Please note. This is NOT April 1st. Feels like it though.
Things at one of the world’s leading mobile technology companies HTC, must be bad, really really bad. We all know that margins in electronics have never been narrower and that the globalisation of mobile technology and the market’s ability to change overnight has seen once mighty brands wither and die and new names become dominant just as quickly. It’s like the whole industry is in a constant state of flux. Exciting times for sure, you just never know what these guys are going to pull out of the bag next. And so it is with HTC’s latest trick, to sidestep the usual route to creating marketing campaigns for static media (like using an agency) and, instead, go down the route normally associated with people wanting the world for nothing, HTC for their new HTC ONE have gone design crowd sourcing, HTC might just have hit the bottom of the barrel.
How do I know things must be bad at HTC? Well, they’re throwing open the competition to UK designers ONLY (guaranteeing a certain level of good old British quality you would assume) but the purse for this serious bit of marketing design is the chance to ‘share’ in a £1000 pot. That’s right, times are tight at poor old HTC, they want a billboard campaign to sell their flagship Android phone, the HTC ONE and all they could scrape together was £1000. And for that, they lucky winner might get a lions share but some other ‘lucky’ creative types might get enough to pay for a night out at the cinema and a few burgers and beers.
On the up side, HTC might get some really cool work out of this ‘deal’, they could get a gem of an idea for a couple of hundred pounds. And they might get a few extra ideas from all those ‘you nearly won but not quite’ second places. They’ll no doubt get paid but in the process hand over the rights of thier creative efforts over to what we can assume is now the poorest name in technology.
Then of course, there’s the fee taken by the design sourcing website, their 15% fee suddenly makes the efforts of creation an almost charitable act. Maybe I’m being too hard on HTC, maybe it’s a really amazing opportunity for British designers to get their work out into the wild and earn a few pounds in the process or perhaps this is the beginning of a new trend in the fastest moving and evolving industry sector on the planet?
Got an opinion on it? Have you used crowd sourcing design websites? Have you submitted work to them? Leave your comments below.