Crowdsourced Campaign Asks Beach Boys Fans to Contribute Solos

Capitol Records and Fender have launched an online campaign asking Beach Boy fans to contribute a unique guitar solo for a track recently uncovered from the California band’s archives.

The revamped version of Goin’ To The Beach—a song by Mike Love that was originally recorded without a lead guitar track in 1979—is part of promotional efforts centered around Made in California a box set that will be released by Capitol on August 27, to celebrate the iconic band’s 50th anniversary. The six-CD set will include rarities, unreleased songs and evergreen Beach Boys tunes.

Would-be guitar heroes have until September 20, to upload their solos over Tongal, an online platform that enables people to bid for creative projects. The Beach Boys and Capitol will judge the entries, choosing one grand prize winner, whose version of the song will be featured as an alternate take available online over online music outlets. The winner will also receive a custom Made in California Stratocaster signed by the Beach Boys and a prize pack from Fender and Capitol. Another nine finalists will also receive prizes for their efforts.

Also as part of the promotion for the box set, Tongal is soliciting ideas for a video project related to the song California Feeling. About 157 such ideas had been submitted at press time for the video and about five finished guitar solos submitted since the campaign launched last week, according to James De Julio, co-founder and president of Tongal.

De Julio—who proclaims himself a huge Beach Boys fan—says the project is part of an expanding area for the company since it hired Dennis Wolfe, former Capitol A&R head, to help develop videos for the music industry. Wolfe serves as Tongal’s vice president of music content and partnerships. “Consumers are discovering music in a different way. Their number one discovery mechanism is YouTube and labels need to feed that,” says De Julio.

Tongal’s initial focus was on helping brands gather ideas and video content. McDonald’s, Benjamin Moore, Pringles, Ace Hardware, and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky have all sourced content over the platform, which De Julio says has around 50,000 participating members worldwide.

“Our job is to get companies to move away from thinking about fixed creative towards on demand resources. They can empower people out there to do the work for them. It’s a neat process for developing creative work,” he says.

The platform asks writers, directors, actors, and animators to submit ideas for creative projects, described in 140, 250 or 500 characters. If the idea is chosen by the client, submitters receive a residual payment of between $250 and $1000, as well as points on Tongal’s leaderboard, which qualifies them for monetary prizes based on number of points. Creative folks can also submit videos based on a chosen idea, for which the winners get anywhere from $1000-$25,000.

Pringles for example, used Tongal to solicit ideas for a video series it calls Force for Fun, based around a Darth Vader theme. One of the winning videos shows an elaborate fight between a valiant office worker and Darth Vader to protect a co-worker’s honor, which at video’s end turns out to be just the office worker by himself pretending his Pringle’s can is a light saber.

Currently on Tongal, Lego City is looking for ideas around airports and the coastguard, Secret Antiperspirant is seeking a video that uses hashtags to tell a story about heat and stress, and Colgate is asking for a video geared to Spanish speakers that will promote its Colgate Sensitive Pro Alivio toothpaste.

In January, Tongal announced that it had received $15 million in venture funding from a group led by Insight Venture Partners.

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