i had the pleasure of attending a new media bootcamp last monday, hosted by david vinjamuri of thirdway brandtrainers. david is a marketer who now trains others in the trade, as well as hosting a blog on market and branding trends. it was such an eye-opening workshop, providing me with even more information regarding blogging, twitter, and website usage for promotional purposes. david is great at marketing -- he really and truly knows what he's doing, hence why he's so popular these days! -- and was a wonderful source of information on how to improve my own marketing skills.
there was something that caught my attention however, and not necessarily in a good way. as we've seen as creatives, spec work is running rampant these days, moreso since the economy tanked. of course, businesses need to find less expensive ways of meeting their advertising and PR needs. but the idea of doing for work for free doesn't exactly appeal to most creatives. the no spec campaign is growing at a rate that rivals consumer-created campaign generation. and i have personally witnessed (and participated in) the anger of creatives when contests are revealed.
with the successful consumer generated advertising campaigns used by companies such as heinz, the use of contests for commercial or viral campaigns has increased. something i didn't know -- there's a website called zooppa that allows a company to create and promote their own contest for their consumer-generated-advertising needs. but what this amounts to is more and more spec work -- lots of talented creatives doing work for free and not seeing anything for it. in fact, most contests have verbage in their fine print that states that all submissions become property of the company -- so the corporation gets tons of free work and ideas and the creative does not get anything at all.
thankfully, in this room of marketers and business people, i was able to stand up as a creative and remind all of them that we are not happy to participate in contests such as these. i did tell them that it was important for them to change the verbage and allow creatives to maintain copyright to their work until paid for the rights to it. it did reach this group of people who responded thoughtfully and kindly, understanding that we won't continue to stand for the kind of treatment that treats us as though we're in it for the fun and the hobby rather than as our career.
what are your thoughts creatives? do you enjoy participating in contests such as these? would you like to see them eradicated, or rather adjusted to be more fair?