BBDO and Mars Dig Into Crowdsourced Content With Flare Studio Launch

By Patrick Coffee 

In case you had any doubt, the crowdsourcing trend is here to stay.

Today BBDO’s London office announced the launch of Flare Studio, a unit that will be dedicated to “meet[ing] the rising demand for diverse and authentic video content for an online audience.” AMV BBDO will lead the project along with client Mars’ Petcare division.

In a statement, Mars Petcare’s global CMO Leonid Sudakov said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with BBDO to contribute to a massive transformation of content production.  Flare Studio will give Mars unprecedented access to a global pool of creative talent and we are excited about the unique ideas that this crowdsourcing collaboration will generate.”


Cool. But what does this mean, exactly?

Flare Studio is essentially a marketplace/platform for freelancers, directors, prod cos and, of course, “influencers” to “compete for briefs posted on behalf of BBDO agencies and their clients.” And it’s a tiered model, meaning you can pay to play.

The homepage makes it all seem so simple.

flare studio

The project isn’t technically new. It’s an extension of AMV BBDO’s in-house content arm, which launched two years ago and now collaborates with 12 of the network’s offices.

Flare founder and AMV BBDO head of content Nick Price offered this statement:

“Flare Studio is a bold undertaking – bringing the benefits of the crowd but also injecting it with the right amount of agency know how to make sure the work reflects an understanding of our brands and can work for them within the crowd source model.  That’s a very different approach from anything else in the market.”

In this case, then, “crowdsourcing” is less of an Airbnb-style “send us your ideas for a chance to win $500” project than a streamlining of the pitch process via a digital platform owned by the BBDO network.

The implication is that BBDO creatives will ultimately work on all resulting campaigns and that many of the parties who provide the winning work will not be amateurs with iPhone cameras but advertising professionals and people who make their livings on social media. In other words, your jobs will not be outsourced … for now.

In order to get the whole thing off the ground, AMV BBDO and Mars are partnering with U.K.-based National Film and Television School and offering two $30,000 scholarships to launch “The Flare Foundation.” So it’s a public service, too.