July 29, 2010


There is no shortage of idiotic online schemes.

The latest one to draw the hysterical attention of the advertising trade media is "crowdsourcing." Crowdsourcing is essentially a way to get unemployed free-lancers to work for you on the cheap. If that's your idea of a good time, have at it.

I have it on pretty good authority that one of the first major ventures into clownsourcing has been a complete failure.

Apparently a clownsourcing  agency, which recently opened to great fanfare, was hired to do a campaign for a major telecom company. According to what I've heard, the campaign has been a total disaster. It hasn't just failed to attract new customers, it has cost the client thousands of existing customers.

Here's what I don't understand.

Advertising is expensive. If you're a major advertiser, you're going to spend tens of millions of dollars every year. At least 90% of that is going to the media. About 10% will go to agencies. Of that, about half will pay for media planning and buying. Much of the rest will go to time spent on servicing the account. Agencies pretty much give the freaking creative work away.

Of all the things you shouldn't do on the cheap, creative is number one.

It's like spending all your money on pots and pans and scrounging through the dumpster for the ingredients.

But you know me. I just don't get it.

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