Posted by: Joel Moss Levinson | May 8, 2010

GoDaddy Finalists Picked and They’re Super Fancy

So Godaddy.com picked their finalists and I’m not one of them. That’s okay. I think there’s an excellent one called “Get Online Rap.” However, other than that, I think all the videos aren’t funny and have these super-slick production values and I think it’s a shame.

I’ve disagreed with other video contest folks about this, but it makes me sad that things are going towards higher and higher production values in the contest world. I got into a discussion over on videocontestnews.com where I was challenged on the point, “how can you hold good production values against an entry.”

Well, in my mind, I hold super-fancy production value against stuff for the same reasons I think the first three seasons of “The Real World” were great, and I can’t watch any of the recent ones. Shit that is too polished sucks.

I understand the difference in opinion, but I think you’ll agree – there is a long history and big percentage of folks who prefer realer, less polished things. I’m not saying everyone agrees, but it’s a reasonable stance. Here’s a list of examples:

a) The 70’s & 80’s Star Wars Movies vs. The Prequel episodes.
b) Heidi Montag pre-surgery vs. Heidi Montag post plastic surgery
c) A Homemade Scarf from an aunt with a mistake or two vs. one bought from the Gap
d) Vinyl vs. MP3’s
f) Live music vs. Recorded music.

See what I mean? Feel free to add your own.

Now the problem is –

all these companies are thinking to themselves either:

a) We’ll have an online video contest and get some dude to make a commercial for 1/10th the price, or

b) We’ll have an online video contest and build brand awareness and love for our product through engaging people in video making, or

c) We’ll get a viral video out of this.

The thing is, in larger contests like this GoDaddy one, 9 out of 10 finalists look like videos that would be made by some local ad agency. Not so funny, not so weird, and SUPER polished. It’s missing the fundamental point of how the internet has changed media. To give a more explicit example:

It’s like porn. There’s a reason people prefer amateur web porn to the fancy production value porn of our ancestors. When there’s famous porn stars in a scene, just like when there’s some expensive camera and lighting equipment, you know what’s happening. They are going to look a certain way, and act a certain way, and there’s no EXCITEMENT. It feels too polished.

If, however, there is some amateur couple who just grabbed a video to record themselves having sex, just like if some crazy person grabbed a camera to make a video entry – well then, you’ve got excitement! Is it going to be sexy? Is it going to be funny? Is it going to be moving? Or powerful? Or weird? Or creepy? You don’t know! And if it happens to be kickass, it is SO MUCH COOLER than if it was made by someone who has all the years of training and equipment and money on their side.

That’s just my two cents. If I was running these contests, I’d be running the Susan Boyle version instead of a Miley Cyrus one.

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Responses

  1. i see your point. but most brands will always pick the ones with the slicker production values. i think they feel they are getting more out of their marketing doller. but if you look at these contest Joel, you will still notice a lot of videos that look like they were produced in someones backyard in like an hour, with no effort put in. should they be rewarded?


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