In my rant video, I created I discuss a number of specific contests. In this blog post, I will:

  1. outline and link to the information I mentioned,
  2. offer my best tips on how you can win creative video contests.

Doritos Contest: Crash the Superbowl

Wikipedia has a full history of the Crash the Superbowl contest outlined there, so I will not reiterate it, but the agency I was discussing that won was the Herbert Brothers in the third year the contest ran.

If you type Doritos Crash the Superbowl into YouTube you get dozens of videos. Everything from compilations of the Top 10 to rejected submissions. You will also notice all of them look professionally filmed. Even though the contest was originally created for the average consumer to enter, you will notice you must be extremely creative, understand videography, be highly skilled at editing, and a budget to even stand a chance at the grand prize. Yes, I said budget. As the finalists often spent thousands to enter.

No Frills: #HaulidayContest

The rant video was created after I heard about the third weekly winner’s entry going viral and receiving almost 1000 hateful comments on Instagram. The sponsor didn’t do anything until Margaux asked them to remove the comments. (The embedded video below is from Facebook.)

I thought her video was quite clever and could see exactly why she won. I know as a marketer if I had been in the office selecting winners, I would have picked Margaux’s.

Why, specifically, her video virally and commanded the hate she received is beyond me. Why not any of the other winners?! You tell me. The official rules have been removed, but you can view all the contest entries (winning and not) on the No Frills website.

Thinking Cap

If you find a contest that asks you to engage with the brand, right away you know you need to get creative.


There is a reason this is my number one tip. Yo need to know every aspect of the entry requirements such as:

  • the standards: eligibility, end date, and region open to.
  • the specifics: entry methods and judging criteria.

If you do not meet all of the entry requirements, you will not win. (I blogged a separate rant on sponsors not following their own rules: How to Avoid Social Media Backlash in Contests.)


Not exactly sure what the sponsors are looking for in a winning entry? If you have the opportunity, wait until the first batch of winners is chosen, or look at the previous year’s winners. Then you know how high the bar has been set, and you need to surpass it.


All the winning Doritos commercials were clearly a team effort. Directors, writers, actors, camera people, etc. Depending on the stakes ($1,000,000 prize for Doritos, but only $1000 for No Frills) decide how many people you want to split the prize with and what type of help you need to win, based upon your skill set. Remember, only one of the winners for No Frills looked like a professional ad. Everyone else used their phone or a webcam, etc.

TIP: DO NOT erase your submission after uploading your entry. One winner was asked for the full high res video once they declared her a winner and she couldn’t find a copy as she had erased it. Only delete large files AFTER the contest is long over.


Don’t think you are clever or witty enough to win. just like any other muscle in the body, the more you use it, the stronger it will become.

Have an idea popped into your head? Keep a small pad of paper and a pen with you at all times to jot down inspirations, or dictate them into your smartphone.

Then start entering, and keep entering. You will be amazed and surprised at what you win.

Do you enter creative contests?