advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A tale of two crowdsources.

This one will likely fly under the radar for a lot of people. The Capital Grille Restaurant is running a label design contest for a new wine that they plan on featuring in the spring of 2010. What I liked about it wasn’t the prize(s): A free case of the wine and a trip for two to Napa Valley. Putting aside whether you think that compensation is worth someone’s time as a designer, I like the utter simplicity of the creative brief for the assignment. Which is to say, there really isn’t one.

A description of the area where the wine comes from is about it, followed by a call to action. Sort of:

“This wine will have no name—the winning original label art and the artistic wine inside the bottle will be all the identification it requires. And with that, we hope we’ve inspired you.”

No copy, just art. Hard to get much simpler than that. (In fact, the rules of eligibility are way more extensive.) Point is, it’s the opposite of the micromanagement on display with the more recent crowdsourcing experiment.

If “crowdsourcing” has any benefit, it should be at the very least about the designer’s concept, no matter what they come up with. Not, let’s just have give back what we pretty much told them we wanted.

You want a wider variety of ideas; that’s why people open their brands up to the masses. Why shouldn’t all contests be that simple: Here’s our brand, now, wow us. Done.

No list of songs you can or can’t use and no requirements other than deadline, time limits and format (if applicable). Capital Grille really took that one to extremes because there’s not even a label size listed. Both these cases are examples of extremes in terms of giving direction for a contest. Compared to the phone book-length regulations faced by loser-generated Super Bowl commercial nation, it’s still about as easy a one to enter as anything.

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