Here is the MUST ENTER video contest of the summer!

Usually when I learn about a really juicy video contest, I try to keep the news to myself.  But today I leaned about a contest that is so gigantic and that has so many prizes I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share the details.  Even though it’s only June I think we can safely call this the Must Enter contest of the summer.

NOTE:  I don’t want anyone affiliated with this contest to find and read this article.  So I’m adding hashtags to certain keywords to throw off google.

The contest in question is Lo#tus Bakeries “Your P#erfect Kick” challenge.  I’ve never heard of Lo#tus bakeries but I guess they make little cookies that go with coffee and tea.  They teamed up with a soccer star named Ed#en Ha#zard (whom I’ve also never heard of) and challenged him to kick a soccer ball futbol through a tiny opening in a giant wall of coffee cups….

Now the sponsor wants YOU to film your own creative “perfect” kick.  Ok, I know what you’re thinking; soccer is dumb.  Yeah, it is.  But you know what’s not dumb?  A trip for 2 to London.  And you know what’s really, REALLY not dumb?  50 TRIPS FOR TWO TO LONDON.

That’s right: the sponsor is going to send 100 people to London to have a meet-and-greet with Ed#en Haz#ard.  For a free trip to England you can bloody well pretend to get excited to meet a soccer player you’ve never heard of.  Now, there are a few catches here; the first is that not all 100 people will win plane tickets to London.  It seems like the sponsors expect a lot of winners to come from Europe.  And those folks will only get their ground transportation covered.  But I bet Lot#us has enough money set aside to fly in at least 25 pairs of winners.  So if the judges really like your entry, they’ll be able to cover your plane tickets.  The other catch in this contest is that you only get one free night in a hotel in London.  So if you want to stay longer you’ll need to spend a few hundred bucks and/or pounds of your own.  But in a way, this is actually good news.  I think it shows that the sponsor expects a lot of winners to come from the UK area.  (and that would free up more travel money for winners from the US.)  So anyway, don’t think of this as an all-expenses paid trip to England.  Think of it as a highly subsidized trip to London.

Here’s some info about how the winners will be chosen:

“The winners of the Contest will be selected as follows: a jury, composed of three members including Ed#en Ha#zard  (or a member of the Ed#en Ha#zard management), a member of the Organizer and a member of T#BWA, will select 50 winners from all valid entries based on the quality, the creativity, the fun factor and the general appeal of the uploaded video. The selection of the winners shall occur during July 2016”

So basically you just have to shoot a “fun” video of yourself shooting a soccer ball.  And actually, you can enter as many times as you want!  So if you can think of 20 different trick shots you can go ahead and shoot 20 entries.

The deadline for this monster contest is June 30.  So you better hurry up and get kickin’!  You can find more details and a link to the contest site HERE.

Doritos announces the FINAL installment of the Crash the Super Bowl contest!


After nine years, 8 installments, 32,000 entries and $7,000,000 in prizes, Frito-Lay and PepsiCo have finally decided to retire the Crash the Super Bowl contest….after they run it just one more time!  Here’s what Frito-Lay’s VP of marketing Jeff Klein said about the company’s plans for 2016:

“We’re giving consumers one last shot to make their mark and see their homemade ads air during the Super Bowl broadcast,” J, said in a statement. “This is truly last call for all of those who not only want a shot at $1 million — but want a chance to jump-start their career in Hollywood.”

Frito-Lay claims that this will be the “most audacious” installment yet but it seems like they’ve actually scaled back the promotion this year.  Doritos usually picks 5 finalists and gives them each $25,000 and sends them to the Super Bowl.  Then Doritos airs at least two fan-made ads and the directors win either $1,000,000 (if they won the online voting) or $500,000 (if their ad was picked by the judges).  But this year there will only be 3 finalists and only one of their ads will make it to air.

But there is some good news here; this year there will be 50 semi-finalists and each one of them will $2,000.  I think that’s a great way to spread the fun (and wealth) around a little.  The finalists are getting bigger prizes too.  Instead of $25,000, the two non-winning finalists will recive $100,000 a piece.  And finally the grand prize winner will a get million bucks PLUS they’ll be offer an “epic gig” working with Zach Snyder, DC comics and Warner Brothers.

Because this is sorta the 10th anniversary of the CTSB contest (it was first launched in the fall of 2006) I had a feeling Doritos would be retiring the promotion this year.  Consumer-Generated content just isn’t as raw and exciting as it used to be.  Nine years ago it was big news that an “average Joe” would get to see his commercial air during the Super Bowl.  But we live in a viral culture now and we’re all used to the idea that some regular guy or gal from Nowheresville, Oklahoma can be a “star.”  Plus technology has advanced a lot in 10 years and some homemade ads look just as good as “real” TV commercials.  So the cutesy, low-budget gimmick became irrelevant a long time ago.

But ultimately it was probably money that killed the Crash the Super Bowl contest.  This year CBS is raising the price of 30-second Superbowl ads from $4.5 Million to $5 to $6 Million a piece.  It’s just too risky for FritoLay to buy $12,000,000 of ad time and then HOPE that they get at least two great, Super Bowl-worthy ads every year.

So it’s kinda too bad that the contest is ending but I do think that Frito-Lay made the right call.  I also think it was a genius move to announce the end of the contest before running the final installment.  The last CTSB contest ever is going to garner a huge amount of attention and I think the competition this year will be fierce.

The Crash the Super Bowl rules are already up and it looks like the site is actually excepting entries.  But I’d hold off on shooting anything for now.  You’ve got a long, long time to get your ideas ready; the deadline for entries is November 15th, which, according to the little counter at the top of the contest site, is 66 days, 2 hours and 20 minutes from now:

When will Doritos announce the 2016 Crash the Super Bowl contest?

The Crash will be back soon....better start training your dog now.
The Crash will be back soon….better start training your dog now.

Did you know that web traffic dips sharply in the summertime?  Isn’t that nice?  It means that millions of people are shutting off their computers and going to beaches and BBQs and Burning Men festivals.  For most of the summer VCN only gets about 2,000 page views a week.  But every year like clockwork that number shoots up during the 2nd week in August.

I just checked my web stats and the annual traffic phenomenon is once again in progress.  This late summer spike is always caused by the same thing; The Crash the Super Bowl contest.  Once summer starts to wind down, thousands of Doritos fans simultaneously realize that it’s almost time for FritoLay to announce the new installment of The Crash.  I’m not really sure why this happens.  Maybe people start thinking about football and that causes them to think about the Super Bowl and that makes them think about the contest?  Well, if you’re one of those aforementioned Doritos fans and if you’ve been scouring the web for details about this year’s contest, you’ve come to the right place.  Here are a few A’s for your Frequently Asked Q’s….

Q:  Will the Crash the Super Bowl contest happen again this year?

A:  Yes.  There hasn’t been a formal announcement but I’ve heard from multiple sources that the Crash will be back this fall.  In fact, it will probably be the biggest CTSB contest yet since 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the first Crash.

Q:  When will Doritos announce the contest?

A:  The company usually announces the return of the contest in early/mid-September.

Q:  When does the contest actually begin?

A:  The full details of The Crash are revealed in early October.  Doritos starts accepting entries the same day the rules are announced.

Q:  When is the Crash the Super Bowl deadline?

A:  The deadline is usually a few days before Thanksgiving.

Q:  Should I start working on my entry now!?!?

A:  No!  For Glob’s sake wait until the rules are announced!  You never know….this year Doritos might ask for entries that only feature Cool Ranch chips.  So just chill out for a few more weeks; Doritos season will be here before you know it….

MofilmPro goes public


Most video contest/spec commercial sites occasionally run semi-secret “pro” contests that aren’t exactly open to the public.  Companies love these pro contests because they’re guaranteed to get professional-looking videos.  But any mid-sized production company can deliver a decent web ad.  So I guess some sponsors go out of their way to hire video contest filmmakers because they also want their ads to have an organic, crowdsource-y feel to them.

Only the best and most successful members of sites like Mofilm, Tongal and Poptent ever get invited to participate in these contests.  But now Mofilm is experimenting with a public version of their Pro assignments.  Right now they’re accepting ideas from all members of the Mofilm community for a contest sponsored by Dove.  Here are the details:

At this stage we’re looking for great filmmakers with a great subject. We are not looking for detailed treatments, just the basic outline of your story.

Step 1) Download the brief and read it carefully.

Step 2) Submit your idea for a film via the submission form above before the deadline. You must include a picture of the planned subject of your film.  Don’t forget to include your showreel or previous MOFILM work.

After reviewing the submissions, Dove and MOFILM will select six to move into the second stage and develop into full, detailed treatments.  From these six treatments, three will be chosen to move forward into production and awarded the production budget of $20,000 to make their film. One of the three commissioned will also join MOFILM to celebrate at the LA event in November!

There is a $500 fee paid for those who complete a treatment, this will be included in the production budget for those treatments selected for production.

I’m not sure how much of that $20K the filmmaker gets to keep for himself.  And what happens if they don’t spend the entire budget?  If I was selected for this I’d probably pay my mom two grand to do craft services and then I’d pay all my friends $100 each to focus test my video.  And that right there is reason #23 and #24 why I never get selected for these types of contests.  Of course reason #1 is that I’m a my Mofilm track record suuucks.  I’ve entered maybe three or four mofilm contests over the years and I’ve never placed once. And I actually won production grants for some of those videos!  Actually, I think those grants are what really messed me up.  I’m used to shooting videos for like $80 so if someone gives me $1,500 my natural low-budget style gets all screwed up.  So anyway, I probably won’t apply for the Dove contest but you should because you’re awesome and I love you and goddammit I believe in you!

You can find the listing for the Dove contest (and I assume future MofilmPro contests) at the bottom of their Live Briefs page:

That old car is worth money! Victory Auto Wreckers launches video contest to find a replacement for their 30-year old ad

Ok, this story is only going to be interesting to people who grew up in the Chicagoland area.  A junkyard in Bensenville has been running the same commercial for 30-freaking- years.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have seen this ad THOUSANDS of times in my life.  The phrase “That old car is worth money….” has been echoing in my brain since I was in the 2nd grade.  The commercial used to air during mid-day reruns of Gilligan’s Island and I Dream of Genie so every time I see it I’m reminded of those lazy afternoons in the 80’s when I got to stay home sick from school.  And now those knuckleheads at Victory Auto Wreckers want to replace it!  The company is running a video contest to find their new ad.  I know this because 3 people posted the link on my facebook page today.  But I’m going to boycott this contest because I think this ad should run for another million years.  Also the grand prize is only $500!  But hey, I guess that’s actually a pretty good deal.  I bet the guy in the original ad got way less than five hundred bucks and the sponsor managed to get a hell of a lot of mileage out of his work.