The surge of collective intelligence

by annabellajoske


Collective intelligence has been around since the dawn of time, but now due to technological advancements there has been a shift in how it is affecting society. One industry in particular that has had to deal with this modification is advertisers. Collective intelligence has become the sculptor over the traditional marketing model remodeling it into a brave new world of digital. Those within the industry resistant to the emergence are being left in the wake generated by the digital tidal wave crashing modern society. Albeit, there are indeed many within the industry who are happy to strap on their surfboards and enjoy the ride.


 One man who is ‘hanging ten’ upon this powerful surge of opportunity, is Giles Montgomery. In his campaign Collective Intelligence, he talks of his previous frustrations with the traditionalist agencies and their stringent culture. He believes the advancements in collective intelligence should be embraced, as it will allow advertisers to build something better and more agile.


“Old-school advertisers would feel threatened by the thought of opening up their process: we feel invigorated. Our vision of an open and agile process is perfectly articulated by a concept called ‘collective intelligence’.” Montgomery, G. (2008)


The profession of advertising is primarily focused on developing the most creative and effective marketing solutions for clients. As a result of this new digital era, advertisers are finally waking up to the possibility that is in store. A parallel universe full of prosperity and human potential where advertisers have now have the means to gather the best people around the world, including the client and consumer, and work together to form the best possible solutions.


Yet why are humans spending their time and talent on contributing to these public free resources? Since when did humans feel complacent doing something for nothing, other than their own personal satisfaction? Montgomery believes it is due to the human need to make a difference in the world, no matter how small.  He deems this as the reason why our ancestors put up wall paintings- to fulfill the human instinct to want to leave a mark in the world.


Jamais Cascio, an ethical futurist specialising in design strategies for possible outcomes of future scenarios quotes: “Nobody’s going to fix the world for us, but working together, making use of technological innovations and human communities alike, we might just be able to fix it ourselves.” (Cascio, 2013) This quote epitomizes the collective intelligence of today. Thanks to an abundance of communication tools, we as a society are breaking through into a world devoid of rigorous structure and rules. This collective intelligence allows for a new kind of openness. This is bringing out the good in society, where mundane civilians are now being utilized by some of the biggest companies in the world


An example of this was the strategic advertising effort by the prestigious car dealer, Chevy. The brand invited consumers to create their own commercials for the newly released Tahoe. This resourceful move resulted in an array of creative and entertaining (whilst not always flattering) videos click here to watch. This generated a lot of free advertising and buzz for the brand (Donaton, S. (2006). Furthermore, it provoked consumers to feel a newfound respect for the brand, as they allowed for an open dialogue (even if not all was positive) about their products.

Conclusively collective intelligence has shifted the advertising industry into a digital era where advertisers are building stronger and more effective connections with its consumers and clients. This in turn is building a bridge that reaches to more creative and collective solutions to marketing problems.




Cascio, J. (2013, 05 13). Jamais Cascio. Retrieved 10 20, 2013, from


Donaton, S. (2006). How to thrive in new world of user-created content: Let go. Advertising Age, 77(18), 38. Retrieved from


Interactive Advertising Bureau . (2008, 04). User-Generated Content, Social Media and Advertising . Retrieved 10 17, 2012, from Interactive Advertising Bureau :


Montgomery, G. (2008). COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE. Campaign , 19. Retrieved from