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Tongal: crowdsourcing for creatives and brands

Crowdsourcing is increasingly becoming a strategy that major film studios, artists and companies use to create digital content, broadcast campaigns, film projects and more. Tongal is a crowdsourcer of digital content that offers creatives an opportunity to work on high-profile brand campaigns while earning money in the process. Tongal works with sponsors to define a creative challenge and establish a prize pool.

According to Tongal, its community and platform can deliver anything: TV commercials, social videos, music videos, branded entertainment — even product innovations.

Tongal has worked with Oscar-winning Spitfire Pictures, Sundance, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and others, awarding more than 50,000 members of the Tongal community (known as Tongalers). To become a community member, you can sign up on Tongal’s site for free. The Tongal community is made up of more than 50,000 people around the world: you have teenagers, mothers, grandparents, along with aspiring filmmakers, who have made in excess of $400,000 during the past year, they report.

Tongal founder James DeJulio started his career as VP of production at Paramount’s Robert Evans Company; he then co-founded his own production company called Half Shell Entertainment. DeJulio and his partners launched Tongal to give creatives more opportunities in the entertainment and marketing/advertising industry.

How it Works
Tongal uses a distributed workforce model, breaking up the creative process into a series of competitions from idea through video execution, enabling talent in 107 countries to contribute in the areas where they are strongest and build on each other’s best work.

Initially, companies approach Tongal about a creative campaign and, once defined, it is given to the Tongal community. In the first phase (idea), anyone can submit a 140-character concept and the best ones are chosen. Then filmmakers select one of the winning ideas and pitch on how they will execute it. Winning pitches are given budget to shoot and edit, then once the final product is finished, the video is sent to the sponsoring brand or artist (Heineken, McDonald’s, KISS) for evaluation. Winning videos are ranked and rewarded accordingly. Finally, companies distribute the winning videos based on their initial objectives: through TV, Internet, mobile, etc., anywhere their audiences reside.

Sometimes, the creative content that Tongal generates takes on a life of its own. For example, the winning video for a Speed Stick Video Project last year was initially intended for Speed Stick’s website, YouTube page and social media. However, the video tested so well that the brand decided to make it a Super Bowl ad.

Tongal recently partnered with Tuff Gong International and Ben & Jerry’s to create the Bob Marley One Love Music Video Project in celebration of his hits album Legend turning 30. The goal of this project is to create a three- to four-minute music video for Marley’s hit, “One Love” — evaluators will be looking for ideas and videos that convey social connectedness, “we’re all in this together” and making the world a better place. The winning video will be featured on the official Bob Marley website, Bob Marley YouTube and Ben & Jerry’s site. In addition, the winning filmmaker will win $9,000.

According to Tongal, they have provided thousands of independent creatives with the ability to showcase their talents to the world, and make a living from the work. For example, Team Spaceman is a duo from LA who love making films and have earned more than $200,000 working on projects through Tongal. In Texas, a 17-year-old Tongaler earned more than $35,000 by making stop-motion Lego videos from his parents’ garage. You can check out other success stories here.

Tongal is currently challenging its community to shoot video content in 4K. It’s for the “Farm to Table” project via Smuckers. Tongal calls it “the largest single-person payout in Tongal history, offering an $80,000 total.” Check out details on their website: http://tongal.com/project/farmtotable.

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