Poptent Delivers $1 Million in Payouts to Video Artists


video_smallADOTAS – I really hate Pomplamoose. During football games, about 10 times an hour I see the band — a couple that makes brand-friendly pop music and oh-so-cute YouTube videos — performing indie-esque versions of holiday tunes and frolicking about to sell Hyundais. Though the band’s name is never mentioned in the commercials, my irritation grew to the point I Googled “band in Hyundai commercials” to find out who the chirpy troubadours were.

Pomplamoose seems like pair of talented musicians, but they are a little bland to be my cup of tea (give me an infuser full of Mission of Burma, stat!). Unfortunately, their commercial bombardment during Redskins games (watching those is suffering enough) has turned mere indifference into fiery rage. I shouldn’t hate Pomplamoose, but there they go bandying about that sedan again… Urge to kill rising….

This is decade-old problem with TV advertising — limited ad inventory, because making good television commercials tends to be expensive. The dilemma transfers and potentially worsens with online video advertising — Internet clips tend to be short, which makes for lots of ads in between. While there’s lots of premium video content, there’s a dearth of ad inventory — and much of that is repurposed from TV. Consumers whine about pre-roll because they see the same ads over and over and over — ones they’ve already seen a million times on television.

But there’s an opportunity in video advertising to produce loads of superior video ads at low cost. Poptent, a company we’ve featured before, has seized on this with its crowdsourcing video network, which just surpassed $1 million in cash award payments for its video artists. Astoria, NY-video artist Sean Cunningham crossed the threshold, getting a $10,000 for his video for General Electric’s Tag Your Green Ecomagination campaign. It’s pretty gosh-darn cute, too.

Poptent hosts a network of 21,000 video artists that range from film students to boutique agencies looking to get some attention — this is a huge undertapped market. With a $30,000 service fee per assignment, large brands ranging from FedEx to America Express provide creative briefs for commercial assignments. Usually around 400 videographers will sign up to create an ad within a 40-day window, though only about 10% will complete the assignment. The network on average delivers 25 to 100 video submissions per assignment.

Advertisers are committed to buying at least one of the submissions, but regularly buy two to three — the artists make from $7,500 to $10,000 bought assignment. In addition, Poptent selects the cream of the crop for additional cash rewards. Once produced, the video content is in Poptent’s protection — brands are known to come back and buy more submissions.

The majority of the work is used online, but as the entries must be broadcast-ready, about 20% have actually made onto the boob tube and a few have graced the silver screen before feature films. Occasionally brands will approach certain artists with private assignments, or remake or remodel an ad with the videographers assistance.

As President Neil Perry explained, many times brands are looking for edgier or more creative content that they can use online or want creative that features everyday people instead of actors and models. The network is not a threat to agencies, he said, as many times a brand’s agency will reach out to them with the assignment. Also, he added, payouts are quick because it’s a true marketplace.

Poptent currently boasts videographers in 82 countries, and has recently started putting up assignments for Spanish-language spots. In addition, Perry said the network would soon be introducing Portuguese assignments for a new campaign to be featured in Brazil. Next year, the company hopes to expand its presence in Asia-Pacific countries — Perry says the signups in India alone have been very impressive.

And Pomplamoose, I don’t want to hate you anymore. Let’s be friends — just stop appearing on my television.


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