Crowdsourcing and Creative Deflation

Monday Note uses the case study of LG eliciting designs for future mobile phones to show how crowdsourcing is changing how design is done… and how it’s starting to change advertising, too.

Altogether, LG is going to spend $75,000, to be distributed among 43 awards. […] Let’s face it: for a company such as LG, seventy-five grand for what could lead to a revolutionary phone design is pocket change. For a tenth or a fiftieth of the cost of a classical business-to-business competition, LG will end up with a vast array of proposals. […]

[Crowdsourcing] is a powerful deflation engine for the design world. […] The process prices traditional design firms out, it weakens their erstwhile pricing power. Among these firms, only the lightest structures will agree to bid for the LG design job in the hope of winning and thus being able to establish a direct contact with the cell phone maker. Others, bigger firms, are used to ask for stratospheric retainers (in the tens of thousands of dollars) simply to consider the brief. Such entities are definitively out of the game; they will stare in desperation as an increasing number of saving-obsessed big companies migrate to a new genre.



One response to “Crowdsourcing and Creative Deflation”

  1. Paul

    This has been a trend in a number of industries recently, particularly those with high R&D costs. I know for a fact that one of the largest pharamceutical companies in the world now regularly crowdsources drug development challenges, and quite frankly the only losers are the entrenched big-players in the drug design and development industries. And we really shouldn’t care too much about the creative big players quite frankly, because if they are that good, their work will outshine the bit players and evening amateurs.

    However we know what happens next. If SonyBMG can do it with talent scouting, manufacturers can do it with design sourcing. Ultimately, the best of those bedroom amateur phone designers and PhD lab technicians will become the Susan Boyle stars of the design world.

    Whether they have jobs at WPP, Saatchi or Pfizer or not.