Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Peperami Crowdsourced Agencies's a bit..well, half-arsed really
On the one hand you've got a perfectly straightforward Idea Bounty brief to create a TV/print execution of Peperami's Animal character. But on the other this has been PR-ed as an end to Peperami's longstanding relationship with Lowe London, and a move to become the first brand to crowdsource lead agency status. So respect to the client Noam Buchalter for A. some great PR (whether it turns out to work in the long run or not) and B. for actively defending his move on Brand Republic forums to a selection of annoyed creatives (maybe annoyed because they have realised that their contracts forbid them from entering).

For me this falls some way short of being newsworthy (oh yeh, but I'm writing about it...). Crowdsourced ads are not big news: BMW & Red Bull being two of the brands who have used Idea Bounty in the past, and Current TV has worked in a similar way with a broader range of US brands. Even in traditional FMCG Doritos successfully bet $1m and a Superbowl spot on the concept in Crash the Superbowl. So the big idea here is firing your longstanding agency, which smacks of PR stunt. Why? Because the wisdom of the crowd is being directed to find a slightly different thing to do with a character created by Lowe, who has been featured in Peperami TV ads produced by Lowe for the last 15 years or so. So, nothing new, nothing different, just a bit of cheap publicity please. At least they could have had the confidence to ask for a new strategy to mark their departure from the traditional agency world.....

Contrast this with the work that the NSPCC (FD: Zed Client) do with virtual agencies, which is all about ideas and engagement, and intentionally generates very little media relations.


Phillip Hofmeyr said...


I am helping to organise the Social Media 09 #sm09 conference. Nic Ray, Quirk/IdeaBounty, will be presenting on Pepperami at the conference, if you're interested.

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