Talk about jumping on the band wagon some considerable time after it has packed up and left town, Peperami is the latest brand to indulge itself in a little spot of crowd sourcing to support their nibblers sub-brand under the thought that they are ‘a little bit of an animal’. And harmless fun this work is too. Devised by err, two advertising creatives through the Ideas Bounty website it is a mildy humourous retread of the classic Lintas work of the ‘90s.

But why, what on earth is the point of crowd sourcing? I just don’t fucking get it.

Firstly while I’m all for finding new and more fundamental ways for people to engage with brands, I’m not sure getting them to make ads is really what we all mean by engagement. While it offers deep engagement for those that can be arsed to do your job for you this approach requires so much effort it only ever touches a phenomenally small bunch of people (1,185 people submitted ideas in this case) and this type of engagement is restricted to the communications the brands makes and nothing more substantial.
Secondly this approach is surely best done with the fans and advocates of the brand and not through websites like ideas bounty which is simply a marriage broker for creatives and clients and not really about crowd sourcing at all.
Thirdly, what’s so cool about crowd sourcing anyway? It strikes me that clients that have no real strategy are being sold it as a ‘brave new idea’ in communications when its just a bit of PR puffery to mask the fact that no one has any genuinely new ideas about the brand themselves. Does anyone give a shit who writes an ad whether full service agency, creative independent or consumer as long as its brilliant and it works?
Fourthly, surely crowd sourcing should be about engaging the wisdom of the crowd to create something new and interesting but what we get here is a ‘90s Lintas ad that’s not quite as funny or interesting precisely because it’s a retread of old work and an old idea. ‘A bit of an animal’ was powerful for the brand when it was conceived because it broke the conventions of the category’s advertising and, along with Tango and Pot Noodle (both from my alma mater HHCL), rewrote the rules of advertising for a generation.
And that’s one of the frustrations at the heart of crowd sourced ideas of this nature, they can’t move the brand on because the crowd can’t see beyond the advertising vehicle for which famous brands are famous for.
You can see what I mean for yourself if you haven’t already seen the ad.

I don’t know about you but for my money crowd sourcing needs to be filed next to opening shops in second life as silly nonsense the industry momentarily got excite about but serves no real purpose. But then I would say that wouldn’t working for a dirty great full service agency as I do.
By the way if you are remotely interested the ad goes on air on Monday 23rd August. And if you aren’t here is a taste of genuinely innovative work from the brand in its hey day.

And yes I think that is the late and much missed John Peel.

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