Poptent Lets Brands Crowdsource Advertising On The Cheap

Poptent, a startup that crowdsources advertising to the public, has just launched in public beta. The site allows advertisers and brands to post requests for an ad, which are then produced and submitted by the pool of small studios and videographers that make up the site’s members. Poptent is a sister site to XLNTads (also launching today), which focuses more on the brand marketers rather than video creators.

Poptent CEO Neil Perry says that while Poptent is designed to encourage submissions from its thousands of members, it isn’t going for the “YouTube crowd”. Instead, it’s focused on catering to small but professional teams capable of producing TV-quality ads.

To participate on the site, advertisers pay Poptent a fee of around $25,000, and then post guidelines as to what they’re looking for, along with assets like company logos. Poptent members then film and submit their ads to the site. If an advertiser finds an ad they like, they can purchase it for around $5-7,500 (oftentimes they will purchase multiple ads at once).

While the process can run upwards of $30,000 for an advertiser, this only represents a fraction of what a typical TV-quality ad costs (which Perry estimates to be over $300,000). Because of these cost savings, advertisers are opened up to purchase multiple ads and can target them more effectively than one, costly ad that has to appeal to everyone.

My main concern is that as the site gains in popularity (with more hopeful ad creators), the odds of having your ad purchased will decrease. Because these small production teams are paid nothing in advance and have no guarantees, this makes creating an ad more risky. Perry says that Poptent will try to offset these issues by identifying the best filmmakers and offering them seed money, and introducing them to other advertisers who might be interested in their work.

Here’s a sample ad from one of the participating small teams: