Posts Tagged ‘prizes’

Tons of tasty prizes up for grabs in Buitoni’s “Girls like Guys who can cook” video contest

Damn right they do.

According to Buitoni, girls like guys who can cook.  Well you know what I like?  I like video contests that offer a whole bunch of prizes!  Whenever I come across a video contest that offers multiple runner-up prizes worth $200 or more I make it a point to enter.  Obviously it would be awesome to win the grand prize, but if I spend 5 hours planning, shooting and editing an entry that nets me 250 bucks, I’ll walk away happy.  Basically, if I have an opportunity to make $50 an hour, I take it.

And Buitoni is now offering just such an opportunity with their “Girls like Guys who can Cook” video contest.  The top prize is $10,000 but 15 people will also win a year’s supply of Buitoni pasta in the form of 52 coupons.  The AVR of each runner up prize?  $259.48.  That’s pretty damn good; especially when you consider how easy it is to enter this contest.  Pretty much all you have to do is shoot a 60 second video of a guy cooking with Buitoni.  Here’s a little promo video to show you what they’re looking for:

I also like this contest because of how the sponsors are picking the winners.  First there’s a public vote to determine 15 finalists.  Each finalist wins the year supply of pasta.  Then judges from Buitoni pick the grand prize winner.  Doing the judging like this really cuts down on cheating.  People are willing to cheat to win $10,000 but not a lot of people will cheat for a 1 in 15 chance at $10K.  The risk just isn’t worth the potential reward.

So this is a really excellent contest.  Last year I was in a Home Run Inn Pizza video contest and I won a year’s supply of free pizza.  Home Run Inn send me a dozen coupons but Buitoni is offering 52!  I used to give those free pizza coupons to friends and they would flip out.  So I might just have to enter this contest.  If I win a runner-up prize, everyone I know would be getting a fistful of free pasta coupons for Christmas.

The deadline for this particular contest is November 4th.  Head here to check out the rules: 

——  Sponsored by Buitoni  ——


Couchsurfing’s “Get Inspired” video contest

New Contest Alert!

I usually don’t enter the video contests that I promote here on VCN simply because it would probably look kind of funny if I won.  But man…I am seriously tempted to enter’s new “Get Inspired” video contest.  There are two AROUND THE WORLD PLANE TICKETS up for grabs in this one.  I would probably lose my mind (in a good way) if I won a trip like that.  I’d go see the world, grow a giant beard and come back sand in my shoes and a brain full of awesome stories.  I would probably have so much fun that at some point I’d just decide to stay where I was and spend a few months or years living in some exotic location. Oh well…I probably will sit this one out so you’re just going to have to win and then write a guest post about all the crazy stuff you did.  Check out this video for some specifics about how the contest will work:

And here’s a little extra info from the Folks at

We’re giving away 2 around the world tickets!  Announcing the GET INSPIRED Video Contest.

CouchSurfing members have been making amazing videos about their experiences for years. Now we’d like to reward you for it! Here’s your chance to share your inspiring video, win a trip around the world, and create even more film-worthy moments!

Fire up your video cameras!  To check out the details of the contest click here.  Happy Surfing… and filming!

Before you shoot your entry,  be sure to read the rules of this contest from top to bottom.  One of the tickets will go to the person who gets the most youtbue likes.  The “liking” period happens during the submission period.  So if you upload your video ASAP you will have a real advantage over the people who enter at the last minute.

“Welcome to” winner

VCN super-fans may remember that a few months ago the site was covered in ads promoting’s “Welcome to” video contest.   The company was looking for an official “explainer video” that would you know….explain how the site worked.  They got a bunch of nice entries but here’s the very impressive submission that won the top prize.  If you head to the homepage you’ll notice that the winning video is the first thing you see when you visit the site. winner.  Prize:  $10,000:

I was at a party about a week ago and there happened to be a whole bunch of filmmakers and editors there.  I asked everyone what kind of projects they worked on recently and I can’t tell you how many times the phrase “explainer video” came up.  Every website that offers some new kind of service needs an explainer video and most of the ones I’ve seen are very similar in style to the above animation.  Hmm, maybe I should find an animation class I can take this summer…..

How to win your first video contest

About once a week I’ll get a nice e-mail from a new or longtime reader of VCN that I’ve never heard from before.  They usually ask me about a post I did or about some contest that they want to enter.  I always like to hear about other filmmakers’ contest experiences so I usually ask these folks what kind of contests they’ve entered and if they’ve ever had any cool wins.  Most of the time, the responses I get are very similar.  It seems like most new video contest filmmakers exclusively enter the big competitions like Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest or Gain’s “Smell Like a Million Bucks” promotion.

And that always kind of surprises me.  It’s just not very good strategy.  I understand that gigantic cash prizes can be exciting but the odds are really stacked against you in those big contests.  Consequently, most of the people who write me say they’ve never won a video contest before.  I even heard from one guy last year who said he had entered about 80 video contests but had never actually won one.  And that’s pretty messed up since video contests are so ridiculously easy to win!

If you want to win a video contest, you just have to employ a little STRATEGY.  Filmmakers should definitely enter huge long-shot contests but you should never put all your eggs in one basket.  If you want to actually start winning contests you need to think SMALL.  It seems like most video contest filmmakers want to make one big, quick payday.  That kind of plan almost never works out.  (However the guy who won a million dollars in this year’s Crash the Super Bowl contest with his commercial “” had never entered a video contest before)  If you only go after prizes that are say, over $25,000 you’re probably just going to waste a bunch of time and money and eventually get frustrated and quit.  If you want to turn video contests into a steady source of income, you have to get your first win under your belt as soon as possible.  Not only will a win boost your confidence, it will get you hooked on the feeling that comes with winning and inspire you to enter more contests.

So if you’ve never won a video contest before, it’s time you got your first win out of the way.  Next time you’re on, scroll past all the big money contests and look for contests with prizes under $1,000.  Go through those and look at the details carefully.  Then pick the one that sounds like you would have the best chance of winning and enter it.  You might just be the only person who does.  You see…most people are naturally lazy and greedy.  I don’t mean that as a slam against the human race.  It’s just they way we are.  The vast majority of people will look at contests with $500 or $250 prizes and figure it’s not worth their time to enter.  But that’s not logical.  If you enter the Crash the Super Bowl contest, you will be in the running to win up to one million dollars.  But your odds of just making the finals are about 1 in 1,200.  So if you enter The Crash, you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars and dozens of hours entering a contest you will almost certainly lose.

On the flip side, if you enter a tiny contest that almost no one will enter, you can spend nothing and have an incredibly decent shot at winning some cash.  For example, every year runs a big video contest to find the “Roommate of the Year.”  A ton of people always enter and one person wins $10,000 plus a year’s worth of free rent.  But this year, is also running a small weekly contest in conjunction with the big contest.  People are supposed to get on camera and in 30 seconds demonstrate what makes them a good roommate.  The prize is $250 per week.  I came across this contest about 2 weeks ago and believe it or not, got ZERO entries the first week!  All somebody had to do was spend an hour shooting and uploading anything and it would have won.  But nobody bothered.  By the second week, only 2 people had entered and the sponsor had to pick a winning video that was just shot with a camera phone.  I’ve won a lot of very nice video contest prizes in my day but I’m not an idiot.  I knew this contest would be an easy 250 bucks so I entered and I won last week.  Click this image to see my video:

Click to watch!

I happen to think that was a pretty hilarious entry.  But quality didn’t even matter because no one else entered last week!  My only competition was this video which had been submitted the week before.  It took me about 2 hours to shoot, edit and upload my entry.  My only expense was a $12 pizza which I of course got to eat later.  So basically, I earned $125 per/hour on this contest.  Now, I probably win 5 or 6 small prizes like this every year.  (The day I won this contest I got another $250 check in the mail from a different contest.)  An extra $1,500 can really change your life so those little contests are absolutely worth your time and attention.  Think about it this way; if you need some extra money, would you rather spend 20 hours a year entering small video contests or 182 hours a year working a part-time, minimum wage job?

If you’re excited by this idea, I have some good news for you.  There is still one more week left in’s weekly contest.  The deadline to enter is this wednesday at noon and once again, no new entries have been received all week.  So if you shoot and upload an entry ASAP you’ll probably discourage other people from entering and you’ll win.  I’m telling you, there is a $250 bill on the ground….go pick it up: 

The contest is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are always a few tiny contests like this running.  Most people don’t bother to even look at the details of these contests so they never see just how easy they are to enter.  Hell, right now Monster energy drinks is running a video contest to find a new “intern.”  The first 250 people that enter win $100 in swag.  They’ve only gotten about 100 entries so far.  All you gotta do is sit in front of a camera for 60 second and talk about Monster and BOOM….you just won your first ever video contest prize.  Here’s the to enter.

Good luck, everybody.  If you actually enter and win either of these contests let me know!

Garnier-Fructis buys $45,000 worth of Poptent videos

Man, I’ll tell you what, I always manage to enter the wrong Poptent assignments.  I never seem to pick the ones where the brand decides to buy more videos than they promised.  These surprise, multiple-purchases are still the one thing that sets Poptent apart from all the other contests sites out there.  Other companies do offer more, smaller prizes per contest but Poptent is the only place where you might end up with more than one first place “winner.”

For example: this week, Poptent announced that Garnier-Fructis was purchasing 6 videos that were submitted to their recent “Live Fearless, Look Amazing” assignment for $7,500 each.  The company was only obligated to buy two videos but they were so happy with the results the decided they could use 4 more.  All the selected entries are pretty good.  I especially like this one and not just because it features a cute girl in a bikini.  The director made a great call and mounted a camera (a GoPro I assume) on the star’s surfboard.

Here’s another impressive entry.  It’s a simple little video but I was kind of amazed by the concept.  A Poptent member actually shot a Garnier-Fructis ad about gay men “living fearlessly” and the company it.  That’s kinda cool, isn’t it?

In all, Garnier-Fructis only received 73 submissions to this assignment.  So if you entered, your odds of making a sale were just 1 in 12.  I think Poptent really needs to encourage more brands to commit to buying multiple videos.  If a company has a budget for as many as 6 videos, why not promise to buy at least 3 or 4?  More guaranteed purchases lead to more and better submissions.  By playing it safe, brands are actually sabotaging there chances of getting high quality ads.  This time the sponsor lucked out and got some really good videos.  But if Garnier-Fructis had promised to buy 6 videos right from the start, they probably would have gotten 200+ submissions.

Pringles’ “Tournament of Flavors” winners

This spring Pringles ran the biggest contest in the history of Tongal and paid out $45,000 in prize money.  Pringles picked 16 winning videos and featured them in a campain they called the “Tournament of Flavors.”  Facebook Fans were asked to vote for their favorite flavor-themed shorts until just one submission was left standing.  Here’s the video that won the tournament:

That was pretty cool.  But that video didn’t actually win he contest.  The “tournament” was just kind of for fun.  Voters had the chance to win prizes but the filmmakers didn’t win anything in the facebook poll.  Pringles picked their winners on Tongal before the tournament was even launched.  Ten videos earned $50o, four got $1,000 and then the top five were award prizes ranging from $2,000 to $12,500.  The above video came in 3rd and the director (hey, it was the same guy that made this great Hoverboard video and this amazing Duct Tape video) won $3,000.  Here’s the video that won the actual contest:
First Place Winner.  Prize:  $12,500:

Man, I really liked that one.  It was very well made and felt so genuine despite the absurd subject matter.  Actually, almost all of the 16 winners are pretty well done.  Some people really went all out and did incredibly elaborate submissions.  You can see all the winning videos right .  But be warned: watching all 16 of these videos will probably make you want to eat some pringles as soon as possible.  Damn I wish I had  tube of Sour cream and onion right now.

Via IndyMogul: How to find and win video contests

If I were a much lazier blogger, about 50% of my posts would just be embeds of How-To videos created by IndyMogul.  If you haven’t checked out their youtube channel before you should stop reading this and to subscribe right now.  If you poke around their page you’ll find about a hundred gazillion handy tips for low budget filmmakers.  But this week’s episode is especially relevant to the interests of video contest filmmakers since it’s about finding and winning video contests!

If you’re a hardcore video contester (I’m hoping that phrase will catch on) then this video won’t really tell you anything you don’t already know.  But if you’re new to the game, this video will give you a crash course on the basics.  Actually, the episode starts with some cool info about the new wave of prosumer cameras that were unveiled at the NAB show in Las Vegas last week.  So even if you’re a video contest super-genius you might want to check it out.

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