Victors and Spoils

Prof. Mike Tushman Follow@michaeltushman
Prof. Mike Tushman

In this weekend’s NYT Magazine, broccoli got a make-over, thanks to Victors and Spoils, a division of Havas Worldwide.  While ad agencies are changing the way Americans eat–for the better–Victors and Spoils is doing the same for its own industry.  What the NYT Magazine article glossed over was that Victors and Spoils is the first agency to apply crowd-sourcing techniques to their process.

V&S is disrupting the ad agency model by bringing mass ideation from crowdsourcing and applying heavy curation.  In 2011, they had over 5000 creative professionals in their database. They take the raw materials from this crowd and then develop the most promising ideas for their clients. Producers are ranked; the more successful you are, the better your reputation within the community. Eventually, those with proven ability get the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and lead projects. Once promoted, creatives get an up-front payment for what they produce.

What’s particularly interesting is that Victors and Spoils will take a brief, determine what type of team they need, and piece together individuals from their database to create the best ad-hoc team.  They are no longer bound to the same x number of  people within their agency. (There’s a great panel discussion on youtube that covers this in more detail).

The crowd-sourcing model has the potential to disrupt other industries as well, and not just start-ups.  Lego is doing it.  Harley Davidson is doing it.  BMW and Fiat are doing it, too.  What are your favorite examples of companies that are using crowd-sourced techniques to transform their industries?


Professor at Harvard Business School and co-founder of Change Logic, a strategic execution consultancy based in Boston, MA.

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Posted in Advertising, Crowdsourcing, Michael Tushman

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