Emerging Communication Tool



Zooppa is the global social network for creative talent. It hosts contests where companies provide their creative brief outlining their marketing campaign objectives, and users can submit fresh and compelling advertisements to win cash prizes by achieving the highest votes. These crowd-sourced ads better satisfy customers’ real wants and needs as they are created by the consumers themselves. This allows companies to tailor their offerings to their target audience more effectively instead of relying on historic data or other speculations.  In addition, Zooppa also acts as an excellent public relations tool. Users become actively involved with the brand and help to spread the word about their own submissions. Despite these advantages, Zooppa has a limited member base with creativity constrained by their demographic bias. Insufficient cash incentive and the uncertainty of compensation can also easily jeopardize the quality of the advertisements submitted.

Background of the Tool  

Zooppa is the global social network for creative talent. It utilizes user-generated advertising to help companies reach their customers with fresh and compelling content. Businesses first develop a creative brief, describing their brand’s attributes, the target audience, and the objective of the marketing campaign. It is then up to the users to create ads in various forms such as videos or print ad and upload their content. The company selects and awards the best content. The user community will also get to vote on content submissions to determine additional award-winners. Zooppa guarantees a pricing range from a minimum to maximum value that tailors to companies’ marketing objectives, ensuring satisfaction of both the users and the companies.

Zooppa was founded in 2007 near Venice, Italy. Its parent company H-Farm provides full range of resources needed for start-ups like Zooppa to rapidly introduce innovative ideas and services. Last year, Zooppa’s worldwide creative community surpassed 100,000 members, an increase from 54,000 the previous year.  To date, over $1.3 million dollars worldwide has been awarded to participants from over 35 states in the U.S. as well as internationally. Zooppa’s clients include leading brands such as Google, Samsung and Warner Bros2.

External Trends that the tool accomodates

Trend #1: Flexible work

Technological advances in computing have enabled people to work from anywhere and anytime around the world. Zooppa exemplifies this trend by soliciting volunteer users from its online community to work for leading brands with a flexible work place and work hours.

Trend #2: Crowd sourcing

Crowd sourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contribution from the collective intelligence of the public, especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. In the future, crowd sourcing will become a more common way for companies to complete business-related tasks. In the case of Zooppa, it allows companies to use fresh and compelling advertising from the Zooppa community to reach their target customers.

Market Factors that the tool accommodates

Market factor #1: Consumer Empowerment

The Internet has also resulted in greater customer empowerment. Through online platforms such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook, customers can comment and post reviews about products and services publicly. With the help of business intelligence, companies can mine real-time information from these platforms to detect meaningful feedback to their products and listen more intelligently to their consumers. This fosters a deeper understanding of consumer needs, allowing companies to really tailor their offerings to what consumers want rather than making marketing decisions based on historic data or speculations. In the case of Zooppa, the content submissions are full of consumer insights, encouraging companies to give up control in their marketing communications campaign, and really use “fresh” and “down-to-the-earth” content created by consumers themselves.

Market Factor #2: Cost structure

As the Baby Boomers retire, leaving an abundant supply of job compare to the number of skilled labour available, companies will need to find ways to maximize the value of their talent without augmenting cost in an ever-increasing competitive market.  Zooppa can effectively decrease the cost to obtain excellent advertising by eliminating conventional human resources cost.

Zooppa as part of the Marketing Communication Mix 

In terms of marketing communication, Zooppa offers very diverse ways for companies to achieve their communication objectives in advertising, public relations, and digital media.

For advertising, crowd-sourced content can better engage with customers’ real wants and needs by using consumer-generated advertising. This can help companies to tailor their offerings to what consumers really want rather than making marketing decisions based on historic data or other speculations. For public relations, the users who participate in the contest can help spread the word about the brand’s campaign, especially when it comes to the voting period where the contestants will gather friends and families to vote for him/her. In addition, the contest also encourages user involvement in the brand. This is because in order to come up with a winning campaign, contestants will have to spend time learning more about the brand and figure out how to best attract the target customers. For digital media, Zooppa really helps companies to exhausts all possible forms of digital advertising. Contestants can present their campaign in a video, an animation, or any other creative types of digital media, as long as they can be submitted online.

In order to reach the target audience, companies need to come up with a very specific creative brief. This means contestants need to have information on who they are communicating to; how to present the brand’s image and the message of the campaign; communicate using the right tone and pacing; and take into consideration the ad duration. The more detailed the creative brief, the more likely the submissions can help reach companies’ objectives. Besides the creative brief, Zooppa also offers value-added products that can truly amplify the benefits of the submissions to reach the target audience. For example, Zooppa can help companies to host the contest within their brand’s website, Facebook page, or other social media sites. Those who will visit a brand’s website or like a brand’s Facebook page are likely loyal users. Entries from these users offer invaluable consumer insight that allows companies to understand what exactly their target customers want in order for them to purchase the product/service offer. In addition, The winning submission will also be seen by the same group of loyal users. This helps to actually reach the target audience. Overall, this goes to show that there is much synergy that exists between Zooppa and numerous other communication tools such as Facebook and company websites.

Risks and Barriers for adoption


The content generated through Zooppa is only limited to the pool of users in the Zooppa community (which currently has over 100,000 members). If the company does not offer enough incentive for users to participate in the contest, the submissions can be of low quality and makes it difficult for companies to actually realize the benefits of crowdsourcing. Though the value-added options Zooppa offers can diminish this barrier, it also largely depends on company’s willingness to pay for these value-added options.

In addition, the majority of Zooppa users are hobbyists. Professional freelancers are hesitant to invest time and money into a submission where they can only “hope” to be compensated. This will decrease the overall quality of the submissions. On one of the largest freelancer websites Freelance Switch, a freelancer posted on a forum discussion regarding Zooppa:

The winning Diesel campaign was a video submission that won $7000.00 in August 2010.


The creative content can be constrained by the demographics of the Zooppa community. For example, Zooppa get many of their videos from States universities and film school, this may cause the creative content to be geared towards a particular age group or market segment at large. In addition, the user demographics can also constraint the sharing of the submissions to be limited within certain demographics.

Real life example: Diesel

The creative brief that Diesel made available to the contestants is very short and concise. Diesel’s creative strategy is to communicate its lifestyle-with-attitude brand image. The video shows that Diesel is more than a clothing brand. In fact, it does not even include the Diesel logo in the video. Its purpose is to arouse the audience’s desire to be like the L.A. Matador in the video, unafraid to be different and live with his own dignified attitude, waving his red sheet in the traffic. The video is also brilliant in conveying the difference between the character before becoming the matador and after. It encourages the audience that any typical person can take the initiative to become someone who lives with that type of attitude.

Overall the video exemplified the means-end theory that leads the consumers to the desired end states of “exciting life”, “self-fulfillment” and “self-respect”. Its leverage point lies in revealing the benefit of having a lifestyle with attitude and linking it to the audience’s inner most desire to be different and live a set-apart life. This is an example of using the emotional appeal of the brand as an affect tactic. And by the audience cognitively rationalizing the benefit of a cool lifestyle they can get, they will respond to the video by purchasing Diesel products.

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