So I keep hearing chatter in the hallways of different agencies about OpenAd.net. The site is a Slovenian based online marketplace where advertising and design ideas from about 9,000 creatives worldwide are bought and sold. Companies or agencies can become a member, hold a pitch or find idea in the gallery, select ideas and license them. It launched last year and has mainly served European clients but it is quietly being tested by U.S. marketers like Gillette who used it a few months ago and heard pitches from creatives in 21 countries for their disposable razors for the Fusion shaver. You can see the potential power of the site since the winners were a Slovenian student, a British photographer and an American creative director, all of whom based their submissions on an initial idea from a small agency based in India.
Depending on who you talk to OpenAd will be a major disruption to the global ad-agency model or just another generic online resource. I think it is interesting idea that could finally take advantage of the new flat-earth economics and communication advantage provided by the web but I don’t think this is going to put any agencies in jeopardy any time soon. This model is for one-off idea creation and it doesn’t offer the strategic and brand guidance, account management or executional capabilities you find in big agencies. I look at it as a way that I could supplement my creative team during large projects or campaigns or a way to bring fresh thinking to brands we have been working on for a long time. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few months when OpenAd gets a brick and mortar office here in New York with another office planned some time in the future for the West Coast.