On the morning of July 12th, filmmaker and self-professed “video contest junkie,” John Scaletta received a surprising e-mail from Mofilm.com. Mofilm just wanted to let him know that his 2nd place winning Chevy entry from the Mofilm Tribeca competition would be airing on FOX that night….in the middle of the MLB All-Star Game.
John, his producing partner Craig Bass and his family and friends were left in shock. At no point had Chevy or Mofilm ever mentioned that something like this might happen. But sure enough, their ad played right in the middle of one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Here is is:
2nd Place winner, Mofilm’s Tribeca Competition. Prize: $4,000
It’s really an excellent short film and I can’t believe it didn’t take first place. But John and Craig have done several fantastic video contest entries in the last year and a half. Maybe you remember this ad they created for last year’s big Godaddy contest. It won an honorable mention spot, $15,000 and also aired on TV:
And the duo also won a 2nd Honorable mention in the 2nd installment of Godaddy’s contest with this commercial. Except the prize for that one was $25,000! And yes…this ad also ran on TV for a while.
So that’s three national commercials in about 18 months. That’s pretty damn impressive. I saw those 2 Godaddy ads run a bunch of times on cable. And this year, 11 Million people watched the MLB Allstar game! If you want to learn more about how these guys operate, here’s a neat (but long) news story about John and Craig’s video contest adventures. Watch it if you like to feel jealous!
Though January is already 19 days old it still feels like we’re in that gray area between the old year and the new. So before we get too deep into 2011 I thought we could take a look back at the top video contest entries of 2010.
Now I could ramble on for a paragraph or two about how much video contests changed in 2010, the record-breaking amounts of money that were won and the ways technology has enabled freelance filmmakers to create more professional looking videos. And then I could top it off by explaining why it’s a safe bet to say that User-generated content is going to be an important part of the future of advertising and blah, blah, blah. But anyone reading this probably already knows all that stuff! The factors I just listed are the reasons we all keep making video contest entries; the money and exposure are awesome and the rewards just keep keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
So let’s skip the exposition and get right to the good stuff; VCN’s VIDEO CONTEST ENTRY OF THE YEAR! Now I know what you’re thinking…it’s got to be “Underdog,” the Crash the Super Bowl entry that aired during the Super Bowl, scored #2 on the USA Today Ad Meter and won its creators a $600,000 bonus, right? Wrong! That choice would be to easy. Instead I’ve decided to recognize a different 2010 Crash the Super Bowl winner; SNACK ATTACK SAMURAI by Ben Krueger and Cole Koehler!
2010 Crash the Super Bowl finalist. Prize: $25,000 and aired during the Super Bowl:
So why Snack Attack Samurai? Well to start, it’s a great ad, it made it to the Crash the Super Bowl finals and it scored enough votes to air during the 2010 Super Bowl. But this humble, little video earns top honors this year not because of how much money it won (just $25,000!) but because of what it accomplished. By a fluke of timing, Snack Attack Samurai wound up playing near the end of last year’s Super Bowl right during a particularly exciting moment in the game. The next day, Nielson announced that the ad wound up being the MOST WATCHED COMMERCIAL IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION.
Like I said, this sort of happened by chance but it is still an incredible accomplishment. 100 Million people in the United States saw this ad on Super Sunday. That’s 1 out of 3 Americans. More people saw that first airing of Snack Attack Samurai than saw Avatar during its entire theatrical run. So why is this a big deal? It’s a big deal because in the roughly 80 year history of television, the commercial that wound up with the biggest audience ever wasn’t made by a team of marketing geniuses from Madison Avenue and it wasn’t produced by a humongous production company and it didn’t feature any big name stars. It was made by two dudes in Minnesota and it cost a tiny fraction of what most regular TV commercials cost. And here’s the craziest part of all…..those 100 million viewers? THEY DIDN’T CARE WHO MADE THE AD OR WHERE IT CAME FROM. Though a lot of them probably knew Snack Attack Samurai was part of the Crash the Super Bowl contest, to most viewers it was just another Super Bowl commercial. And to me folks, that means we’re entering an age when there aren’t any more “big guys” and “little guys;” there will only be the “talented” and the “untalented.” The playing field is getting very even, very quickly.
So that’s why Snack Attack Samurai gets our “entry of the year award.” But what was the BEST contest entry of the year? Well, chances are you’ve probably never seen this one. Our pick for the Best entry of 2010 was a short film called NUIT BLANCHE. It won first place and 100 grand in LG’s “Life’s Good” oneline film fest. The goal of the contest was to create an HD video based on the theme, “Life’s Good.” Though I suspect that Nuit Blanche wasn’t specifically shot for the contest it’s undeniably awesome and was THE BEST VIDEO CONTEST ENTRY OF THE YEAR:
Grand Prize Winner, LG’s Life’s Good HD Film Fest. Prize: $100,000:
Crazy right?? If you wanna have your mind blow, check out this “making of Nuit Blanche” video. Pretty much every effect was done digitally which means in 5 years, high school kids will probably be making videos with equally sophisticated effects.
Next up, here’s THE BIGGEST WINNER OF 2010. Yep, it’s UNDERDOG from the Crash the Super Bowl contest.
Crash the Super Bowl winner. Prizes: Won $625,000 and aired during the Super Bowl:
I think this video might also deserve the unofficial title of “Beardy’s Favorite Winner of the year.” The $600,000 that Underdog won was technically a bonus for scoring well on the USA Today Ad meter. Those bonuses were not guaranteed so you could also consider our next ad to be the “Biggest Winner of the year.” But let’s call this one THE WINNER OF THE BIGGEST GUARANTEED CONTEST PRIZE. It’s entitled “Russell’s Notebook and it won first place and $250,000 in the big Godaddy summer video contest.
Grand Prize Winner, Godaddy Summer contest. Prize: $250,000:
Can't embed this one so click to view
$250,000 by the way happens to the be largest guaranteed video contest prize EVER. The ad has also supposedly played on TV but I haven’t seen it air myself.
Next up, here’s THE MOST VIRAL VIDEO CONTEST ENTRY OF 2010:
Crash the Super Bowl Finalist. Prize: Won $25,000 and aired during the Super Bowl:
EVERYBODY (and their Momma) has watched and re-watched this ad. I didn’t like it when I first saw it but it really grew on me. Doritos really knew what they were during when they picked House Rules as a finalist last year. The ad became a viral hit even before the Super Bowl and to date it’s been viewed almost 10 Million times on the Crash the Super Bowl youtube channel alone.
So those were the big winners of 2010. But here’s a quick list of some of the other video contest entries that scored big last year.
These two commercials were made for a Poptent Assignment for Quiznos. The ads wound up airing on TV for months and they are so well made that I’m guessing few viewers would ever guess they weren’t produced by Quizno’s regular ad firm:
VALUE MENU! Purchased by Quiznos. Price: $7,500.
U-543. Purchased by Quiznos. Price: $7,500.
Godaddy actually ran two big video contests in 2010; a “Spring” contest and a “Summer” contest. The winner of the “Spring” contest and $100,000 was entitled “Go Momma” and the ad aired on TV a bit. But I think the big winner of that contest was actually the SECOND Place ad; FingerFighting.com:
Second Place Winner, Godaddy Spring Contest. Prize: $50,000:
Though Fingerfighting.com won less money, Godaddy aired it on TV like crazy. I still see it run every once in a while! And the Phoenix-based filmmakers who made it actually won another $25,000 runner-up prize in Godaddy’s Summer Contest with an ad called Isawbigfoot.co. I talked to the director of the ad a few weeks back and he said Godaddy is actually airing the ad in India.
Here’s another video contest entry that made it to TV. This promo was shot for a Zooppa-run contest for TMZ and won first place.
First Place Winner, TMZ promo contest. Prize: $10,000:
First Place Winner, Are You Debit Smart Contest. Prize: $5,000:
HUMAN HEAD. Purchased by Fed-ex via Poptent’s Fed-Ex assignment. Price: $5,000.
1/20 UPDATE: A reader sent me a link to this video that won the Mofilm American Idol Walmart competition. Apparently this ad even aired during the American Idol Finale. It’s pretty good. Prizes won include a trip to LA, tickets to the American Idol finale and thousands of dollars in cash and Walmart Gift cards.
Man oh man…I think I really overdid things this weekend. So much candy…so much beer…so much wig hair clinging to my face. (i was a viking.) I got so sidetracked by halloween that I’ve totally been slacking on covering one of the biggest pieces of Video Contest News of the year; the announcement of the winners of Godaddy.com’s massive summer video contest. Readers have been asking me if I was going to comment on the results and I will…but just not until after I re-cooperate a bit. (I had a shoot yesterday and today so I’m really backlogged on my re-cooperating.) Anyways, a friend of the site suggested that I do a new post so that readers could share their thoughts about the winning godaddy videos. I think that’s an awesome idea so that’s what I’m doing right now.
So click the link below and watch all the winning ads. Then come back here to share your thoughts, complaints, jealous rantings etc. in the comment section of this post. Like I’ve said, I’ll have more to say about the contest soon so look for a more detailed post to come in a couple days.
UPDATE: As I mentioned last week (when we totally got it right when we announced the leaked name of the winning godaddy entry) I really like the first place winning commercial Russell’s Notebook. It was easily the best video submitted. Our pals over at my favorite website onlinevideocontests.com did an interview with the Russell’s Notebook team. Check it out to learn how they were able to pull off such an ambitious and cool entry:
UPDATE #2: Oh wow. I just checked our traffic logs and VCN got a record number of visitors during the month of October! Thanks to the interest in the godaddy contest, October’s traffic just barely beat out January’s when we got a ton of Crash the Superbowl-related traffic. If you’re new to the site, thanks for visiting! If you like what you see, why not bookmark us or subscribe to our RSS feed?
Yesterday I posted the news that Godaddy had postponed the announcement of the winners of their humongous until October 27th. According to the contest site, the winners were originally supposed to be announced “on or around October 18th.”
After the post went up I got a tip from a reader that said that some or all of the winners of the contest had been notified. Now if you just won a giant cash prize in a video contest, what’s the first thing you’d do? Call your mom? Sure, ok. Then what? You’d probably start spreading the good news across the tweet-o-sphere, right? Well I checked twitter and the word about who won is out, big time. So here, one week early is the grand prize winner of the Summer Edition of the Godaddy commercial contest!
Godaddy First Place Winner. Prize: $250,000:
You’ll have to wait until next week to see the “web only version” I suppose. Now I watched all 215 entries in this contest and “Russel’s Notebook” is probably the video I would have picked as the first place winner too. It looks amazing, it has a ton of production value and the song is even kind of catchy. And tapping into Glee phenomenon was just a stroke of genius. So it’s no surprise at all that this won. But what is surprising is who made this video. It was created by a group called Wayside Creations. Wayside Creations is the team behind the very excellent IndyMogul.com and the web series Back Yard FX! I actually have Indy Mogul listed in our side bar under “Video Contest Resources” because it’s such a great site. Last year, I even won $2,000 in a video contest using muppet-like puppets I learned how to build thanks to an episode of Back Yard FX. So if you’ve never checked out the site, it has a lot of very handy tricks for low-budget filmmakers on there.
Speaking of low-budget, I just checked the Indy Mogul forum and apparently, this entry only cost about $500 to produce. Amazing. But obviously, the filmmakers probably have a ton of resources at their disposal. So today’s lesson is this; if you have good gear and skilled people who know how to use it, you don’t need to spend a ton of money to make a great video.
I checked our web stats this morning and I was surprised to see that we got a big spike in traffic yesterday. It only took me a second to realize why; yesterday was October 18th. And “on or around October 18th” was supposed to be day that Godaddy.com announced the winners of their gigantic “summer” commercial contest. But the 18th came and went with no announcement. We don’t have any scoops for you about who won but I just checked the Godaddy website and the contest page has been changed. It now says:
WINNERS ANNOUNCED: On or around October 27, 2010 at GoDaddy.com
So if you entered this contest and figured you’d lost because you hadn’t been contacted yet it seems you’ve still got a shot. The odds are still really stacked against you though! I just did a quick count and it looks like Godaddy recived 215 entries this time around. Sure, last time Godaddy ran a video contest they got over 500 entries but keep in mind, that first contest was only for 30 second commercials. For this one, filmmakers had to create up to 120 seconds worth of content. I’m kind of amazed that so many people would be willing to do so much work for free. 215 two-minute entries equal 860 thirty-second entries!
We’ll post and review all the winning ads as soon as they’re announced so be sure to check back here on (or around) October 27th.