So You Want to Work in Advertising?

How to get the creative capitals of the world to come to you

Emmy Nominations
AP

Ever since you wrote that prize-winning story in 4th grade, people have been raving about your creativity. You've been the Idea Person; the one who comes up with the cutest names and best poems. You're the one asked to take the pictures or videos at events. You've dreamed of landing that creative job but packing up and heading to Madison Avenue, Los Angeles or London is not on this year's To Do List.

But don't despair. Things in the advertising industry, and in most creative fields, have changed dramatically since the Mad Men era. Today, you no longer need to go to the creative capitals of the world. They come to you.

Repeat this word after me. CROWDSOURCING. This is the only word you need to know to magically leap into the thicket of today's creative environment. Instead of rising from the Cube Farm in the big city, some of today's hottest television commercial concepts, new product ideas, and branding innovations are emerging from neighborhoods around the globe.

Big companies now recognize that great ideas are not limited to the ad agencies that once were their only source of creativity. Many of them go directly to consumers via contests (Super Bowl commercials, for example) but others work through firms that specialize in "crowdsourcing" the ideas. Creatives register on the sites, where they find open projects posted, and they choose the ones that interest them.

Take Tongal. Tongal was built to revolutionize the way creative work gets done by making it accessible to everyone. We enable you to focus on the work you do best. Whether you're a thinker, an idea-person, or a full-fledged filmmaker with your own production company, Tongal has opportunities for you.

One glance at Tongal's home page and its list of Open Projects will immediately "set your creativity free." Right now (but hurry) some of the Open Projects include brands such as Virgin America, MegaRed, Koolaid, Verizon, Spalding, and Sundance Institute. Prizes range from $1,000 to $63,000. Hint: It helps to be good at video.

Check out the list of Awarded projects for more inspiration:Annie's
$45,000

Mystery Sponsor
$15,000

Havaianas
$25,000

Dunkin' Donuts
$22,500

Eukanuba
$85,000

Rust-Oleum
$45,000

General Mills
$49,000

But other forms of creativity are also sought after including something called "Tongal's Left Field." The crowdsourcer is inviting creatives like us to tap into our wildly wacky right brains and go for it. "Tongal's client roster is looking for groundbreaking, wheels-off, out-there-in-left-field ideas."

More Creative-sourcing sites turn up everyday. Another one that's intriguing is Betterific. Betterific, named one of TNW's "Top Ten Startups to Watch" is focused on "crowdsourcing innovation." They invite creative brains to share great ideas to make things better. Recently, Betterific has started partnering with brands to help them crowdsource ideas. If you love frozen yogurt, there's a contest for you, if you hurry.

Have you crowdsourced your creativity? Tell us about it in the Comments.

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