Most will agree that most TV ads aren't all that great. They can easily be formulaic, strategically unoriginal, broadly targeted and info crammed solution to a laundry list of "messages/objectives."
A small amount are original, well focused, deeply insightful and stunningly executed.
However, both cost about the same to make. A lot. Not just in production hard costs but more from the massive teams building the execution.
Though each type of ad costs the same most who do the former, aren't willing or culturally wired to do the later. We can all name brands in each camp. And it's flippant to claim the former don't work, they do, just those who believe in the latter camp do so because it drives higher return.
User generated film contests are fascinating because they demonstrate how deeply rooted the conventions of TV advertising are. Every day non-advertising people hold a pretty good toolbox of the tricks of the trade. Check out this Amazon UGF contest. The tangible prize is just $10,000 (plus some pride of course.) All five short listed ads are smart, relevant pretty darn well executed given the reward. Impressively so I'd say.
If you are a brand doing the type of ads in the big category, why not crowd source it. You will get work that is equal to what you have already, but at a small fraction of the cost.
But crowd source not to save money, but to liberate budget to do all the great things you wish you could do, but can't afford. Or aren't willing to take a chance on for fear of moving away from what "works."
Take that $750,000, or more, to make a cool data concept, build the best app ever, publish a book, pitch MTV on a realty show, host an art gallery, collaborate with another brand to build a new product or hire 5 people (not interns) to create and cultivate community focused social content. Whatever is right for your brand.
The ultimate questions is "are we looking at budgets creatively enough?'
In a world of infinite possibilities how can we make our finite resources work better?
As agency people, we shouldn't be ashamed of recommending crowdsourcing when it liberates budget and time to do something better.
I don't know their exact logic but am fascinated by CPB and Brammo crowdsourcing logo design. Some designers are crying foul. It's degrading the value of design. I disagree.
For a modest company, with a clearly articulated brief, would that $100,000 in agency fees be better spent somewhere else. Logo's are the end of the line of a designer's value. Great design thinking takes place long before the logo is done - that's a graphic expression of the thinking. If it was my company I'd do the same. Provided we had a clear vision and architecture for what the brand needs to stand for and do (where a good designer's real value lies.)
Especially remembering one of the greatest, most recognized, logos of all time cost $35.