Nikki Wicks
Dec 10, 2014

Film crowdsourcing firm Mofilm sets sights on Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE - Film crowdsourcing will not replace traditional advertising agencies, but the growing model does offer brands extra marketing power, says Oscar-winning movie producer Jon Landau.

Jon Landau
Jon Landau

Mofilm arrived in Southeast Asia this week, offering brands another way to source creative video advertising. Founded in 2007, the platform allows brands to post marketing briefs and filmmaking contests, which Mofilm distributes to its pool of filmmakers around the world.

Holding the distinction of having produced two of the highest grossing movies of all time, Avatar and Titanic, Landau was in Singapore in his role as chairman of the advisory board for the crowdsouring company.

Based in the UK, Mofilm is the first platform of its kind to have crowdsourced TV ads appear during the Super Bowl and the Oscars. Mofilm has worked with more than 100 companies worldwide, including Coca-Cola, P&G, AT&T and Microsoft.

“Rather than asking one really smart person to solve a problem, crowdsourcing allows you to ask hundreds or maybe thousands of really smart people,” said Mofilm’s CEO and co-founder Jeffrey Merrihue.

“Crowdsourcing is getting bigger and bigger, not only in advertising but in many endeavors from innovation to arts. It’s hard to predict what will happen but certainly in the next five to ten years it’ll do nothing but get bigger,” he added.

General Motors brand Chevrolet has worked with Mofilm for five years. During that time, the brand has received over 2000 film entries in response to a number of briefs. In March this year, “Speed Chaser” a film submitted by a South Korean independent filmmaker, beat 72 entries and made it to broadcast air during the 2014 Oscars.


The winning film "Speed Chaser" by Korean filmmakers for Chevrolet.

 

Mofilm isn’t the only company attracting brands to crowdsourcing in the region. Recently, Coca-Cola joined Unilever and Hyundai to generate marketing inspiration via the Eyeka platform. Coca-Cola is launching two contests in China with a total prize pool of more than US$36,000.

Mark Harland, director of marketing at General Motors International said that although film crowdsourcing offers some fresh marketing solutions, it doesn’t take away from traditional ad agencies.

“I don’t think this will replace the traditional advertising agency model, but to me this adds something extra," he said. "It adds some colour and gives us more content. It doesn’t replace an ad agency. With the growing power of the crowd, the Mofilm model empowers us to supplement the traditional process of relying on one agency to create just one production. This approach makes good sense because it gives us greater yield of ideas that resonates with our intended audience."

Despite the continuing growth in crowdsouring , Landau agreed with Harlan: “I don’t know it ever will replace an agency, or that it ever should. I think the two can coexist and have different functions. The thing that crowdsourcing does, is it’s opening up opportunities that didn’t exist before. As a Singaporean filmmaker, you don’t have to work on something for a Singaporean product. Through Mofilm you can find a brief for a Chevy product in the US, or Europe.”

Asked about his views on the filmmaking industry in Southeast Asia, Landau said: “The region has a budding pool of filmmaking talents waiting to be discovered by brands all over the world.”

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