Gene Simmons Celebrates Kiss' 40th Anniversary With Crowdsourcing Campaign (Exclusive)

Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons
 AP Images

Gene Simmons is looking for help celebrating the 40th anniversary of Kiss.

The rocker announced Wednesday night that Kiss is launching a campaign on Tongal -- a company that pairs creatives and brands to crowdsource the pitch-and-development process -- asking content creators and fans to submit their best ideas for "how Kiss should celebrate their 40th anniversary in the most epic way possible." 

Typically, Tongal's brand campaigns involve ideation and pitch processes before moving on to an execution stage where a commercial or campaign is produced. Past projects have included a Star Wars-inspired commercial for Pringles and a Speed Stick ad that aired during the 2013 Super Bowl.

But the Kiss project is part of a new service called Left Field, which allows brands to reach out to creators and fans through a 140-character social media call-to-action to help brainstorm ideas. 

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"We've always been about the fans," Simmons tells THR. "Tongal allows our fans to throw out ideas, and you know you're going to make something authentic." 

He adds that the crowdsourcing process at Tongal is not that different from the collaboration within a band. "One person doesn't play every instrument. You contribute where you're skilled." 

Simmons announced the campaign as part of his appearance at Tongal's inaugural award show the Tongies, which was held April 2 at the El Rey Theatre. He handed out the award for best Best Original Song used in a campaign. Other awards included Best Broadcast Spot, Best Comedy, Best Idea and Video of the Year.  

Creatives who participate in Tongal's projects get paid if they submit winning ideas. This year, Tongal expects to pay more than $15 million to its community. 

Tongal co-founder and president James DeJulio says the Kiss campaign represents an opportunity for brands to use the platform to engage fans. 

"Like any great brand, Kiss' fans have supported them and been a part of their lives forever," he adds. "This campaign creates another deep connection with the band." 

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