I usually don’t make a lot of noise about a contest I’m entering, and I’ve been entering fewer lately. The competition is high, and I rarely win (although often I’m a finalist). The Oreo contest intrigued me because certain YouTube creators were asked to enter, and I figured that would improve my odds. There’s going to be an open amateur contest too, but those will be judged separately. Here’s the clip because if I embed it, it kills the entire blog template.
In truth, the “behind the scenes” may be funnier than the video itself. What child says to his father, “are we going to get arrested again?” Let the record show we’ve never been arrested for making a video. We’ve been hollered at a few times maybe.
I thought the deadline was next week, and then received an e-mail last evening before leaving work. Thanks to a vigilant babysitter, we conceptualized, shot, edited and sent it all last night. My wife was teaching, and we had to an attend an animal-shelter event. So everything was quite rushed. The concept emerged when Jo suggested making “Oreo Man” out of one of the kids. Jen, our sitter, then said she had an Oreo costume from her childhood. She took all four kids to her parents’ house and found the costume in the 100-degree attic. When she returned, we did the kitchen shot, and decided to get some cow footage (Charlie was going to be our cookie, but he wasn’t in the mood). Jen asked if I wanted to take along the cow suit, which ended up inspiring a nice resolution to the 2-minute spot. If I may be so bold, here’s what I like about the video (which is posted on my “responseofnalts” YouTube account).
- The camera shots are amateurish, but the editing was a labor. It took about 3-4 hours to edit if you include the score. I finished it just in time for the midnight deadline.
- Grant (the orange shirt Oreo dude) was priceless. He’s 5 and reminds me of Charlie Brown sometimes, and I gave him the “good grief” line to pay homage to Charles Schulz. Can’t you just feel his pain when his brothers laugh at him? And when he whispers in my ear, I melt.
- The video — by sheer fortune, the sitter’s innovation, the kids patience, and careful editing — actually has a story arch (conflict, resolution, etc.). This, of course, was accomplished without a pesky script or storyboard. If I go there I almost always lose energy before I turn on the camera.
Typically consumers entering brand contests try to emulate what they believe should be a television ad. I think that’s where many miss the mark of consumer-generated ads, because they end up looking like lame cable-television advertisements instead of a crafty amateur spots. The only thing commercial about this video is the music, product shots and frequent messages of Oreo. I stayed faithful to the brief by telling a story about Oreos and milk. But I was careful not to sell Oreos… it’s more about creating an affinity moment than hocking some product attribute.
I think my chances are good, but I don’t know who else entered. And if all else fails, the good folks at Kraft did send me a giant box of Oreos. They’re really good frozen.