The Creativity of the Crowd Gives Canada a Boost

Published Sep-11-13

A crowdsourced video initiative to promote Canada draws a massive response from the public.

Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), Canada

The Story:

The Creativity of the Crowd Gives Canada a Boost One of the many things that crowdsourcing has going for it is the ability to fire up the passion of an interested group and galvanize people to get creative for a common goal. Marketers have cottoned onto this and are advising leading brands on how they can benefit from reaching out to, and interacting with consumers.

As we live in a 24-hour wired world the demands for fresh and exciting content are insatiable. One way for brands to continually fuel the content pipeline is with crowdsourcing.

Video crowdsourcing allows people to shoot, edit and share material with a wider audience and is an effective way for companies to engage consumers, whilst promoting their products and services.

Showcasing Canada

When the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) wanted to bring in some new thinking for a promotional video, it turned to the people who know the country the best – its citizens.

In 2012, the commission challenged Canadians to pick up their cameras to share what they love about the country with the rest of the world. They were asked to submit videos and photographs of their travel experiences within Canada such as pursuing an outdoor sport, attending a music festival and dining out.

The interest and response were phenomenal with more than 65 hours of footage and 7,000 photographs submitted from all over the Canada.

The result was a two-minute film comprised of some of the commission’s favorite user-generated material of every Canadian province and territory. It debuted at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada Congress and can now be seen on YouTube.

“No one knows better than Canadians how to show off this country,” said Greg Klassen, CTC senior vice-president of Marketing Strategy and Communications. “That authentic perspective provided us with the fresh and personal glimpse of the Canada we were looking for, one that comes from our roots and is real.”

Leveraging Crowd Creativity

Such crowdsourcing video projects have other benefits in addition to creating fresh new content. They generate a genuine buzz that acts as positive and effective word of mouth advertising. And they do so at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising methods.

Crowdsourced videos can also be useful sounding boards for a brand’s most passionate consumers. A campaign that seeks ideas on what people love about a particular product is research gold that can inform marketers of how best to target their audience.

Consumer-generated material also engenders trust as it is third party validation rather than being a brand-sponsored message.

A Complementary Approach

So rather than pay agencies to come up with promotional content ideas, brands are turning increasingly to distributed crowds of experts and offering cash for the best concepts.

This doesn’t mean that crowdsourcing videos from the public are going to replace traditional advertising agencies. After all, open innovation hasn’t replaced R&D departments. More, it’s an alternative and/or complementary approach that ensures that an organization has access to a wide and deep pool of ideas.

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