Tongal creates connections between young fresh talent and big brands to build a whole new kind of advertising.
Have you ever seen an ad for a major brand and wondered what the advertising team was thinking? Maybe even that you could do it better yourself? Believe it or not, there is a platform where you can make that sentiment a reality without having to work your way up the corporate ladder.
Tongal has a fairly straightforward business model. Brands announce that they are looking for their next ad campaign and any user can pitch a Tweet-length idea. The company picks their favorite pitches and pays the people who create them.
Directors, who are also members of the community, then come up with ways to shoot the ads (as well as receiving financial support) and the winning video is chosen as the new official ad. This allows for new, fresh talent to push the envelope while being rewarded for their work.
Co-founder James De Julio told PSFK that he developed the idea when he and his fellow founders saw that the system in place was keeping blossoming talent out:
Myself, Rob (Salvatore) and Mark (Burrell) had come from Hollywood studios and were frustrated about how much waste we saw with creative talent. It seemed to be a closed system – the same people receiving multiple offers because of personal connections, seniority, and “did this before” — and we wanted to change that. That’s why the Tongal platform works, it gives everyone access to work. We like that we’ve created a meritocracy where people can earn real money and get their best work on a global stage.
The site has over 50,000 domestic and international users participating in ad contests daily. They’ve worked on ads for McDonald’s, LEGO, Durcell, Oral-B, Naked Juice and more. There are many success stories on the site, like a 17-year-old Texan who has earned nearly $40,000 making stop-motion videos for LEGO as well as a pair of creatives from LA have made more than $230,000 creating projects for Pringles/Lucasfilms, McDonalds, Ford and others.
It is a system that benefits all ends of the spectrum, with brands and struggling creatives growing in new and exciting ways, all because good ideas are being rewarded. De Julio believes this is what ultimately draws people to Tongal, “Mark, Rob and I especially like that it’s all very democratic – the platform and the process assure that the best work always succeeds.”