Poptent: A New Twist in Our Industry?
Anyone seen this Poptent site? (http://www.poptent.net) They dangle a decent sized carrot - usually around $7.5k or more for a commercial, in front of content creators to create a commercial. The catch: you've got to create it first, and then IF you get chosen the ad gets paid for.
I poked around to look at the ads that won. The video quality was often not spectacular but the creative was pretty good usually. Also, they have some pretty major names rollin' in there that would be difficult to get in front of.
Has anyone participated? Thoughts on this?
One major caveat - you can't use what you've created in any way to promote yourself beyond their site. You cannot have your video you made for free (assuming you didn't win) and use it to promote yourself on your site. Since most of the work we get is because of what we put on our site this is a pretty big bummer.
Anyhow, thought it was an interesting lark...
Hand Crank Films
[Max Kaiser] "One major caveat - you can't use what you've created in any way to promote yourself beyond their site. You cannot have your video you made for free (assuming you didn't win) and use it to promote yourself on your site. "
You cannot use it in your DEMO REEL? Uh...why not? Are they then saying that you sign over ALL creative rights to the content...and they own it fully? You get paid, but cannot take credit for making it? Will they then take credit?
Dude, that sounds VERY shady.
Not being allowed to use it to promote yourself...yeah, sounds like they are trying to take credit for your work. Just a hunch, but it sounds like they want to pay for the idea, and then pitch it to companies for a lot more money, and re-shoot it higher end. They are "fishing" for ideas...and paying you for them. But once you sell, the idea is no longer yours, and you give up all rights to use it to promote yourself.
There was this episode of Mad Men where one of the owners tells Don Draper to look at the work of a nephew of his. As a favor. Don did, and the guy pitched several ideas (well, one concept done for multiple projects), and Don turned him down. But then Don was drunk in a pitch meeting and threw out one of the ideas when he was pitching several concepts in desperation to keep the client. Of the 12-15 or so ideas he rattled off, the client liked the one that belonged to the nephew.
But now they were in a quandry....because that idea was in the kids portfolio. So they needed to buy the idea from him. They couldn't just take it...because if people saw that, and the kids portfolio, they'd be seen as idea thieves and their reputation would be ruined. So they tried to buy it. But the nephew said "no, I don't need to sell one idea, I need a job." So they had to hire him...just to use the idea.
This seems like a very similar situation...they want to buy your idea, and then you forfeit all rights to that idea.
Although...looking at the site, your name and company name is all over the samples. Why won't they let you use it to self promote? Seems odd.
GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def
I ran across your post today and thought I might be able to offer some insight.
I'm the Director of Marketing over here at GeniusRocket (http://geniusrocket.com), and we, like Poptent, leverage certain elements of the crowd to produce creative advertising content. However, the similarities pretty much stop there.
Poptent is great for students and amateurs looking to get good practice producing work for big brands. It's a great resource for brands looking to generate a lot of creative content, very quickly, but without as much concern for quality.
We look at things a little differently. Whereas Poptent is a crowdsourcing contest site, GeniusRocket is a creative agency powered by a curated crowd. We take the best of the crowdsourcing world together with the best of the agency world, and use a highly selective, fully vetted community of production studios to produce great work for big brands.
Most importantly for creative professionals like you guys, we are a no-spec agency, so anything produced for a GeniusRocket project is compensated for. We don't ask anyone to work for free. We use a unique staged process to select a production studio for each project we run, and that studio is then given a production budget to run with and bring their ideas to life.
Looking at your work with Hand Crank Films, you've got some fantastic content. Your type of production studio is one that might be a good fit in our community--where you get paid for the work you create, and you don't have to spend time and resources producing videos on spec.
Anyway, just my two cents! If you're interested in hearing more about GeniusRocket let me know, I'm happy to explain more. And if you're interested in applying to join the community, you can do so right here: http://geniusrocket.com/join.
All the best,
Director of Marketing, GeniusRocket
Look at elance.com or Ifreelance.com as other models of this kind of operation.
I signed up for Quirky - a product development community. They solicit ideas (ie, an improved coat hanger), then get comments from the crowd. If a product goes into production, they compensate anyone who contributed based upon their level of input.
I think what all of these companies realize is that there are a few great ideas and a lot of good ideas out in the community, and most of these ideas will never see the light of day.
[Alex Priest] "Most importantly for creative professionals like you guys, we are a no-spec agency..."
Well, I'm going to have to be a little bit of a buzz-kill and take issue with that. At least on a technicality.
Firstly, though, I will say that GeniusRocket does seem to have the leg up on Poptent in that you don't have to submit a completed production for consideration.
BUT... it's still spec work. It's just the idea that's the spec part. Which, in my humble opinion, is by far the hardest part of creating good advertising.
I've been doing it a long time, and am a decent advertising guy. I'm a decent director, a very good DP, a passable writer, and a pretty good editor (and am smart enough to hire people who are better at some of those things than I am, when needed). But most of those things I could do in my sleep. But concepting, creating, and birthing those genius ideas... we'll that's the part that does take sweat, blood, and tears. Sometimes literally.
I'm a big fan of great direction, inspired editing, beautiful cinematography, and slick productions. But no one ever ran out and bought a product because a commercial had snappy editing.
They will though if a campaign is an inspired idea.
And that's the really hard part.
It might only take "brainpower" and not scouting locations, hiring crews, casting talent, and spending big dollars in the edit suite... but it's still, in my opinion, the most valuable part of every production.
I'm just sayin'.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
You make a great point--coming up with ideas is not at all easy. That said, if you define spec work that broadly, almost the entire advertising industry is based on spec (RFPs, by that definition, are requests for spec work!).
The nice part about our model is that it lets creators spend as much time as they want coming up with ideas, and none they don't--whether that's 30 seconds or two days or none at all. The pitch we ask creators to submit is very basic, and doesn't even have to be fully thought out. We only ask for more developed ideas at the storyboard stage (where creators are then paid for those storyboards and their work). And of course, if a creator's idea isn't chosen, they retain full rights to that idea and no one else ever sees it except for the client and the GeniusRocket team.
On top of all of that, our creative team in-house is here to take those ideas--even if they may not be brilliant--and then make them brilliant. All we need is to know that the team behind that idea has a little bit of inspiration and a ton of talent, and we'll make it rock.
Thanks again for your thoughts--we're always seeking feedback from creative pros. Our experience so far has shown that studios tend to really like our model, and keep coming back to work on more projects. That said, we want to do everything we can to make it even better, so any and all feedback is appreciated!
All the best,