Posts Tagged ‘poptent’

VCN Sponsor Spotlight: 5/18/13

Memorial Day is still a week away but from where I’m sitting it feels like summer is already in full swing.  This is a great time to enter video contests because there’s a lot less competition in May, June and July.  Apparently most (normal) people don’t want to bust their ass shooting a commercial on spec while their friends are off working on their tans.  Plus a lot film students are back at home now which means they might not have access to camera gear or editing systems.  I won a crazy amount of money in video contests last summer so I definitely recommend you spend a few of your vacation days shooting a contest video or two.  Here are three stand-out Poptent, Mofilm and Tongal assignments that you might want to consider entering this month:

Deadline: June 17, 2013

Poptent’s Lil’ Drums Assignment:  I usually avoid Poptent assignments that feature “fun foods” because it’s easy to come up with great ideas for a candy bar or a pizza commercial.  And that means there will be a lot of really good submissions in that assignment.  But remember what I said like 6 sentences ago about their being less competition in the summer time?  Well Poptent’s new “Lil’ Drums” assignment is a good example of what I’m taking about.  Normally an ice cream-themed Poptent assignment would get scores of really great, really funny submissions.  But the Drumstick contest has been up for a week and so far only 150 people have accepted it.  That is VERY low.  150 accepts would normally result in maybe 20 submissions.  So if I were you I’d take one of your old Crash the Super Bowl scripts and re-write it so that it’s about ice cream instead of chips.  There’s only one guaranteed purchase of $7,500 but as I’ve been saying, your odds in this particular assignment should be pretty good.  DEADLINE:  June 17th, 2013.  Head here for details.

Deadline: July 29, 2013

Mofilm’s Corkcicle Chillsner:  This Chillsner thing sounds like my alcoholic dream come true.  I am a man who enjoys tipping back a nice cold bottle of beer every once in a while but I absolutely hate when you get down to the bottom of the bottle and the beer is warm.  So I guess this little device goes in the bottle and keeps your beverage cold.  Oh hey!  Mofilm actually has a few Chillsners that they’re going to send to filmmakers so they can use them in their submissions.  Hmm, maybe I’ll have to shoot an entry for this one.  I don’t think this contest will get a lot of submissions because there is only one prize at stake.  Sure, that prize is $10,000 and a trip to Africa but normally Mofilm contests offer a bunch of smaller prizes for 2nd-5th place.  Another interesting thing about this assignment; there are production grants available and if your idea is really, really good you might receive up to $5,000 to shoot your submission.  Just imagine the party shoot you could throw plan with five grand. DEADLINE:  July 29th, 2013.  Click here to download the brief and/or apply for a grant.

Deadline: June 28, 2013

Tongal’s National Pork Board contest:  You know what goes great with a nice frosty bottle of beer and a mini-drumstick?  A big slab of juicy, grilled pork.  BBQ season is here so this is the perfect time for Tongal to run a contest about how awesome pork is.  The National Pork Board (my favorite national board BTW) is re-naming many popular cuts of pork and this contest is meant to get the word out about the changes.  Like all Tongal contests, this one is being run in three phases.  The idea phase is about to close on Monday at Noon so if you hurry you might be able to get an idea in at the last minute.  After the idea winners are selected you can apply for a Pitch Phase prize.  Two filmmakers will win $1,500 that they can use to create their submissions.  But this Tongal contest is accepting “WildCard” submissions so you can still enter the video phase if you don’t win the pitch phase.  First place in the video phase is worth $12,500, second is $6,000 and third is $3,000.  So even if you come in third you can still throw one hell of a pork party this Labor Day.  VIDEO DEADLINE:  June 28th, 2013.  For more info, click here.


VCN Sponsor Spotlight: 4/19/13

Late April has got to be my favorite time of year.  The days are getting longer, the temps are starting to rise, the flowers are in bloom, the robins and redwings are back and the sky is a deep, gloomy gray.  Ok, that last point might sound sort of weird but April’s gray skies are great for filming.  The clouds act like a natural diffuser and the sunlight is nice and even.  I just finished a big entry for a Mofilm competition and I was planning on taking a break from video contests for a little while.  But April’s niceness has inspired me to go out and shoot a new entry as soon as I can.  If you’re also in the mood to do some filming this month, here are 3 new contests you might want to check out:

Deadline: 5/19/13

Poptent’s “Hormel Black Label Bacon” assignment:  Just a few weeks ago I was a little worried about the future of Poptent.  They were running 16 private, invite-only assignments and only 2 public assignments.  I thought maybe the company was going to close their doors to the general public and just start assigning work to their most successful members.  But good news; Poptent just launched a whole bunch of very enticing new public assignments. So they’re not going private any time soon.  Their biggest current assignment is for Hormel Black Label Bacon.  There will be one $10,000 purchase, one $7,500 purchase, one $5,000 purchase and seven $3,500 purchases.  The top 3 winners will also get a trip to Brooklyn so they can attend a screening of their shorts at a “Bacon Film Festival.”  Bacon is obviously a really fun product and since there are a ton of prizes at stake, Poptent is going to get a billion submissions for this.  But the brief is kind of challenging,  Hormel doesn’t want 30 second commercials; they want short films up to 5 minutes long.  Head here for more details.  DEADLINE:  May 19th, 2013.

Deadline: 5/13/13

Tongal’s “Everyone Loves Welch’s” contest:  Tongal is running a bunch of big money contests right now but this one for Welch’s Fruit Snacks managed to grab my attention.  It’s currently in the “Idea Phase” so you still have a few days to submit a concept.  After the idea winners are selected you’ll have a chance to submit a pitch and explain how you would go about creating one of the winning ideas.  If you win the pitch phase you get $1,000.  When all is said and done, the first place video will receive $10,000, 3nd place gets $5K and third is good for $2,500.  You can read the contest brief here.  And if you’re in need of some inspiration, I suggest you eat 2 or 3 pounds of those fruit snacks and then take a nap.  I’m sure you’ll have some pretty entertaining fruit snack-themed dreams.  Video Deadline:  May 15th, 2013.

Deadline: 7/15/13

Mofilm’s “Wild Turkey American Honey” contest: According to Mofilm “Wild Turkey American Honey is looking for some fun and aspiring video content for its new campaign: Born Wild Made Smooth.”  I’ve got a decent idea for this contest but I’m not sure I should enter.  Why?  Because the Wild Turkey contest is a part of Mofilm’s 2013 Lollapalooza contest and the 1st place winner gets $8,000 and a trip for 2 to Chicago.  I can see Chicago from my kitchen window so I don’t need a plane ticket to get there.  But even if I don’t enter, I’ll probably be at Mofilm’s Chicago awards dinner so if you win, you get the bonus prize of meeting your video contest buddy Beardy from VCN!  Oh one more thing, there are still production grants available for this contest.  The grants go fast so hurry up and submit an idea and maybe you’ll get some cash to produce your idea.  If you win, I promise to buy you a glass of bourbon in person.  To download the brief for this contest, click hereDeadline: July 15th, 2013.

I just realized that I made some really delicious picks this month.  BACON, FRUIT SNACKS and WILD TURKEY: Everything you need to throw one kick ass party!

VCN Sponsor Spotlight: 3/19/13

Usually when I do a “Sponsor Spotlight” I list what I think are the best current Mofilm, Poptent and Tongal contests.  But this month I thought I’d change things up and post some recent winners from each site.  First off, here’s the video that won the top prize in Mofilm’s Nestea: Sydney contest.  Nestea was so happy with the videos they received that they’re running a bunch of them as web ads.  The first place winner is amusing and the production values are really fantastic.  I guess that’s what happens when video contest sponsors start offering big ass production grants!

 First Place Winner.  Prize:  $8,000 and a trip for 2 to Sydney, Australia:

Ok, on to Poptent; 7UP Ten’s recent Poptent assignment was a big one.  More than 1,000 filmmakers accepted the assignment and 151 videos were submitted.  7Up was only supposed to buy one video for $15,000 but I guess they liked what they saw because they bought 3 extra videos for $7,500 each.

Purchased by 7UP.  Purchase Price:  $15,000:

That was pretty clever.  But I think I might like this other one just a little more:

Purchased by 7UP. Purchase Price: $7,500:

And finally, the results of Tongal’s MASSIVE Duplo contest were revealed about 2 weeks ago. Duplo wound up paying out more than $150,000 in prizes for this one. Here’s how the contest worked; during the idea phase, anyone could submit ideas for short videos about Duplo.  The sponsors picked 50 ideas and gave each winner 100 bucks.  Then came the pitch phase; Filmmakers applied for production grants so that they could each produce 5 of the 50 ideas  10 Filmmakers were selected and each received $3,000 so they could make their videos.  Each filmmaker was guaranteed to win at least $6,000 in the video phase.  The first place winner received $40,000 for their set of 5 videos.  I can’t embed any of the winning videos so click the image below to see grand prize winner.  If you want to see all 5 of the videos in this set, click on the little red arrow under the video when you get to Tongal.

First Place Winner.  Prize:  $40,000 for 5 videos:

Like I said, click this image to see all the videos in this set


The simple magic of the Dollar Shave Club promo

I read a lot of video contest briefs and lately I’ve see one particular video get referenced over and over and over; The Dollar Shave Club’s “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” promo.  Here’s a snippit of a brief that I just happened to come across today:


And hey, here’s another mention from a different contest brief:

Sexual humor will never be passé!!

All of these companies want their own Dollar Shave Club promo because the original is wacky and fun and it’s gone on to be a big viral hit.  The promo was uploaded to youtube on March 6th, 2012 (holy sh*t that was one year ago today!) and over the last 365 days it’s been watched more than 9 million times.  The video cemented the company’s image as fresh, hip and different (the words fresh, hip and different appear in a hell of a lot of contest briefs too) and DollarShaveClub.com actually started making a whole lot of sales. According to Wired, DSC’s newfound success even got them a 9.8 million dollar capital investment last fall.

So the ad was a monster success.  But I think that there is another reason video contest sponsors like this video.  It was cheap.  Actually no…cheap is the wrong word.  It was Low Budget and had a DIY vibe to it.  It looks like it could have been shot for a video contest, doesn’t it?  It just feels casual and cool and you get the feeling that the cast and crew probably had a lot of fun making it.  It’s a little irreverent and a little tongue and cheek.  It’s a commercial but it doesn’t feel like a commercial so viewers can share it with the friends and not feel like spammers.  And finally, it explains exactly what the company does but it’s obvious that no one at DSC, not even the founder, takes themselves too seriously.

And that right there is the magic formula that all these companies want.  They are looking for cool, hip, tongue in cheek videos that don’t take the brand too seriously and that has a sharable quality to it.  No one anywhere can actually make a video that’s guaranteed to go viral.  But if you know the ingredients your odds of writing something that has viral potential will be greatly increased.

So the next time you’re reading through a video contest brief, think about the Dollar Shave Club video.  You shouldn’t flat out copy what DSC did (enough people have already done that) but instead you might want to try and capture the tone, style and attitude of the promo.  And hey, just between you and me….if you’re ever submitting a pitch or applying for a production grant on a site like Tongal or Mofilm you might want to say something like “my video would have a Dollar Shave Club” vibe to it.  It seems that “Dollar Shave Club” has become a magical phrase to marketing folks and anyone reading your application would realize that you understand exactly what kind of video they’re looking for.

VCN Sponsor Spotlight: 2/14/2013

Since it’s Valentine’s Day I thought I’d show our sponsors a little love and list some of the biggest and best contests that are being run on Poptent, Mofilm and Tongal right now!  Enter one of these and maybe next year you’ll be able to buy your significant other something better than gas station roses and a blank card from the dollar store:

Deadline: 3/4/13

Poptent’s Orange County Credit Union Assignment:  When it comes to Poptent assignments I always tell people to skip the “fun” ones.  Right now Poptent is running contests for Popsicle and Lay’s Potato Chips and and those assignments are going to get an avalanche of entries.  Anyone can buy a box of Popsicle and make a fun video.  But it takes real talent to make a Credit Union seem fun.  So the Orange Country Credit Union assignment is probably the one you should focus on this month.  There probably won’t be a lot of submissions plus the purchase price is $10,000!  The goal is to motivate viewers to open a new checking account “by delivering an uplifting and aspirational message.”  This assignment also comes with a very special bonus prize.  The best “Early Bird” video submitted before February 18th will win $1,000.  So if you’re going to enter this one, you might as well shoot your entry this weekend. Deadline:  March 4th, 2013.  For more details. click here.

Deadline: 2/21/13

Mofilm’s “Texas 2013″ HSBC contest:  Oh crap!  It’s already February and once again I forgot to make plans to go to Austin for South by South West.  Every fall my friends and I tell each other that as soon as passes go on sale we’re going to buy some and do SXSW for real this time.  But once again we forgot and now the passes are probably sold out and every hotel room in town is probably booked.  But there’s still one other way you can get to SXSW this year.  You can win one of the categories in Mofilm’s “Texas 2013″ competition.  The deadline for most of the categories is February 18th but the deadline for the HSBC contest was just extended to February 21st.  When a sponsor extends their deadline it sometimes means that they’re not happy with the entries they’ve gotten so far.  So this might be a good chance for you to slide in and win one of the prizes that are at stake.  (UPDATE:  Turns out that Mofilm hasn’t actually received any HSBC entries yet since most videos are submitted within 48 hours before the deadline.  The HSBC deadline was extended simply because the brief went up late.)  First place gets you $8,000 plus a trip for two to Austin, TX for SXSW.  If you do win, I’m available to go as your +1.  I will pay you back by buying you some BBQ brisket at the Iron Works.  Deadline:  February 21st, 2013.  For more info, click here.

Pitch Deadline: 2/28/13

Tongal’s Excedrin Contest:  As soon as I’m done with this post I’m gonna start working on a Pitch for this contest.  Excedrin is offering $75,000 in prizes and there are lots of ways to win some cash.  Unlike most Tongal contests, this one doesn’t have an idea phase.  So if you want to enter you have to submit a pitch based on 1 of 16 pre-approved scenarios.  Each scenario is a different “Headache Inducing Situation” like waiting in line at the DMV and sitting in rush hour traffic.  Excedrin will pay 16 pitch winners (one for each idea) 700 bucks so they can produce their video.  In the video phase, there are 20(!) prizes ranging from $500 to $20,000.  Even if you don’t win a Pitch prize, you can still shoot and submit a “wild card” video.  Pitch Deadline:  February 28th, 2013.  For details, head here.

Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!  Never forget, Beardy loves you!

Tis the season for making money on Poptent!

hello, gorgeous.

Every December I go on a full-blown video contest bender.  I don’t know why but it seems like a ton of really fantastic contests are launched this time of year.  And because a lot of filmmakers are either burnt out from entering the Crash the Super Bowl contest or distracted by holiday happenings, competition in many of these contests is pretty light.  So if you’re looking to make some money this season you should postpone your shopping and do some filming this weekend!

One of the best contests/assignments running right now is the Miller 64 assignment on Poptent.  I’ve been planning an entry for this one for a few weeks now.  (Last weekend I was shooting a party scene for some other video contest entry and when we were done, I made everyone hold a Miller 64 so I could get a quick shot.)  The Miller 64 contest jumped out at me for a few reasons.  Contests and video assignments for alcohol products are always good to enter because there are tight legal restrictions that will keep a lot of people from participating.  If you’re under 21 you can’t enter.  And thanks to federal advertising laws, no one that appears in your alcohol ads can be under 25!  So those two rules mean that a very large percentage of filmmakers and actors will have to sit this one out.  Just look at the number of “accepts” this assignment has compared to a similar assignment Jacuzzi ran a few weeks ago.  Both assignments offered one guaranteed purchase of $7,500.  But while 347 filmmakers accepted the terms of the Jacuzzi assignment, so far only 215 have accepted the Miller 64 one.  If you’re going to enter a Poptent assignment, there’s no shame in playing the odds.  Like I said, there are a lot of good contests and assignments running right now.  So it’s good strategy to budget your time and go after an assignment that you know can’t get a billion entries.

If you’re going to shoot an ad for the Miller assignment, you have two themes to chose from.  Option #1 is “a little extra.”  These would be videos about the little things you can do to lead a more balanced and healthy lifestyle (like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or you know….drinking a 64 calorie beer instead of a 180 calorie beer.)  Option #2 is “resolutions.”  For this theme you’re asked to tell a story about New Year’s Resolutions that are related to living a healthier life and more active life.

So that doesn’t sound too tough, does it?  Miller is guaranteeing at least one purchase of $7,500.  You still have until December 16th to submit a video so get your ass to the liquor store and but a 12 pack of 64′s and have a little filming party this weekend.  To accept this assignment and read the creative brief, head here:  http://www.poptent.net/assignment/608.  Because the sponsor is a beer company, there are some quirky rules for this assignment so be sure to read the brief carefully before you start writing.

VCN Sponsor Spotlight: 11/23/12

Happy post-turkey day everybody!  I’m not much of a competitive shopper so I thought I’d stay in today and tell you all what I’m thankful for.  I’m thankful for pecan pie, episodes of Community on Hulu Plus and of course, our sponsors!  Mofilm, Tongal and Poptent are running some gigantic video contests right now and in this month’s installment of the Sponsor Spotlight I’m going to list three of my personal favorites.  If you get bored of shopping and eating this weekend be sure to check out the details of these top tier competitions:

Deadline: 12/4/12

TONGAL’S DUPLO VIDEO CONTEST:  In this monster contest, a total of $150,000 in prizes are going to be paid out to a whole bunch of lucky Tonglers.  Like all Tongal contests, this one is being run in three phases; the idea phase, the pitch phase and the video phase.  The idea phase is already over but it’s worth noting that 50 user-submitted ideas each won $100.  That means the Idea Phase alone cost Duplo $5,000.  So why do they need so many ideas?  Well because the sponsor wants a freaking ton of videos for their new online ad campaign.  Here’s how the rest of the contest is going to work; if you want to participate you need to submit a pitch about how you would film FIVE videos based on a single, per-approved topic (for example, using Duplo as part of creative playing.)  The sponsors will go through the pitches and pick 10 filmmakers that they want to work with.  Each of those filmmakers will receive $3,000.  They will then use that money to produce their five videos which will be based on some of the 50 ideas that were submitted in the idea phase.  This is sort of different from the way they normally do things on Tongal.  Normally a filmmaker pitches a specific idea.  But this time you just need to show some of your previous work and explain how you would handle a general topic.  So the filmmakers won’t actually know the ideas they’re going to be filming until after they win the pitch phase.  Finally, the Duplo judges will review all the videos and the person who made the best patch of ads wins 40 grand!  All the runners up will win prizes ranging from $20K to $6K so if you win the pitch phase you basically are a lock to win at least $9,000 in this contest.  PITCH PHASE DEADLINE:  December 4th, 2012.  Click HERE for details.

Deadline: 12/30/12

POPTENT’S MASTERCARD ASSIGNMENT:  To be frank, I’ve been kind of annoyed with Poptent this year because most of their best assignments have been “Invite Only.”  For a while I really thought the site was going to get rid of their public assignments all together.  There were times were they were running 22 video assignments at once but 20 of them were for invited members only.  But I’m happy to say that in the last few weeks a whole boatload of new public assignments have appeared on Poptent.net.  The one that caught my eye was Mastercard’s “Your Money, Smarter” assignment.  I like this one for 2 reasons; first, Mastercard is guaranteeing that they will purchase at least two videos at $12,000 each!  And second, instead of making one video, filmmakers are being asked to create two :15 second vignettes.  I think that this might be a turn off to some people (who will see it as twice the work) so I think participation for this contest might be a little low.  But then again, $12,000 is almost double what a normal poptent assignment will pay so that should get a lot of people interested.  DEADLINE:  December 30th, 2012.  Click HERE for details.

Deadline: 2/4/13

MOFILM’S BARCELONA CONTEST:  Finally, I wanted to direct your attention to Mofilm’s Barcelona video contest.  The thing is, barely any details about this competition have actually been released.  The deadline isn’t even until early February.  But you should keep Barcelona on your radar screen because in the next few weeks, Mofilm is going to start offering production grants to filmmakers who want to shoot submissions for this contest.  In Mofilm-land, production grants (of up to $2,500!) are sometimes allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Obviously you’ll need to submit a decent idea but it does help to be fast.  And that’s why I recommend that you try and keep tabs on which Mofilm contests are coming down the pipe.  As soon as a grant is officially announced, you can pounce and be one the first people to submit an idea.  And oh yeah by the way, if you actually win one of the categories in this contest you’ll  get $8,000 and a trip for two to Barcelona!  DEADLINE:  February 4th, 2013.  Click HERE for details.


Poptent inspires a chainsaw massacre!!

Today I thought I’d share the ingenious and slightly twisted ad that Gold Eagle purchased as part of the “Bad Gas” assignment they ran on Poptent a few months back.  The director, Matthew Ninaber really pushed the envelope here and you gotta respect the folks at Gold Eagle for picking such a dark (but funny) video.  Someone over there must have realized it would be a perfect ad for Halloween and the spot has been airing all month on HGTV.  Watch it if you dare!

Purchased by Gold Eagle.  Price: $7,500:

I’m always happy to see a smart, simple, perfect video like that win a poptent assignment.  When you watch this ad, it just feels like this concept is a no-brainer.  But it did take some balls to show the client’s product being used to facilitate a gruesome murder.  Well anyways, enjoy as many scary movies and videos as you can tonight because starting tomorrow you’re going to be exposed to nothing but Christmas stuff for about 8 weeks straight.  Mwahahahahahaha! Happy Halloween everybody!

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