Unilever Fires Ad Agency of 16 Years & Goes Crowdsourcing

by on August 26, 2009 at 10:12 pm

The beginning of the end. Unilever goes the crowdsourcing route to spruce up TV ads and recruit creative ideas.

After 16 years of using the same ad agency, they’re throwing up a $10,000 prize offering for the best creative marketing ideas.

Turning to the masses for ideas is increasingly hip and less expensive. That said, a mastermind at the helm to gather and choose the right ideas or more likely, mix of ideas is also increasingly important.

This is where marketing has to sit and the hat it needs to wear. Forget those MBA hats. When I look at candidates, I think: are you creative and strategic, can you act intelligently and balanced on the fly, be more flexible than anyone else I talk to, and multitask in a flurry of incoming and outgoing noise?

Crowdsourcing is a great way to solicit valuable feedback and creative ideas. Crowdspring and User Voice are two of numerous services worth checking out.

That said, the crowd doesn’t know the direction you want to take your company, the voice and personality you’d like it to have or your financial goals.

That’s where the role of the new mastermind comes in. It’s time (and has been for awhile btw), that marketing, PR and advertising execs dust off their notebooks, forget about how they were trained, adapt to the two way exchange and participate rather than dictate.

There’s most definitely still a role, an important one that a lot of CEOs, engineers and product guys don’t have the personality to play. Don’t dabble. Dive into it with force.

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