As someone who usually sits between the worlds of fashion, retail and technology, it's clear that they are often ships passing in the night until an explosive coming together produces something pretty cool.
Generally there is a tension around what is 'art' and someone's 'craft' and what is 'technology'-and automated. But there can be some pretty amazing results when it comes together in a creative way - especially when consumers are included in the process. The idea of 'crowdsourcing,' more commonly applied to financing and labour, can have an unexpected impact on entertainment and advertising, as well, when done right.
This week, photographer Tom Craig orchestrated a 'co-created' advertising campaign for Selfridges. Craig, who I often work with, and who is known for his old-school devotion to shooting only on film, was inspired by an online music video using footage of thousands of people singing Lily Allen's 'The Fear' to Xbox 360′s game 'Sing with Lips'. The video, done as an ad campaign, is pretty visually arresting (and of course it's a pretty singable song!).
What's even more interesting to me about the idea of a 'crowdsourced' or 'co-created' campaign is how it fits in with a generally expected notion of the 'Millennial generation' that '15 minutes of fame' is part of everyday life. And why wouldn't they think this with XFactor, blogging and YouTube breakout stars.
This was very true at the Selfridges event where a frenzy of bloggers, photography and fashion students, celebrities and industry people came together to help shoot models Jourdan Dunn and Rosie Tapner for the 'Denim Lovers' advertising campaign. Each invitee submitted at least three photos to be stitched together to go live in just a few days' time.
What started off as interesting and tame idea turned into a plain social media frenzy when the organised shoot went freelance and the hundreds of attendees could get any shot they wanted and post it across social media sites - which of course was the point of it all for Selfridges.
Does this 'collision' mean an edging out of artists, creatives and talented industry folks? Probably not, it more likely gives them a fresh opportunity to ensure that those they are trying to reach get into the game. And...it's a lot of fun.