Alessandra Lariu Fosters ‘Evolved Collaborations’

The former digital executive is building a site to link women creatives with brands

Yes, women are smarter. But their real innate genius maybe finding smart and meaningful ways to reach other women. This is increasingly evident on the Web, in plain view of brands that are willing to pay for lip service.

That’s the premise, anyway, behind Alessandra Lariu’s latest endeavor—a new creative platform that gets ad women collaborating on client briefs targeting other women.

The yet-to-be-named site, slated for a June 30 launch, will operate under the umbrella of Lariu’s mentoring group, SheSays. “We want women to get into groups and be recognized for even participating,” Lariu, a former digital group creative director at McCann Erikson, tells Adweek.

Clients will pay a fee to post a brief, with SheSays taking a cut. The rest goes into a communal pot. Users will submit ideas, and critique and vote on peers’ work. Top-rated submissions will be elligible for a cash prize. If the client wants to use any of the work, they’ll be able to hammer out a separate deal.

The site is more than mere crowdsourcing. Call it “evolved collaboration,” says Lariu and partner Amanda Jaskiewicz, a client-services veteran. Anyone who contributes time and effort, even just to evaluate the submitted work, receives “some form of credit that at the end of the year can transform into hard cash,” Lariu says.

The algorithm-driven technology is being built on the already-existing infrastructure for partner site jovoto. In addition to the community-rated opportunities, the new system will also support exclusive projects curated by Lariu, Jaskiewicz and other judges. Overall, it seems to be reaching for a future in which online tools help connect advertisers with the best-suited talent.

“It is a new way of working with clients,” says Lariu. Adds Jaskiewicz: “We don’t know where this is going to go, but we and others believe that it will take off.”

SheSays also grants an annual “Golden Stiletto” award to a woman working in any part of the ad business who, as Lariu puts it, “really kicked ass last year.” (Nominees must note their shoe size). Be it woman-to-woman or foot-to-behind, there’s more than one way to connect.

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.