Open Source Concepting a.k.a. Cheap Ideas Aplenty

Matthew Creamer at Ad Age introduces us to, a Slovenian-based online marketplace where ad and design ideas from about 9,000 creatives worldwide are bought and sold.
OpenAd, with input from members in 122 countries, calls itself “the biggest creative department in the world.”

Our Creatives are advertising specialists. And because we want to provide you with the most complete range of talented individuals possible, our network is built of both freelancers and agencies, and from everyone from students to creative directors.

The service is free to the creatives, but marketers pay to join, and pricing on the ideas, which are vetted by an OpenAd team, is variable. For instance, this summer executives from Gillette’s Puerto Rican division heard pitches from creatives in 21 countries for a campaign to persuade the island’s men to trade in their disposable razors for the Fusion shaver. Gillette, paid the winners of its pitch $1,000 each.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. A grand for winning a pitch to Gillette???!!!!
    For all the time the team put in, they probably would have earned more stocking Gillette razors at Wal Mart.
    That makes it clear to me this OpenAd thing is a total waste of time for creatives – even unemployed ones.

  2. The idea is brilliant only if given fair market value. $1000 will get $1000 ideas which are as good as….

  3. We can bitch and moan all we want but this is where this industry is going. Digitas is in the process of setting up overseas “ad factories” that churn out hundreds of ads for the price of one in the u.s. Let’s face it-most clients do not care about smart and compelling work, especially when they can get it that fast and cheaply.
    (p.s. i believe there are phenomenal agencies and creatives all around the world. I’m generalizing about the focus of many marketers, not the quality of worldwide talent)
    Honestly, U.S. agencies are just getting what they deserve. There is simply no future in ad agencies creating bad to mediocre, client-pleasing crap when a marketer can get the same stuff for 1/100 of the cost overseas. unfortunately, most agencies are set up to produce only bad to mediocre client-pleasing crap because it was the most expedient way to keep the bling coming.
    For those of us with the knowledge, the talent, and the passion for groundbreaking ideas, there will always be marketers who “get it.” We just may have to move to singapore or dubai or prague to do it.

  4. And to add to my previous comment, it definitely does not help any that so many “traditional” agencies seem to think every consumer in the world is white American men and women under 45 who live in the suburbs.

  5. I’ll go for Prague!