Crowdsourcing Professional Quality Creative and Media Work

Crowdsourcing advantages include platforms that originate creative work such as video production and advertising through accessing global communities.
Main image for a Crowdsourcing Week blog on crowdsourcing creative content

Written by Clive Reffell

Crowdsourcing professional quality creative work through specialist platforms has become a popular way for major brands and organisations to tap into a global pool of creative talent. These platforms allow brand marketers to outsource their creative needs – such as video production, graphic design and advertising – to a diverse community of freelancers and independent creators. By leveraging the power of crowdsourcing, Specialist platforms provide several crowdsourcing advantages including access to global communities of these creative professionals, offering a cost-effective, scalable, and diverse approach to content creation. Brands benefit from innovative ideas and high-quality work, while creators gain opportunities to work with well-known companies and showcase their talents on a global stage. Let’s look at this more closely.

Sector background

The increasing demand for video content, digital marketing, and innovative design solutions drives this sector’s growth. The need for high-quality, diverse, and engaging content for digital platforms, social media, and advertising campaigns has accelerated the adoption of crowdsourcing models in the creative industry.

Video production is a rapidly growing segment. The increasing consumption of video content on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, along with the rise of streaming services, fuels the demand for creative video production. Some channels are providing their own crowdsourcing resources. For example, Tik Tok’s “Branded Mission” enables advertisers to crowdsource authentic content from creators, and turn top-performing videos into advertisements.

Here are four key market drivers for crowdsourcing creative work.

  • Speed and scalability: crowdsourcing platforms enable faster turnaround times for projects, which is crucial in the fast-paced digital marketing landscape. Contributors are competing with each other to provide the required solutions The platforms also offer scalability, allowing brands to ramp up or down based on project needs through access to on-demand contributors.
  • Access to global talent: brands can tap into a diverse and global pool of creative talent, which brings fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that may not be available locally. The talented people do not have to physically move to acknowledged hubs of creativity, which widens the talent pool available to companies seeking their services.
  • Cost efficiency: crowdsourcing provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional creative agencies, allowing brands to access high-quality work without the overhead costs associated with in-house teams or large agencies.
  • Technological advancements: advances in technology, such as cloud computing, project management tools, and collaboration platforms, have made it easier to manage and execute crowdsourced projects efficiently.

The process for crowdsourcing creative work

Brands create a brief outlining their project needs and specifications, and the briefs are posted on relevant crowdsourcing platforms, such as Tongal based in California and Mofilm in London, UK. Filmmakers and creators submit their concepts, scripts, or finished videos based on the brief. Brand teams review the submissions and select the winners, or commission specific creators who have come to their attention for further work.

The process provides opportunities for creators to work with major brands and gain unparalleled exposure on a potentially global stage. They’re going to give it their best shot, which is one of the crowdsourcing advantages!

The chosen creators produce the final content, which is then delivered to the brand team. Creators are compensated based on their submissions, and the agreements made with or declared at the start of the process by the brand.

Leading platforms for crowdsourcing creative work

Here is an overview of acknowledged leading platforms in the sector.


Image in Crowdsourcing Week blog on crowdsourcing creative work

Up to five creators could earn $600 for their concept submissions of narrative storylines for a video based on the world of LEGO® Fortnite®

Tongal is a creative content platform that connects entertainment brands with a global network of over 160,000 filmmakers, writers, and other creative professionals to produce high-quality content with both authenticity and scale.

It was founded in 2009 and is based in Los Angeles, California. The platform allows brands to post creative briefs, which outline the project’s requirements and budget. Creators then submit their ideas, concepts, and finished work in response to these briefs. Users include The LEGO Group, NBCUniversal, Pokémon, NASA, Hilton, Warner Bros. and Nickelodeon.


Image in a Crowdsourcing Week blog on crowdsourcing creative work for entertainment and marketing purposes

Mofilm crowdsourced local photographers to provide images of dozens of Peloton members in their own homes when not cycling.

Mofilm, founded in 2009, is a prominent crowdsourcing platform with a focus on media production. It connects brands with a diverse community of over 10,000 creators from around the world to produce authentic and culturally relevant stories. The entire process is curated and overseen by a team of ex-agency professionals to deliver award-winning content. It is part of the Brandtech Group and has offices in London and New York.

Unilever’s use of crowdsourcing to secure innovative creative work is not new. Back in April 2010, Unilever announced a partnership with Mofilm to crowdsource a series of short commercial films for thirteen Unilever brands. There were over 10,000 downloads of the briefs by up-and-coming filmmaking talent. This activity was in addition to Unilever’s crowdsourcing for Peperami and for the successful launch of Dove Men + Care in the U.S. Much more recently, Unilever was named the 2024 winner of the highly prestigious Cannes Lions Creative Marketer of the Year award.

90 Seconds

90 Seconds is primarily a crowdsourced media production platform. It is based in Singapore, and simplifies the process of producing videos anywhere in over 110 countries, and working with a network of over 14,000 creators. It provides a cloud-based platform where brands can manage their video projects through real-time collaboration and feedback, from initial concept to final delivery. Users include Amazon, Unilever, Deloitte, Marriott Hotels, KPMG, LVMH, and PayPal.


Founded in 2011, CrowdRiff is an all-in-one visual marketing platform based in Toronto, Canada. It empowers destination marketers to source, share, and scale original user generated content to connect with today’s travellers with authenticity. This includes running photo contests and sourcing and acquiring rights to high-resolution images from a network of contributors. Over 900 destination marketing bodies, hotels and tourist boards have used CrowdRiff to source their visuals. They clearly understand the crowdsourcing advantages.


The seven-year-old Crowd platform, based in São Paulo, Brazil, makes it easy for organisations to find and hire freelance professionals, assemble teams to work on specific projects, and hire long-term contributors. It provides access to IT professionals, as well as those with skills and experience in creative, media and marketing, within a total network of over 30,000 people.


Genero transforms brand owners’ in-house creative capabilities by seamlessly connecting marketers with an on-demand global creative network for audience-first strategy, ideation and production services. It claims a network of over 30,000 professional creatives and production partners, spread across all corners of the globe, with an emphasis on high-quality, branded video content. It is based in New York, and users include enterprise brands across a wide range of industries including L’Oréal, Diageo, Hilton, Unilever, the BBC and Bose.

The impact of generative AI

The emergence and rapid advancement of generative AI technologies have significantly impacted the creative industries, including the platforms that facilitate crowdsourcing creative work. Platforms like Tongal and Mofilm are navigating this evolving landscape by integrating AI capabilities, emphasising human creativity, and leveraging the unique strengths of their creator communities.

AI can be used to generate initial ideas or concepts, which creators can then refine and adapt. While generative AI can produce impressive content, it often lacks the depth, emotional resonance, and unique touch that human creators bring. Platforms emphasise the irreplaceable value of human creativity, especially for projects that require storytelling, emotional engagement, and cultural sensitivity. This collaboration between AI and human intelligence can lead to more innovative and high-quality creative outcomes.

Human creators can tailor content to specific brand needs and audiences in ways that AI might not fully grasp. The ability to understand nuanced brand identities and target demographics remains a strong point for human creators.

Consequently, some crowdsourcing platforms are exploring hybrid models where AI-generated content serves as a starting point for, or a supplement to, human-created work. This approach can enhance efficiency and crowdsourcing advantages while maintaining high-quality output.

Platforms are also investing in training and resources to help creators harness AI tools effectively. By empowering creators with AI skills, platforms ensure their community stays competitive and innovative.

Key takeaways on crowdsourcing advantages

The market for using crowdsourcing platforms for creative work is substantial and growing, driven by the need for cost-effective, high-quality, and diverse content. Platforms like Tongal and Mofilm are well-positioned to capitalise on this trend, offering brands access to a global network of creative talent and the ability to produce innovative content efficiently. As digital marketing continues to evolve, crowdsourcing advantages and the role of crowdsourcing in the creative industry in particular are likely to become even more significant.

Crowdsourcing platforms are adapting to the advancements in generative AI by integrating AI tools to enhance productivity, emphasising the irreplaceable value of human creativity, leveraging the strengths of their diverse communities, and focusing on complex, high-value projects. By doing so, they maintain their relevance and competitive edge in the creative industry, ensuring that both human creators and AI contribute to the evolving landscape of crowdsourced content creation.

About Author

About Author

Clive Reffell

Clive has worked with Crowdsourcing Week on sourcing and creating content since May 2016. With knowledge and experience gained in a 30+ year marketing career based in London, UK, he operates as an independent crowdfunding advisor helping SMEs and startups to run successful crowdfunding projects, and with wider social media and content marketing issues.

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