Social content creator Tongal has announced a $15 million boost from its Series B investment round, gained from the private equity firm Insight Venture Partners. The fast-growing website service will use this funding to expand its talent pool on a global level.
Tongal is a type of crowdsourcing, competitive/collaborate platform that creates branding campaigns for primary business sponsors. The sponsor forms a video project and divides it into several key categories, including ideation, production, and distribution. Once uploaded onto the website, content creators can vie for the best idea or services in each category.
In ideation, for example, the challenge is to create the central idea blurb, such as a sentence or line for the perfect viral video. Ideas flow in from participants all around the globe, and the business sponsor picks the best version. The winner receives a reward – between a few hundred and a thousand dollars, depending on the project. Other categories have their own challenges and competitions that allow sponsors to pick their favorite filmmakers, writers, and other creators, all for monetary prizes or contracts. The end goal is a finalized project within eight weeks.
The venture already has an illustrious history of creating grassroots campaigns for such high-rise brands as Lego, Pringles, McDonalds, Hot Wheels, and LendingTree. According to firm news releases, its revenue skyrocketed by 400 percent in 2012, mostly because its major clients used the site to run multiple marketing projects at once. By early 2013, Community Members on the site had earned more than $3 million in total for projects and ideas won.
“Our brand customers are thrilled with the quality and in-market performance of videos being produced on Tongal, as well as the unexpected and fresh ideas that emerge,” said James DeJulio, company president. “Tongal enables businesses to expand beyond the thinking within the four walls of their organizations, and provides the opportunity to unlock and access the world’s creativity – this is very powerful.”
What Tongal – and its investors – are betting on is the wisdom of the masses. What is the best viral video campaign option? Would you rather poll the audience, or take a guess yourself? When the brainstorming process is outsourced, the chances of coming across a world-changing idea increase. Likewise, when content creation is drawn from a vast pool beyond the company the quality of service statistically increases. At the same time, new designers and innovators are given a chance to hone or prove their talents in a relatively risk-free environment.
However, Tongal’s success also shows the need for corresponding talent amongst the business leaders that are choosing all these challenge “winners.” More than ever, marketing leaders need an eye for ideas that work and the ability to choose creators with competent skills. These final choices are growing ever more important as collaboration tools provide larger pools of options to draw from.
Photo Source: morgueFile