Tongal: disrupting video marketing content creation with a crowd

Tongal: disrupting video marketing content creation

Tongal is disrupting the traditional creative process via crowdsourcing so brands source high quality advertising content in less time for less cost


Executive Coach



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Many adverts lack originality and are forgettable. Brands, facing distracted and fickle audiences now rely more on social media to promote products and services. Creating viral content is therefore central to spreading their message and making it memorable.

Rob Salvatore is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of social content development platform Tongal. We met to discuss how crowd‐sourcing is disrupting the traditional creative process, helping brands source high quality content in less time for less cost.

Strong creative force

Tongal’s mission is to make creative work accessible to its network and the brands and businesses that tap into their content platform. It works with brands to define a creative challenge, then post it on the Tongal platform where its network collaborates to deliver the work.

As part of the Pringles® and Star Wars® ’The Force For Fun‘ promotion, Tongal gathered over a thousand fan‐generated video ideas. Seven finalists competed for and shared US$75,000 and the chance to be featured as a national advertisement.

Pringles® had intended to film digital slots, invite the winning filmmakers up to Skywalker Ranch and re‐shoot it. The submissions were so strong that they passed production company Lucasfilm’s strict brand standards. The winning entry moved straight from the platform and broadcast on US TV.

New methods mean new challenges

Rob recommends that organisations consider the following when they explore creativity beyond their four walls:

  1. Step out of your comfort zone: this is a new way of doing things. Embrace it. Organisations cannot tap into creative communities and force them through a process that resembles the traditional way of creating content. Companies like Tongal have designed a purpose‐built process.
  2. Secure top-down support to try something new: Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), marketing and brand managers all need this otherwise procurement, legal, IT or risk management problems could stifle the process.
  3. Expect the unexpected. Welcome it: organisations use these methods because they’re looking for viral, compelling, emotive and original content. If you want something to become popular or go viral, don’t take the safe option.
  4. Use your reach: many brands have thousands or millions of social media fans and followers. Invite your crowds into the process. Harness their value. The more diverse your crowd, the richer their contributions can be.
  5. Give yourself some learning slack: go into this with your eyes wide open. You’re learning about something entirely new. Learn from mistakes and build your knowledge.

Opportunities for creative people

Technology is empowering a huge new creative class of worker. High school story tellers, housewives, film school students and geographically separate professionals can all join in. 

Participants are assessed on the merit of their work.

Key benefits to participation in these online creative networks include:

  • Status – they can achieve it in a creative network that matters through the quality of their contribution.
  • Discovery ‐ top performers can take content they build and use it to be discovered, find other work and attract other resources.
  • Networking – creatives can start to connect, build networks, and construct businesses around the work. For example, video producers can find writers, acting talent, editors and co‐producers to bring creative briefs to life.
  • Improving skills – collaborating with others and getting feedback throughout the process.

What next content and crowds?

Rob believes contests which offer one‐off challenges and nothing more are now obsolete. Platforms that enable collaboration, create opportunities, provide feedback and offer tools to enhance the creative process can become creative networks which organisations actively seek. 

Rob believes the future work coming out of such networks will far exceed the 30 second commercials seen today. 

“These communities will start to break through with longer form and episodic content,” Rob says.“When brands get more comfortable with what these communities can deliver they’ll get more responsibility and more tasks.”

So next time you watch an advert or a TV programme and marvel at the creativity (or lack of it) remember this: three billion people are now online and anyone can join these creative networks.

Imagine the possibilities...

Matt Sevenoaks ‐ Global crowdsourcing lead at KPMG

KPMG’s inclusion of this information is not an endorsement, sponsorship or implied backing of Pringles®, Star Wars® and Tongal and their products.

This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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