Have a great idea that a client never approved? A new service called The Idealists wants to match you with a patron.
Founded by Adam Glickman, a former publisher of Tokion Magazine who most recently worked at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, The Idealists seeks to create a marketplace for ideas. The invite-only site allows creatives searching for backers to submit ideas. By the same token, companies on the hunt for inspiration can submit requests.
Glickman is quick to point out that the concept is not about crowdsourcing, which has come under fire in the ad industry for what critics say is an inevitable result of commoditizing creative output.
"This is about being a matchmaker," Glickman said, differentiating his project from crowdsourcing efforts like Victors & Spoils. "It's less about crowdsourcing. You can put in ideas and crowdsource your own client. We all have great ideas but never went anywhere because we didn't have the right client."
Glickman hastens to add he has nothing against the crowdsourcing model. In fact, he vigorously defended the decision made at BBH Labs to crowdsource its logo design. The result were mixed, he said.
"There's a lot of mediocrity in the crowd," he said. "It's [a case of] 'you get what you pay for.' If you want to spend $300 for a logo, you'll get a decent logo."
Instead, The Idealists is more akin to eBay or Match.com, Glickman contends. A user can post an idea and attach a value. If a company or individual with resources is interested, the parties negotiate payment. Users can protect themselves from getting ripped off by offering previews of their idea, then requiring prospective partners to sign an online non-disclosure agreement.
One idea submitted to the site is for modernist architectural sandcastle molds. The author asks for a 15 percent commission on sales and creative credit. On the client side, a non-profit group advocating for Democracy in Burma is seeking ideas for an ad campaign highlighting the issue of political prisoners in that country. It is willing to pay $10,000.
As a publisher and agency exec, Glickman said he saw lots of waste from shops. The Idealists could be a platform for what he sees as the "need for a lot of smaller, targeted executions rather than large executions," he said.
"I'm not belittling agencies at all," he added. "They fill a need for larger clients. We're not set up to do that."
See also: "Crowd Control -- Is Turning to the Masses the Wave of the Future?"