The new form of crowdsourcing

Apr 20, 2016

In an effort to add personalisation to their work, brands have turned to the masses. Crowdsourcing has taken off and allows the public to add their input on what brands should or shouldn’t do. From designing low-cost shipping for chocolate to recommendations for some of the best long-distance drive routes, crowdsourcing is no longer what it used to be.

Below I’ve highlighted five brands that have innovatively incorporated crowdsourcing into their campaigns.


Chocolate company Hershey’s has turned to crowdsourcing to solve the problem of its chocolate melting in transit during the summer months.

The new shipping system should be lightweight and affordable enough to use year around as part of the standard packaging for small shipments. It should also keep chocolate close to the temperature at which it was packed for at least 48 hours. The proposed method, however, cannot use gel packs leaving designers to come up with a unique packaging system.

With the rise of e-commerce, it is expected that Hershey will start to sell more of its candy direct. Since the costs of cool shipping technology can get expensive, an innovative, low-cost shipping system will guarantee the quality of Hershey chocolate when shipped during the summer while proving economically viable for the company.

Phase one winners will be selected by April 14 with prototypes due by July 14.

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Whole Foods Friends of 365

Whole Foods Market invited potential business partners to submit public video pitches on its Friends of 365 by Whole Foods Market website.

Encouraged to join the campaign were fast-causal food brands and retail businesses and services, such as bike shops, barbers and fitness companies. Retailers had to submit a short video explaining their big idea and why it would work in a physical store. They also had to show how their propositions aligned with Whole Foods Market’s mission, values and quality standards.

The public was given a week to vote for their favourite ideas before the 365 team invited 20 businesses to its headquarters to discuss their ideas in depth.

The first two partners in the Friends of 365 are by CHLOE, a fast-casual food brand based out of New York City, and Allegro Coffee Company, a coffee and beer business. By CHLOE will have its own space at the inaugural 365 location in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, California alongside Allegro’s Brew & Brew venue.

Sprite Snapchat

Sprite is printing its customer’s Snapchat usernames on its cans in Brazil.

Smartphone users in Brazil use snapchat on Sprite cansThe new campaign “RFRSH Na Lata” (RFRESH on the can) gave Snapchat users the chance to put their username on a dedicated website with the possibility of it being printed on thousands of cans.

Fans were selected by how much their social media posts aligned with the brand’s ethos. In order to link with a user’s account, customers must scan the Snapchat symbol on the can with the Snapchat app feature.

To kick-start the campaign, Snapchat featured 15 different users with big social followings on their cans. According to creative agency CUBOCC, those users, on average, tripled their number of friends on the platform in the first couple of weeks.

Topshop Archive Collection

For Topshop’s new Archive Collection, the British fast fashion retailer asked its customers across the globe to post photos of the items they would like to be reissued using the hashtag #BringThatBack.

Top Shop crowdsources responses to previous seasons clothes linesCustomers embraced the invitation to influence future Archive Collections, sharing photos of their first Topshop purchase, images of the items they had worn until they wore out and vintage pieces they’d picked up at markets over the years. The images were then collected on a temporary Facebook gallery.

The Archive Collection and accompanying social media campaign show how Topshop cleverly gained credit for its past successes and compelled its customers to advocate the brand on their own social media profiles.

The campaign also offered opportunities for storytelling, where people could talk about their memories on the Topshop blog and elsewhere. #BringThatBack also offered the thrill of rediscovering much-loved items from the past.

Porsche GTS Routes

An online community of Porsche GTS drivers has crowdsourced the world’s best scenic driving routes.

Porsche GTS routes with the world's best scenic driving routes

GTS Routes allows Porsche and non-Porsche drivers to explore long distant, scenic routs, as well as share their own finds with users. The microsite can be used to research while the app provides inspiration and directions when behind the wheel. Both the app and the website use a tailored version of the Google Maps software.

Members are allowed to rate their own routes, or search for others by geography, terrain and length of journey. Users can also search for moments, such as fun twists and turns.

With over 46 different routes available in the UK, drivers have many options to choose from.

The app is available on the iOS store and the Android store. User comments include that one of the main problems is not being able to zoom in and follow the route or find accurate details about the routes.

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