Last year, Rich Seng launched a crowd-sourcing advertising competition, 30 Seconds Over Chicago, that he hoped would bring together local creative forces with Wicker Park businesses. The latter would submit a creative brief to Seng's website and the former would scour the briefs for one that matched their skillset, submit a proposal, and the result was supposed to be a commercial for the business.
Unfortunately, with just a couple days left in the competition, the 39-year-old Seng had just 40 submissions--20 of which were dummy pitches that he wrote.
"I started feeling really worried and started going to businesses with my hat in my hands, saying i thought there would be more excitement and support," said Seng, who lives nearby in Humboldt Park. "I even said I would make them each a little ad, you know, for having good faith."
But procrastination proved to be the real culprit, and submissions leapt from 40 to 260 during the last two days for submissions, and the rest of Seng's competition went smoothly, leading to another attempt this year with 36 local breweries, including Berghoff, Two Brothers and Moonshine.
So the rules of the competition will remain the same: businesses post a summary of what they're looking for, then videographers/copy writers look for one that they like and submit an idea. On April 30, they will announce their "draught picks," or who they've selected to create their ad. Each team will then have four weeks to make the ad and submit them.
"In the past half of the people who worked with with [advertising] agencies already... but there were students and amateurs too.Tthey benefitted from just getting some real world experience. Now they're on their own, and some of them are having success."
Every team that has an idea chosen (and follows through with an ad) will receive a free keg from that respective brewery. All ads will be screened May 29 at Double Door, where a winner will be chosen in an "American Idol"-style competition with three judges, one each from Ogilvy and Mather, Leo Burnett and DOJO.
"Last year, we got some great feedback from our judges, and one of the things they said we should do is put together some meet-ups beforehand."
Seng took their advice and will offer storyboarding sessions every Tuesday at Rosa's until the competition is over, featuring Q&A sessions and general discussion as to the craft of copy-writing and advertising.
"Each person is going to have a chance to step up and give a practice pitch. We want to have fun but with constructive criticism as well," he said.
Both the storyboarding sessions and the final judgment will be aired on Gigity.tv, Seng's online TV station that's similar like Ustream. He said the ads will air during Gigity's streams and be available to watch on the website as well.
To register or see a complete list of participating brewers, visit www.30secondsoverchicago.com.
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