/ Crowdsourcing and the Extremely Impressionable “Twist” Ad

How impressionable are women? Apparently extremely impressionable, according to a new advertisement for the fragrance Twist from Axe, a Unilever brand. The advertisement shows a woman who is restless on her first date with a guy who she is only marginally interested in. Then a few robots show up and completely transform the guy several times throughout the course of the evening (from cutting his hair to changing his outfit). The woman becomes excited at his various transformations and the spark continues to develop throughout their date.

A stroke of genius on some ad agency’s part? Not entirely. Props also go to the consumer co-creation efforts because this ad is an example of how “crowdsourcing” led to something so masterful and memorable. The idea of a fragrance that changes through its top , middle and base notes is pretty straightforward and old school to fragrance developers; however, customers thought it was a great metaphor for guys who need to constantly reinvent themselves to get a girl.

This is a great example of a campaign where tapping into the mindset of the purchaser yielded a cool result. While ideally the number of consumers who are tapped for a “co-created” project needs to be large (in this case it was a mere 25 people), the idea of co-creation in marketing and branding is rapidly gaining popularity (e.g. Clarins’ latest fragrance campaign on Womanity.com is an interactive site that welcomes people’s posts and video uploads).

The term “crowdsourcing,” of course, is not new. It was first coined in 2006 in a Wired magazine article, which described how the typical tasks of outsourcing to third parties were now becoming a collective consumer project.

As the world becomes more and more interactive, it’s not surprising that the “Wiki” concept has spread to branding. Since there are endless possibilities, it’s going to be interesting to see who will tap into this growing phenomenon, and what the consumer feedback will be like.

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