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Tongal’s amazing “Stuck on Duct Tape” winner

Duct Tape brand Duct Tape?

Sweet jumping Jesus!!  I just randomly checked a random video contest website (Tongal) and randomly picked a random, expired contest (Stuck on Duct Tape) and figured I’d check out the video that came in first. Turns out the ad that won is like one of the greatest freaking video contest entries of all freaking time!  It’s easily the best contest video I’ve seen all year.  It was shot by a filmmaker named David Brashear and I actually recognize his name.  Last year he won a quiznos assignment sponsored by poptent and his commercial was so good the sponsor decided to air it on TV. (Click here to view David’s Quizno’s spot.) Tongal is a little different from most video contest-hosting sites because they run their contests in phases.  In the first phase, people submit ideas and the sponsor picks their favorites.  Then in the second phase, filmmakers go out and shoot the winning ideas.  Technically you can come up with a whole new concept but most people choose to play it safe and shoot the pre-approved ideas.  But in this case, the filmmaker submitted something totally out of left field. Not only is it visually amazing, it has a shocking twist ending.  Watch and be amazed:

First Place Winner.  Prize:  $4,750:

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT S&*% OR WHAT?  All I can say is that $4,750 is NOT enough for a video like that!  Couldn’t they at least round the prize up to an even $5K?  The ad is simply amazing but I do have one criticism.  The actress cast to play the wife of the “guy” is way too hot!  The producer should have tried to cast someone that was at least slightly plausible.  Or hey, maybe she’s not supposed to be the “guy’s” wife.  Maybe she’s like his therapist or live in caretaker or something.  He does kind of treat her like he’s a stubborn mental patient and she’s his frustrated nurse.

To see all the winning Duct Tape videos, head here.  But be warned, after seeing that Tron video everything else is going to be a let down:  http://tongal.com/project/ducktape

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12 Responses to “Tongal’s amazing “Stuck on Duct Tape” winner”

  1. Agreed. Amazing spot!

  2. David Brashear says:

    Thanks for the writeup, Beardy.

    This was a real team effort. So I must give kudos to Drayson Helberg and Tyson James for their awesome stop motion animation and Jason Ragosta for his amazing cinematography.

  3. says:

    Holy fucking shit. That was spectacular and they GOT THE REAL TRON GUY! WHAT A SCORE!!! Brilliant job, guys.

  4. says:


    Wow that was awesome! I always thought that Tron guy was a little annoying as far as youtube celbrities go but now with this ad I love the dude. The creators definitly utilized him pefectly, an the video FX were outstanding!

  5. Shane Free says:

    so good, as a creator myself it really gets me excited to see work at this level coming from consumer generated ads, GREAT WORK!

  6. MP says:

    The stop motion animators who created this animation are Drayson Helberg & Tyson Dale. 2 Academy of Art Students who are two talented guys!

  7. Michael says:

    Um, I’m a little confused; this actually won? If I were any of the other entrants I’d be pissed this wasn’t disqualified. Its well produced but it fundamentally relies on 3rd party copyrighted material. I don’t do contests anymore, but if I did, I would never even conceive of creating something like this for a contest because of the rights issues involved.

    It’s also not quite as good as you claim, nor is the reveal at the end a “surprise;” its really the only direction the spot could go, and was pretty terribly acted.

    Regardless, I don’t see why you’re praising this — VW had to pay a TON of money to use Darth Vader in their Superbowl spot last year, why should someone be given the unfair competitive advantage of stealing well known nerd tropes which also have a recent blockbuster movie attached to them, submitting them to a contest, and then making money off it. This submission is illegal on its face.

  8. Beardy says:


    This video doesn’t violate anyone’s copyrights. The imagery and sound effects were INSPIRED by Tron but they wasn’t stolen from tron. No one owns the rights to colorful things that zip around and leave visible trails behind them. And the tron guy is not Darth Vader. Darth Vader is a famous and copyrighted creation. Tron guy is just a guy in a skintight suit that was inspired by Tron. And at no point, does anyone even mention “Tron” in this video. No one would ever think that this was officially sanctioned by the people who own the rights to tron. It’s a parody ad and parody is 100% protected by the first amendment.

    Also, if you weren’t surprised by the ending I’m guessing you had either read my whole post or some other piece of news about this video before you actually watched it. However, if you were able to deduce on your own that Tron Guy was going to appear at the end then you are the Sherlock Holmes of video contest entries.

  9. Michael says:

    I just don’t agree — an IP lawyer friend was over last night and took a look — he says the copyright aspects definitely a litigable claim though its a bit grey and tough to say who the courts would side with on a copyright or IP basis; a suit certainly wouldn’t be dismissed and they’d either settle or go to trial. More importantly, we discussed that because of the recent movie there is basically a slam-dunk tarnishment / brand dilution claim, and the duct tape brand would be fucked if anyone who owns the rights cared. The first amendment has nothing to do with anything here; the first amendment has to do with what the government can limit you from saying; the government isn’t involved here.

    Also, while we could discuss the legality of it until the cows come home I’ve never seen a brand that’s willing to take this much of a risk of being sued — particularly in an age when Verizon and Google pay George Lucas for use of the word droid, and Lindsay Lohan sues for the name Lindsay being used in an Etrade spot. I tend to think no ones said anything simply because its gone under their radar.

    Most importantly to me, its cut and dry unethical — the lightcycles I don’t care about, that you can get away with — but the guy at the end wearing the exact same (or unidentifiably similar) costume design; for that and the ring, you’re honestly stealing another art directors or costume designers work and making money off of it (and the production companies do own copyrights to those) — that’s just wrong. I’m confused as to why you don’t see this. You certainly have the right to make this as parody for the sake of parody (there are plenty of uses which would pass muster under tests for fair use); but not as parody with the commercial purpose of helping a 3rd party brand, or the effect of making fun of the brand its an unauthorized derivative work of. Almost all contests have something that say you own all the rights you need to submit this entry and I really don’t think these guys do, so if I’d submitted and lost, I’d call foul.

    I’ve written a lot of spots, so maybe its just the writer in me coming out — but I thought it was the obvious, if not only, possible reveal for a competent spot; and it still felt like it went insane at the end like a bad spec spot.

    Anyway, just my thoughts; I hadn’t been through here in a while, was looking at some of your posts, and read your first paragraph about it being amazing and by the same guy who did the legitimately awesome Quiznos spot, so I was interested and gave it a watch — and was fundamentally disappointed; not so much by it being rote and predictable, the light cycle stop action was cool but its not like it was Fantastic Mr. Fox, but more by it being unethical if not illegal for it to be selected as a winner over other submissions where creators took the time to come up with their own ideas rather than relying upon others.

  10. Michael says:

    I guess I should also point out that I had no knowledge of the Tron Guy meme nor did I recognize him, and thought it was a fat nerd in a suit — doing some google searching to educate myself made me laugh. I’d seen it back in the early 2000s, but totally forgot he still existed, so I sort of get why you perceive it to just be funny — I still think its stupid, but now get the internet viral quotient appeal to the brand and can at least understand why they’d risk the suit — though this is exactly the type of behavior that would make Disney start caring about him walking around in their suit. Cosplay is one thing, cosplay for commercial purposes and being a dick to the rights holder is another.

  11. Beardy says:


    You said “The first amendment has nothing to do with anything here; the first amendment has to do with what the government can limit you from saying; the government isn’t involved here.”

    That’s not true. The first amendment also protects people from being sued over what they say and do. Parody is protected speech. Americans have the right to make fun of things, even popular movies. The duct tape video didn’t use music, images, costumes or graphics from Tron. And the tron guy’s costume was different enough that it isn’t an IP violation. But even if he wore a perfect copy of a tron suit, it would be fine since this is a parody and no one would ever suspect that it was an official “tron” video. And this isn’t a rip off of tron. The humor comes from the fact that it is “inspired” by tron.

    As for the tron guy, he has been on TV tons of times. He’s been on jimmy kimmel a bunch and I think he was even on America’s Got Talent. None of those shows thought his costume might lead to a lawsuit.

  12. Nate Milton says:

    also the same team that did maximum borgnine.

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