Pillsbury puts up some dough…boy.

I received an email today from a freelance peer (my buddy Chad C.). He wanted to give me a heads up on a contest he happened upon and suggested it would be right up my alley……..It wouldn’t be the first time I bore the brunt of a Pillsbury Dough Boy joke. It’s OK, I wear it like a badge of honor. I mean, after all, I am the original good looking chubby white boy. Hoorah…I digress.

Seems we have another nice little contest here. As I see it, there are some very good things about it, and a few not so good items. Let’s look at the pros and cons of this baby.

1. The winner will score a national television commercial. Excellent reel builder.
2. The winner will be chosen by the brand.
3. No popularity voting.
4. Nice exercise in brevity. At :15 it will force creatives to recognize dross and fluff in their work and chop it off at the freaking neck.

1. $10,000 1st place, $3,000.00 2nd place, $1,000.00 for 3rd place. Relatively small prizes for a major brand with national broadcast intent.
2. Will help those creatives who don’t want to compete with the GoDaddy producers, but because it is running parallel with several contests awarding larger paydays, it will ultimately result in Pillsbury getting a smaller field of spots from which to choose their finalits. Should have been a larger payday. Would have attracted a larger field. If a major brand like Pillsbury wants to cook in the freelance kitchen they need to bring a bigger rolling pin.
3. This contest requires you join a 3rd party admin site to enter. Zooppa seems like an honest enough branding portal and yes I am a member, but to date have never created for them. Honestly, I don’t like added links in a contest admin. chain. It is one of the reasons I am so high on contests like GoDaddy, as there are no middlemen. Additionally, I assume Zooppa is not administrating the contest for free and can’t help but imagine how much the money awards were adjusted to make that happen.

Generally speaking, this is another decent contest for freelance creatives. Throw a little creative yeast into the mix and watch it rise. If Pillsbury runs the contest again next year maybe they’ll follow the example set by their product and throw the freelance creatives a bit more pop & fresh dough. It would be a shame if this contest came off half baked because of a stingy ingredient list. Okay, I’ll stop it.

When a bride-to-be goes to the dress maker, she understands it will cost her according to her expectations. If she is going to get just the right fabrics and textures with the perfect, fits like a glove feel, she is going to have to pay. Most brides understand this if they are to get everything perfect before unveiling to the world on that special day. These brands need to start seeing us freelance creatives as the dressmakers. I am sure they feel similar to the nervous bride walking down the aisle, when these spots are broadcast nationally for the first time, and they check the sell-through reports to see how well they were received by the viewing consumer.

Many of us freelance creatives are very capable visual wedding dress makers. No we don’t require or assume we will receive the same payday as the Vera Wangs and Melissa Sweets of the fashion industry, but as few brides would dare go to K-Mart or Target expecting to outfit themselves, neither should these brands be able to go to a Zooppa and walk away with a national quality branding dress at a K-mart price.

In 2008, the production cost of the average national :30 commercial was $350,000.00 according to the AAAA (American Association of Advertising Agencies). This is what the ad agency is paid to deliver an ad to the brand. Through Zooppa, Pillsbury will pay the winning creative about three cents on the dollar (3 percent). Now, unless Zooppa is scoring a huge payday, by my reckoning the brand is doing pretty well for themselves on this deal.

If a brand reaches millions of viewers and scores X amount of retail sales as a result of a creative’s intellectual property…that creative should share in the spoils the same way a Madison Avenue ad agency does. Anyone care to debate the VCK?


5 responses to “Pillsbury puts up some dough…boy.

  1. VCK,

    Once again, I have to come up against you in regards to our two favorite topics: popularity-based video contests and potential spend by brands.
    First, the popularity vote. In this age of Social Media, of friends and fans, what could be the problem with a brand/advertiser aligning it’s message along with video producers that have large followings and/or enthusiastic fans that actively share their creative work?

    Second, the budgets. Was it not the norm in Advertising (prior to Facebook and YouTube) to hire the most popular TV/Movie/Radio celebrity as their “spokesperson” to share their message, knowing that they would inherently bring along more fans? No one seemed to cry foul in the 70s, 80s,and 90s when it was near impossible for a fledgling video producer to share his/her talents to a large audience without the internet and Social Media. I dont think that we should cry foul now that brands/advertisers are willing to begin moving their efforts/funds into the public arena for video producers like you to grab up. Dont forget, the advertising budgets for TV were extremely low when it first arrived…everything was in radio. TV got paid squat, till it was proven. The case applies here as well…just because the average TV ad was a $350k budget, doesnt mean that a brand has to commit similar resources to a UGC project…

    As always, I continue to be a BIG fan with a soft spot in my belly (sorry for the pun, couldn’t help it). Keep up the good work and keep making those great videos!

    • Hey Tyler,
      Thanks for visiting.
      First: I have no problem with a social media push from brands in the form of video contests. I just advice the serious creative to avoid them as they are often a waste of time. Most serious creatives would prefer to spend time creating Tyler, not campaigning.

      Second: I believe in capitalism pure and simple. There is nothing illegal with a brand getting U.G.C. for five cents on the dollar and using it the same way they would Madison Avenue content. I do think though that we creatives should reward the contests that pay premium prizes in lieu of the cheaper/squeakier ones. That’s a no-brainer. There is no benefit to talented creatives learning the long/hard way when they can learn faster from their peer’s mistakes, and save substantial time and money in the process (enter the VCK).

      As with most emerging industries, there will be unscrupulous entities that will try to exploit anything/anyone to make a buck. The education provided by the VCK helps freelance creatives avoid the carpet-baggers that will linger for as long as we allow them. Ultimately, the market will take care of itself. In the meantime though, consider the VCK a guiding voice of reason in the promising, yet evil black forest that is our emerging arm of the advertising world.

  2. I couldn’t agree more VCK. My top priority right now is GoDaddy, why? cause of the dough! not the pillsburry kind. But, you made a really good point VCK in the blog. Maybe I should focus on hitting a home run for the dough boy since the pool of videos will be smaller. But the cash is too. AHH I’M TORN. Guess I’ll have to do both! and, btw, tax slayers press conference knight spot was really funny. and, VCK, you ever thought of spoofing Michael Moore? Ok, there I said it, im sure you get it all the time :). have a great day!

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