break out the violins

guess ad agencies are next in the cross-hairs. i see some lousy ads on the tube when i watch it. got to be some scared people out there in advertising land. so who’s next?

That’s kind of ridiculous to compare this to outsourcing of design, engineering, and manufacturing.

First of all, check out their site: Yikes. A more accurate metaphor would be all of the amateur product “designs” you can find on the web from some kid who picked up a bootleg copy of some 3D software. Sure, maybe one amateur out of a thousand will understand what it takes to design a quality product, but most lack the ability to look at the biug picture: understand branding, usability, manufacturing, etc. So the same goes for this: anybody can think of a catchy slogan, or a product name-- but launching that brand or ad campaign takes a lot more than just that!

Fueled is right, this offshoring fear is becoming a joke.

US companies have done this sort of thing for decades. Where’s the strategy? The filtering process? This is where the true creativity lies.

…cg is correct, consumers have written jingles and designed product for corporate america since the beginning…why should they pay good money to a professional when a free years supply of shine-ola to one person will get them tens or even hundreds of thousands of “customer directed responces” or what ever the hell the marketing department is calling it now.

is it ridiculous?

maybe if talking just about offshoring. but not doing that. for ID and manufacturing it’s mostly offshoring. but for IT it’s offshoring and opensource. for advertising it’s a form of opensource.

issue isn’t offshoring. it’s how technology affects industries and jobs people always believed can’t go offshore. or be done by industry outsiders. or “common” people. that’s a dangerous attitude imo. arrogant.

anyone see recent stories about Americans going to India and Thailand for better medical care than they can get in the U.S.? and at a fraction of the price (vacation included). all the people interviewed get warned by their friends. some of that’s legit i’m sure. some is uninformed arrogance. people in 70’s laughed at Japanese cars. American cars would always be better they said. not much laughing now. people laughed at Linux too because it was opensource. never be a real operating system. the only way to develop product is to put people in a building and make them sit in cubicles. right. so much for that.

just because that site is a mess now doesn’t mean the idea won’t work. even a 1 in a 1000 amateur might mean an extra few million designers. or an extra few million software programmers. or maybe an extra few million advertisers. the best will survive. just may not always be the ones with the degrees. or on the inside. and that’s the point.


It’s no skin off of the advertisers’ backs.

Being a graphic designer (sorta adguy) there is a lot more strategy that goes way beyond a simple jingle or slogan. Nowadays things are created, tested, analyzed and pushed and pulled in such a way that all of the risk is pretty much eliminated.

Thats why large agencies are still in business and companies are more than willing to pony up the billions of dollars for the top talent. The can say pretty definitively why “One more please Mommy” (Pringles example) won’t work.

Same goes for ID firms. The reasons the big guys are so successful business wise is that they have the analyze thing down to a science.

If anything outsourcing simply weeds out those agencies (or design firms) that cant back up whatever sevice they perform with strategic thinking.

I agree with fatknuckle. I think that opensource and offshoring are unrelated to this adcandy company.

What adcandy reminded me of is the companies that create a design award for university students with some low award like $1000, but then take the intellectual property of all the entrants as their own. Adcandy is essentially the same kind of scheme.

I think companies that are small may hire adcandy because the benefit to risk ratio is better for them than, let’s say, Coca Cola. Coke makes a bad ad, or dumb move (like New Coke) and they lose 10% of their market share and millions of dollars. Jon’s Coffee house creates a bad commercial and Jon may not even notice the difference at the end of the year. Just look at the junky local commercials that air in most markets.

I’d like to know people’s ideas on whether Open Source is a bad movement. First, it’s proven to be capable of producing massive and complex products (Wikipedia and Linux). Second, it is changing the way people look at products and the way the reasons they work.

Assuming that all aspects of industry were opensource, would it work? Would it be positive?


mediocre designers, advertising types, graphic designers and even engineers are now more vulnerable as the world democratizes. people who managed to get degrees even tho poorly qualified now have to compete with talented non-degree people.

remember what happened in graphic design? remember Basquiat? remember the story of the high school kid with the wave-energy buoy? or small start-ups making their own toys and handbags but with no design background or education? expect more them. taking jobs held by those who depend on a diploma instead of talent and hard work.

then you’re missing the point.

there’s a reason Microsoft restructured last week. they’ve basically acknowledged it’s here and it’s important. at some point this will move to products imo.

This is profound only in that it shows how the game has changed and the value has shifted. Design, like advertising, is taking a step up the experience ladder.

This means that the things you once thought were valuable, are now not. Logos come to mind.

As a result, it’s clear that “ads” like “designs” are inherantly worthless. Value comes from a well conceived strategy to make either work. Getting free ideas is smart, but subraction, not addition is the trait of artistic genius.

the game changing is, i think, potentially a much bigger deal than you suggest. at the core of these things is the ability to communicate in ways we’ve never before seen. this is bigger than strategy imo. it starts dictating strategy. or at least becomes intertwined with it.

outsourcing/offshoring is facilitated in large part by the ability to communicate. open source successes like Linux and Firefox are almost entirely the result of the same. similarly AdCandy is a nexus for ideas made possible only by the communicative and participatory nature of the net. globalization is as much about sharing/distributing/aggragating knowledge as it is sending jobs overseas.

i wouldnt go so far as saying “ads” and “designs” and “logos” are inherently worthless. or that value comes only from strategy. and now that i give it more thought, the whole Strategy argument sounds like more hype to me. programs with strategies based on poor ideas or designs do not necessarily yield greater returns than great ideas supported by lesser or even non-existent strategies. it’s now more possible than ever for an idea/design/product to take on a life of its own thanks to the internet (the original Long Tail article has a great example of this). the goal should be to have the whole package of course (the “additive”) to improve the odds of success (usually translated to increased profits and increased share value for investors). minimize risk. but that’s mostly a corporate mentality. not the mentality of people doing things bc for the first time they have the opportunity. alot of people are feeling increasingly empowered. and if you buy into Anderson’s ideas on the potential growth of niche markets - the “_millions of markets of dozens_“ concept - the entire thing looks profound.

YKH: I understand the connection to opensource now, but I think there is a distinct difference. Opensource is an additive process where many people create a program and then analyze the creation, make improvements and remove defects, etc. It seems as if adcandy is currently just a list of single ideas. It would be interesting to have a truly opensource type of adcandy where people could pop in and edit the slogans, ads etc, but it would probably get unwieldly pretty quickly.

I found it funny that you bring up an advertising site and then go on to foretell the development of a million markets of dozens. Is there going to be much value in advertising when there is so much choice? It reminds me of a lecture Douglas Rushkoff gave on hacking. He talked about the changing habits of TV viewers with the remote and the VCR. Today it easy for people to “surf” TV and never watch commercials. If people don’t view the ad, it’s value decreases (although, don’t try to find a link between that and the price of ads).

BTW: I pretty much agree with you though.

i didn’t say AdCandy was open source - equating it directly to software development. i said it was a form of open source. even that isn’t really accurate i’ll admit. but it’s not that far off. it’s a real time exchange of ideas in a centralized location open to participation by anyone. so the gist of it is the same.

this reminds me of a site I used to check out for entertainments sake, A sort of amatuer forum for ideas - can get a bit silly at times.