Be a Source: A Call to Entries

Posted on January 26, 2011 by Marian Salzman

It has been a while since we’ve heard people talk about “the death of advertising.” A few years back, the birth of social media and interactive marketing had ad watchers sounding the death knell, but we now know that although advertising (and media in general) has changed, the ad biz has certainly not disappeared—and is not going to.

But what is emerging and shaking things up is a new creative class of people who might not necessarily work within our industry full-time (I could do a whole blog series on the industry or, rather, my definition of what it includes and doesn’t). They’re contributing ideas and concepts for big brands such as Levi’s, the Gap and many others. They are consumers, and they’re helping the industry as crowdsourcers.

One of many terms we’ve all come to accept as marketing vernacular (not evil jargon so much as sexy newish concept), crowdsourcing is the next wave of engaging consumers and the public to weigh in on ideas for brands. Even New York City is joining the crowd, as Mayor Bloomberg’s office announced a crowdsourcing project on Jan. 20. Called Simplicity, it gives 15,000 city workers the chance to submit ideas on improving the city.

Our global CEO, David Jones, is using this ideation style as his new book is about to be released. (Drumroll… This is a book the world needs, just as the world needed the most recent major innovation he championed: One Young World. For more on OYW, see my blog posts on the Huffington Post and other information below.)

For Jones’ new book on the apt topic of how the SoMe and digital age is changing the business, political, media and consumer arenas, he is asking the digiverse to submit title and jacket design ideas that will reflect the notions of how companies need to embrace social responsibility and how the way business is done today has undergone big changes, in no small part because of all things social. So what better way to name and design a book on such topics than to throw it out to the SoMe universe and start a conversation with the new creative class?

Anyone with a great design idea or title (or both) who is over age 18 can enter before the Jan. 31 deadline (the contest began on Jan. 20—yes, the same day that Bloomberg kicked off his; there must have been crowdsourcing in the ozone layer?). Think catchy titles that make their way into the marketing and business lexicon such as some of the best business books do (e.g., Wikinomics and The Tipping Point). With people everywhere starting blogs and opening themselves up to creativity and self-expression, we think this is a fantastic opportunity for would-be wordsmiths and designers to get in on the act. Might be nice to see your work in Barnes & Noble or on Amazon sometime soon, right? Are you up to the challenge? If so, you could win $1,000, join the crowdsourced revolution and feel really pumped when the book hits shelves and airwaves.

All the information you need to knock this out of the crowdsourced park is on the book’s microsite. The author himself will judge your brilliance. Global CEO of Havas Worldwide, Jones has responsibility for Euro RSCG Worldwide, Arnold Worldwide and all creative, marketing-services and design companies throughout the global Havas network of 12,000 people and more than 250 offices. He is also a social media pundit and co-founded One Young World, an organization that aims to be the voice of people under 25 around the globe on critical international issues such as environmentalism, health and education.

“What’s in a name?” and “You can’t judge a book by its cover” are clichés that are being retooled in this brave new world as we speak. It’s a world in which consumers are part of the marketing and PR conversation (and are more often than not starting it). So naming and designing a book that will help us all navigate this social age should start with each one of you. Crowdsourcees, start your engines. It’s going to be a fun ride.

For more information on the contest, the book and David Jones, please go to www.eurorscg.com/crowdsourcing/index.html.

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