Video Contest News Video Contest News – Featuring News about Video Contests!

VCN turns 5!

I already ate the cake that was under this candle

I already ate the cake that was under this candle

Happy blogiversary to me!  Video Contest News is now FIVE years old.  That’s bananas, isn’t it??  If VCN was a human he’d be ready for kindergarten.  (Lucky for me VCN is just a website because I don’t have money to blow on stupid school supplies.)  It was five years ago today on September 1st, 2009 when I first registered the domain,  Even after all these years it still feels kinda weird that I run a website that people actually read.  I just checked my traffic stats and in the last 12 months, VCN had 129,000 Unique Visits and 170,000 Page Views.  Sure, about 20% of that traffic was probably spammers trying to leave the same comments about “Free V1agrxa” over and over but hey, 80% of 129K ain’t nothing to sneeze at.  Thanks to all of you for reading the site and here’s to 5 more years of!  LOL/JK.  There’s no way VCN will still be around 5 years from now.  In fact, the entire video contest “industry” will probably be collapsing soon.  By 2019, computers will be so powerful that brands will be able to cut out the middlemen (filmmakers) and generate all their ads digitally.  But that nightmarish reality is still a few years away.  So I’ll be here bloggin’ my butt off until The Computers finally render all us meatbags obsolete!



Voting is open in Lays’ 2014 “Do Us a Flavor” contest



What’s your favorite candy?  Licorice?  Milky Ways?  Gummi Bears?  Well my favorite candy are those chocolate covered marshmallow pumpkins that some stores sell around Halloween.  It’s a tough “favorite candy” because like I said, you can only get them for a few weeks a year.  Sure, most stores also sell chocolate covered marshmallow Santas, hearts and Easter eggs but they’re just not the same. Plus there are no good candy-related holidays during the summer.  So the last few months have been pretty tough for me.  But a few days ago I was at Walgreens and saw that they were already putting out their Halloween stuff.  I went to the end of the isle and there they were!  Row after row of chocolate covered marshmallow pumpkins!  I guess they’ve gotten pretty popular because there were even a bunch of new flavors like “pecan pie” and “red velvet.”

I snagged a few of these wonderful little guys and headed to the register.  While I waited in line I started thinking about all the crazy new pumpkin flavors I would inevitably try this season.  And then I looked down by the register and a very different kind of new-flavor combination caught my eye.  It was a bag of cappuccino flavored Lays potato chips.

A flash of revulsion quickly gave way to confusion; why would Lays create such a disturbing flavor of chips?  Then it hit me; this must be one of the finalists in Lays’ 2014 “Do Us a Flavor” contest.

I checked Lays’ website when I got home and it turns out that the company has already picked their four finalist flavors.  They are Cappuccino, Bacon Mac & Cheese, Wavy Mango Salsa and Wasabi Ginger.  All four flavors were based on ideas submitted by fans.  Lays is now producing these new combinations and though the website says that voting started in late July, this was the first time I’ve seen the chips in the wild.

The flavor that gets the most votes will win a million dollars OR 1% of the net sales generated by that flavor between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015, whichever is greater.  The other three finalists will get $50,000 each.  I think it’s safe to say that Bacon Mac & Cheese is pretty much a shoo-in but if you’d like to vote anyway, head here:  Just be aware that your votes will automatically be posted on your facebook page.

Post-Script:  I know this post has nothing to do with video contests but it’s a huge contest so I figured I’d write about it anyway.

Post Script 2:  Next time you’re at Walgreens could pick me up some marshmallow pumpkins?  I snapped a cell phone pic so feel free to use it as a reference guide.  Pumpkins from box numbers 2, 5, 9, 10, 11 and 13 will be acceptable.  Thanks.

Now that...that is "yum."

Yum?  Yes.  Yum.



When will Doritos announce the 2015 Crash the Super Bowl contest?


Dorito Time draws near…

VCN always sees a quick and sharp increase in traffic in late August.  All those new visitors are looking for information about the same thing; the Crash the Super Bowl contest.  So every year I post answers to a few Doritos-related FAQS:

Q:  Is Doritos running the Crash the Super Bowl contest again this year?

A:  Honestly….I have no idea!  The marketing team at FritoLay keeps all the contest details secret while they’re planning the next installment.  But I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the contest will be back for 2014-2015.  Doritos recently brought back a few of the commercials that won the CTSB contest in 2013 and 2014 (e.g. the one about the dad and daughter princess party and the one where the cowboy kid rides the dog like a horse) and I think they’re re-running those ads to kind of remind their fans that it’s almost CTSB time again.

Q:  When will Doritos announce the 2015 Crash the Super Bowl contest?

A:  If the contest is coming back again then FritoLay will probably announce the details in early to mid-september.  Last year they made their announcement on September 12th but the contest didn’t official open until October 8th.  The deadline for submissions was November 24th.

Q:  Do you think I should start working on my entry now?

A:  No.  People actually e-mail me and ask this question all year-round.  Some filmmakers get a good idea in their head and they want to shoot their entry weeks or months before the contest is announced.  But that’s a bad idea.  You should wait to find out if The Crash is even coming back before you shoot anything.  Plus you never know; FritoLay may decide to change the theme of the contest in some way.  It would really suck if you shot an entry about Nacho Cheese Doritos only to find out that this year the judges only want to see Cool Ranch commercials.

So that’s all I got.  You now know everything I know about the 2015 Crash the Super Bowl contest.  But keep checking VCN and I’ll post new information as soon as it comes in.



Zooppa’s 7-11 contest named “Best Advertising Online Campaign” of the year

This news is a few months old but the details are interesting so I thought it deserved a post. Back in April, The Web Marketing Association gave Zooppa and 7-11 an award for running the “Best Advertising Online Campaign” of the year.  I’ll cut and paste the press release below.  Take note of the numbers at the end of the announcement:

Zooppa is a crowdsourcing platform with over 230,000 creative members – The Integer group and 7-Eleven came to Zooppa to have their community create UGC around the following mission:

“Create a 15 second video about Slurpee drinks and video games and the amazing, wonderful, ridiculous things that happen when they come together”.

There were a total of 163 videos submitted and 10 who won a cash pool of $25,000

How the media was used:  The winning videos from the Slurpee/Xbox Zooppa contest were used as pre roll spots across which is a video entertainment network for the gamers. This ran from November 6, 2013 – January 2, 2014.

Campaign objectives:  The campaign objective was to drive gamers to 7-Eleven stores to purchase Slurpee® drinks for rewards points to enter the Slurpee/Xbox Sweepstakes on

Results of the campaign:  The pre-roll assets had about 4.5M impressions at a 1.46% CTR. Also, there were a total of 3.8M video completions at a 78.3% completion rate.

The results of this particular campaign are staggering.  The winning video was used as a pre-roll ad on youtube.  7-11 only paid the creator $10,000 for the work but it generated 4.5 million impressions.  And 78% of viewers watched the ad all the way to the end.  I think these stats prove two things; #1: User-Generated Content is still a freaking amazing bargain and #2: If advertisers want people to watch their pre-roll ads all the way to the end, they need to make them as short as possible.

I checked the 7-11 project page and found the video that won the contest and raked in all those millions of “impressions.”  Here it is:

Click to watch

Click to watch on



Yes kitties, u can haz all the votes and nomz!


Video contests that use online voting to determine the winner always suck.  A lot of contestants flat-out cheat which means the best videos rarely win.  But the folks at Friskies have succeeded in making the voting phase of their cat-themed video contest suck a whole lot less.  The sponsor is donating one can of cat food for every vote that is cast!  Here’s how it works:

With your support, The Friskies 2014 will generate a donation of thousands of cans of Friskies® to 10 partner animal-rescue organizations around the country.

The best thing about it? It couldn’t be easier! Here are the details:  Every time you vote for a video, we donate 1 can of Friskies®, up to 250,000 cans.

It really is THAT simple. With your participation in The Friskies 2014 we are hoping to provide a lot of food for a lot of hungry cats out there! So sit back and relax, watch some videos… then when the time comes get to voting!

I think that’s totally brilliant.  Yeah sure, a lot of contestants will try and cheat but the sponsor has given “the public” a great incentive to vote for their favorite entry.  So the real, un-biased votes should negate any cheating that happens.  And best of all, lots of hungry little kitties will get some tasty num-nums!  So do something good for our feline friends and go vote for your favorite Friskies finalist.

Oh wait, scratch that; it looks like you can vote for EVERY video in the contest!  You don’t even need to register before you vote.  There are 12 finalists so if you go vote for all of them you’ll essentially be donating a dozen cans of cat food in about 6 seconds.  That’s awesome.  Head here to vote right MEOW (heh):  :



Mofilm rocks Chicago!


Mofilm’s 2014 Lollapalooza winners

There are two types of Chicago-landers; those who love Lollapalooza and those who try and avoid it at all costs.  The music festival draws about 300,000 people to the center of the city so the congestion and crowds are a little insane.  I used to belong to the “avoid at all costs” camp but there is one thing that can get me downtown during the first weekend in August; Mofilm’s annual Lollapalooza awards dinner at Smith & Wollensky.  The nice folks at Mofilm always send me an invite and for the first time since 2011 I was actually able to attend.  As always, Mofilm treated their winners like rockstars and threw an awesome little party.  I wish I could post the winning ads but unfortunately the brands haven’t debuted them online yet.  But the first place winners were Nikki Parlane of New Zealand for Friskies, Robert Burdsall of Los Angeles for Cisco, Ilze Myburgh of South Africa for Castrol and Marc Riera Madurga of Barcelona for Boost Energy Drink.

I took a bunch of photos with my cell phone and I was planning on posting them below.  But they didn’t turn out so great so I’ll mix in a bunch of the professional shots that I ganked from Mofilm’s Facebook page.

Cocktail time

Cocktail time

The view at Smith & Wollensky ain't too bad

The view at Smith & Wollensky ain’t too bad


I was tempted to grab this whole thing and run out the door with it


Me and my friend Amelia.  Just out of frame is the giant pile of shrimp I was eating

The Mofilm team

The Mofilm team

The Mofilm awards.

The awards just before they got to meet their new owners


Mofilm’s Richard Cottrell kicks things off

Handing out the awards

Handing out the awards

The winners show off their whale tails

The winners show off their whale tales

Nikki Parlane at Smith & Wollensky Chicago Steakhouse.

The judges gave their grand prize to Nikki Parlane for her Friskies video


Goodnight Chicago!

If you’re feeling a little jealous of these happy folks you might want to head to and try and win one of their current competitions.  They have 17(!) live briefs right now and the winners will all receive trips to destinations like London, New York, Africa and Singapore.


Designed by: Free Cell Phones | Thanks to Highest CD Rates, Domain Registration and Registry Software