Poptent's Crowdsourcing Model Spotlights Freelance Creators

When a client needs a commercial produced, they turn to Conshohocken's Poptent. Then, Poptent turns to its Web community of ambitious producers.

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Poptent’s Charelle Brown, Chris Vasquez, Jessica Scarane and Monica O at the company’s Conshohocken operations center. (Photo by Jared Castaldi)
During last year’s Super Bowl, Dannon aired a commercial for its Oikos Greek yogurt featuring John Stamos. It begins with the middle-aged heartthrob seductively accepting a spoonful from an equally attractive actress. He then takes the spoon, seemingly to return the favor. When he doesn’t, his glaring companion is none too happy.

The understated 30-second spot was created by Poptent, a video production company with main offices in San Clemente, Calif., and Conshohocken. If you frequent the Internet, you’ve probably seen its work, about 80 percent of which is Web-based. Clients include Dannon, Amazon, American Express, FedEx and GE. Locally, there have been deals with Nutrisystem, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Campbell’s.

Poptent specializes in crowdsourcing, or finding the talent for its projects through appeals on the Internet. Since its inception in 2007, the company has grown its online community to more than 50,000 professional and amateur creators—animators, cinematographers, directors, writers and more. There are no membership fees.

In the case of the Dannon commercial, it was a 21-year-old college graduate from Weehawken, N.J., who submitted the original idea. He even directed the final version of the spot.

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