The impact of the crowd on creativity

Creative work used to be molded to perfection in creative departments and then, because of the delicacy of the art, would be published with utmost care. Only look, no touch, it would say, like in a museum.


Consumers today demand authenticity, expect to be heard and take everything in their own hands. If not, they can be brutal to a brand. Consumers are king and they know it.

Individuals take carefully crafted work in their own hands and reshape an entire message.

Content marketing and meming are two essential developments impacting agency work. For an agency, the crowd is a force to be reckoned with. Here’s a few examples of content marketing and meme campaigns.

Content marketing

A successful content marketing case was during last Summer’s World Cup. In a world where sponsorship deals cost millions of dollars, ESPN created original artwork for every country. Not only did these images get shared throughout, Italian star Mario Balotelli used the image as his profile pic. For a while, he was the ESPN artwork on Facebook for all of his 8,924,067 followers on Facebook.

Walter van der Scheer ESPN-Posters
Walter van der Scheer ESPN-Posters

The community can make or break a brand with its social voice and, when engaged, are a great way of increasing the reach of a campaign.


A popular approach to content marketing is meming. A successful meme increases brand awareness dramatically and increases web traffic.

Agencies can create campaigns that end up being memed, or use a popular meme in your own campaigns.

Walter van der Scheer - If Bo takes on any more hobbys
Walter van der Scheer – If Bo takes on any more hobbys

Nike created a meme avant la lettre with the Bo knows… campaign back in the early nineties. Examples of campaigns becoming memes are the force from Volkswagen, the Old Spice man, The Harlem Shake.

Brands that have leap-frogged using existing memes are e.g. popular MMORPG World of Warcraft, who used cult figures Mr T. and Chuck Norris to introduce new releases. Virgin rode the wave of the ‘I hate sandcastle’meme in one of their ads.

Walter van der Scheer - Meming
Walter van der Scheer – Meming

How could your brand benefit from planking, the Harlem Shake, selfies, or the world cup?


About the author

Written by Walter van der Scheer. +

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