Chiquita Pulls off a Crowdsourced Design-as-Marketing Campaign

Posted by: on Oct 5, 2010 | No Comments

Crowdsourcing is a hit-or-miss proposition, and when it comes to crowdsourcing logo or design work, it can often result in some nasty blowback. So it’s interesting to see a successful example of a major brand crowdsourcing the design of an iconic logo, as a de facto social media marketing campaign to generate buzz.

In this case it’s Chiquita, and the iconic logo is the little blue and yellow sticker that anyone who has ever had a banana probably recognizes. It seems Chiquita went out and crowdsourced the redesign of the sticker, got over 100,000 votes for the 50 finalists, and generated some nice buzz around a product that normally is hardly considered cutting edge.

Cliff Huang over on fastcodesign.com makes a great point about why this worked for Chiquita, relative to the challenges of crowdsourcing your primary logo or major campaign creative:

The stickers are a perfect outlet for the crowdsourcing. It’s not like crowdsourcing your logo or an entire ad campaign — which gets you mediocrity in exchange for a bit of passing buzz. Rather, the sticker itself is such an obvious passing fancy that even if it’s not great, it doesn’t matter. (And even if it’s not great, the real estate is so tiny that the most important thing — the brand’s colors — remain. To preserve the core mark, the contest made sure to mention that the Chiquita girl could not be shown in any of the entries.) So you get the buzz, but it doesn’t take over your branding because the icon itself remains intact.

I don’t necessarily agree with Cliff’s side point about how crowdsourcing larger project necessarily produces mediocrity, but that’s for a later post. For now, hats off to Chiquita for a smart big of marketing and a brand team willing to take some risks.

Found via @TDefren

Talking Retweets, Viral, and More on The BeanCast

Posted by: on Oct 4, 2010 | No Comments

Last night I had the pleasure of being a guest on TheBeanCast marketing/advertising podcast, with host Bob Knorpp (@TheBeanCast), Valeria Maltoni (@conversationage), Stuart Foster (@stuartfoster), and Michelle Tripp (@michelletripp). You can get the show notes, MP3, and iTunes subscription info here.

It was my first time on the show, and ended up with some great conversation that’s still got me thinking – so expect a post or two this week as I expand a bit on what we discussed.

In the meantime, I definitely recommend subscribing to the show on an ongoing basis. Bob manages to pull together some amazing groups of marketing, PR, and ad professionals to talk about the hot topics of the week. It’s the perfect commute podcast, and well worth the download.