4 Good Reasons To Crowdsource Your Next Video Project

By Megan O'Neill 

With 61,000 filmmakers in their network and over $7 million paid out to creators, Poptent has made huge waves in the field of crowdsourced video content.  I had the opportunity to speak with Poptent president Neil Perry to find out more about how the service works and the benefits of crowdsourcing video for brands.

How does it work?  Poptent provides brands an alternative to producing television advertisements and online video content in house or though an advertising agency.  Brands provide a creative brief describing what they are looking for and Poptent’s community of creators are invited to create final videos, based on that creative brief.  Videos are uploaded for review and appropriate videos are then sent along to the brand, who can purchase any of the videos that they like.

Perry outlined the advantages of sourcing video content in this way, highlighting four main benefits—variety, cost, quality and fast turnaround.  Read on to learn more.


Perry explains, “The biggest benefit to our brand and agency clients is getting a large variety of finished videos to review for selection.  Rather than just having to review three storyboards, deciding on one, and hoping it turns out, our clients get to see finished commercials and then select the best and most appropriate work for airing or online deployment.”  He pointed out that clients also enjoy the benefit of being able to converse with creators through Poptent’s Town Hall discussion system, giving them the opportunity to direct and provide input on the work during the production process.


“From a pricing standpoint,” says Perry, “Poptent commercial videos cost approximately one-seventh as much as the ‘traditional’ 30-second spot, where the average spot costs approximately $350,000.  Working with Poptent, a brand or its agency can spend $50,000 and receive dozens of ideas and spots to consider — and they can purchase as many of these as they’d like for a cost of around $10,000 per spot.  We’ve had several major brands like Dell, Clinique and Abbott Labs purchase numerous sports from just one assignment.  One assignment from Poptent can fuel a complete advertising campaign for an entire year.”


“On the quality front, Poptent’s community of filmmakers has produced broadcast-quality spots that have generated millions of views online in places like YouTube, Facebook, company Websites/microsites, as well as major TV venues such as prime time network TV or big-time sporting events such as the Super Bowl or college football’s Bowl Championship Series.”

Fast Turnaround

And finally, Perry explains that, “With regards to our fast turnaround in production, crowdsourcing can be exceptionally nimble, as we regularly turn projects around in about 30 days and have turned some work around in as quickly as 72 hours.”

While Poptent helps get all sorts of video content created, from pre-roll to prime time TV ads, I asked Neil if he could elaborate on the demand for online video and how Poptent plays into that.  He said, “As has been well-documented, there is surging demand from brands and agencies for high-quality video to deploy online.  Brands are seeing that online video drives user engagement, reinforces parallel media or branding activity and generally pushes interest in a brand through the combination of sight, sound, and motion.

“From a Poptent standpoint, we’ve been fortunate to work with many major brands to address these benefits.  For example, we recently worked on a series of videos with Southern Comfort that were not only developed to be entertaining, but to invite direct participation from Facebook users to help name a new Southern Comfort product.  For us, this was an exciting example of how online video can really bring brands and their consumers together in powerful new ways.”

Perry also shared the following two videos with me, which are climbing the view charts on YouTube.  The M&Ms Valentine’s Day spot has racked up nearly 1.5 million views and the Wisk spot (which you may want to avoid watching while eating) has racked up over 2.1 million views.  Check them out and let us know what you think.  Would you consider crowdsourcing your brand’s next video project?

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.