contests as they deserve. I wish more clients would come to them.

Their company name is very apt and will help them SEO wise down the road – after all, all Creative Crowdsourcing is a form of idea hunting. Their “Hunter” is kind enough to give you feedback, even if you don’t win or your idea isn’t hitting the mark. I have participated in very few contests and will do my best in every contest they put forward. I wish them the very best.

15
Sep
13

Victors & Spoils – A Contestant’s Perspective

The closest thing online to an actual ad agency – that’s V&S. They have ECDs, CDs, Copywriters & Art Directors on their payroll. And we the contestants act as junior/senior creatives bouncing our ideas off them and seeing if they get a “Yes”, “No”, or “Maybe”.

I’ve won a substantial amount at V&S. First I won $1000 for my TVC idea for Harley Davidson. Then I got another $1000 from the same brief for doing a small duty of moderating their FB IdeaMachine App (crowdsourcing from fans). I recently also won $200 for the Clearasil brief. But the thing about V&S is that, it is so nice, so apt for someone who has worked in an agency, that even if I had won $0 i would still have continued giving ideas for each brief that came my way. It gives you tremendous work satisfaction to know that you are reading a real live agency brief and that the ideas you are submitting can be seen/shown to the Global CEOs of Big Brands.

Since V&S is an agency – an online ad agency, the briefs are also just like the ones  you would get in an agency. You present ideas to the assigned CD and have made tremendous changes and improvements. We can now bounce our ideas off fellow crowdsourcing participants and get feedback on them even before the CD sees them. Noah Clark Sir, the Head Creative at V&S, listens to even a small guy like me. He personally took feedback on how to improve the site and now new changes are happening. One other cool thing about Victors & Spoils is that they give you badges like military stars and medals. How they use this system is known to them alone. They have an extensive team and everything about them is nice. I am a person who complains a lot but even i cannot find a fault with V&S. Long live V&S. May it grow to become the largest Creative Department on the planet. Long live Crowdsourcing.

11
Sep
13

Eyeka – A Contestant’s Perspective

When I found out about Eyeka I was excited. But when I started using it, slowly my excitement started waning. At first look the giant prizes they are offering would entice anyone. They have all the big brands in the contests and big prizes. But somehow it all sounds too good to be true.

I participated only in a handful of contests, and won nothing. I keep getting their emails almost 2-3 times a week, announcing yet another big prize pot for yet another big brand. But i simply don’t feel like clicking on the link and participating.

They take feedback diligently, they have done it a few times with me as well. But I don’t know if the site has changed with the feedback given by contestants. The main problem there is the huge delay between contest launch and payment to the winners. Their other main problem is that they do not take scribbles, text ideas, etc. They want 100% fully finished work which the client can take as is and use. Ready-made stuff in crowdsourcing? I think they got this one very wrong.

Still the contests are big and sometimes they have just idea generation contests as well. The process of uploading the files is sometimes tiresome and many of my files have been rejected because of one thing or other. I can’t blame them for this last point, but what i mean to say is, someone is giving you their ideas for free without getting anything in return, so make it easy for them to do so. They should also start announcing the winners promptly after a contest closes.

But the fact that they have been in business for a long time shows that they keep attracting clients and contestants, which is good. I wish them all the best and hope they polish away the chinks and become a leading platform. Btw, Eyeka’s ex-crowdsourcing manager Marghe is one of my favorite. She left Eyeka to join Userfarm.

19
Jun
13

Tongal – a contestant’s perspective

Quite simply put, Tongal is the place to go for big brands when they want to populate their YouTube Channels with shareable content. I had heard about Tongal a long time ago, but it wasn’t until I saw their redesigned 2.0 site that I really wanted to participate. Tongal has been operating for many years, but I only heard about them from Community Coordinator Marghe, who used to work at Eyeka, but now works at UserFarm (European version of USA’s Tongal). I was discussing the constraints of not being able to enter just pure ideas as text on Eyeka (which in most cases requires finished illustrated or video ads for the big brands there) and Marghe was very nice to tell me about Tongal and its Idea Phase style of contests.

As far as I can tell, Tongal is doing really well. They have big brands and big money contests. But you can only win the really big amounts if you are a Video Producer – i.e. a producer/director/production house with vast experience in making films/videos. For those with ideas and basic writing ability there is only the Idea Phase. Here the award amounts are considerably smaller, understandably so, since you just enter a tweet-sized idea (140 characters), while the “Video Phase Guys” go ahead and get the cameras, the actors, the editors and produce the selected ideas.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a very good strike rate at Tongal. I’ve entered in many, many contests, but won only once. There is no room for doubt as the very model of the site ensures that the best ideas are chosen in the first stage (The Idea Phase), because they are the ones that go on and get produced as final videos. This means that either that my ideas are not very good or the competition is very strong. I have to be honest though and say that most of the time I cannot understand why a particular idea won. Sometimes it is very clear and you get that “oh I should have thought of that” but most of the times I feel that there is no way I would have written 140 characters of text the way the winning participant did, no matter how many hours or days I spent on the brief. I feel that it is because of the strong USA-centric pop-culture references baked into the write ups, which foreigners wouldn’t ever come up with. Actually that’s no reason, just a cheap excuse :) … my ideas and video production expertise just need to be stronger to start winning there, regularly.

Bottom line, I’m glad I found Tongal and will continue to enter ideas hoping to strike gold. The people behind it are good. On one of the rare Brand Name contests they had, my entry was declared a winner by the client, but later I found out that the brief had restricted participation from US-based contestants only. But because they made a mistake on their end and announced me as a winner, they still went ahead and sent me the $500 prize even though they had to delete my entry and choose another winner.

21
Apr
13

colossal spark

cosp

www.colossalspark.com

Their Service Description: BRAND-BUILDING IDEAS FROM THE ADVERTISING WORLD’S LEADING CREATIVE MINDS

Our Impression: is biased. ‘Cause it’s us, I mean, from us. Jawohl, Colossal Spark is our brain-child and it just launched. Since it doesn’t feel quite right to talk about it here, like any other crowdsourcing site, it’s best if you just checked it out yourself. (In a nutshell – it’s designed to become the destination for brand managers who are used to “Madison Avenue levels of creativity”.)

Colossal Spark operates out of New York.

17
Apr
13

Boom Ideanet – a contestant’s perspective

The brains and doers behind Boom Ideanet belong to the good guys in the Crowdsourcing industry. Steve Wood, the man in charge, communicates brilliantly when it comes to briefs and very timely when the results are in. Boom Ideanet has a very fair compensation structure and I am happy to say that I have been compensated for most of the contests I participated in. It’s one of the few sites where there are regular contests with participation payment.

Boom mostly has TV script briefs, but every now and then there are Selling Idea Briefs and Mood Board Briefs. The client is a Fortune 400 Retailer and working on this brand regularly is very different from other Crowdsourcing sites where every contest you enter is a different brand/product/company/service. You get a hang of the brand and your ideas improve with every brief. Of course, there have been other clients as well and Boom is doing well to attract more.

There are tons of Logo Contest sites out there for Designers, but very few that writers can regularly take part in – Boom is one of them. Tongal is there with its Idea Stage in Contests, but it is more directed towards filmmakers and all aspects of production. Alternative Genius has TV briefs, but they aren’t too regular.

Boom’s payment system is very good. They are assigned creators and open participants. The assigned creators get a guaranteed participation amount provided they enter a minimum number of ideas that satisfy the brief. The open category contestants don’t get a guaranteed amount, but for those that win from this pool, the award amount is higher than that of the assigned creators. In all cases though, if yours is one of the few early bird entries you get a nice participation prize, usually around $250. The total award pool per project varies from a $5-20k and sometimes even more. Before the entry deadline participants don’t get to see what others have entered, but Boom’s portfolio page lists the produced videos later on, so everyone can see and be inspired by all the ideas in the running.




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