Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Brother, Can You Spare a Quarter Mil?

The sponsored video on the homepage of YouTube (in the right panel) is a 24-hour placement. Asking price: $250,000. (Negotiable, I'm told.)

H&R Block chose to hype its TaxCut software using this space today. They are trying desperately to compete with what has been robbing them of revenue, namely the superior TurboTax software.

H&R Block is featuring the winners of their "Me and My SuperSweet Refund Video Contest," taking "user generated content" to an all time low. Each video even has a preview title screen with some sort of wreath-like thing, as if it won some prestigious film festival award. The idea of the contest was to share what you would do with your "super sweet refund." (Yeah - if we use the words "super sweet", that'll guarantee the kids will be all over this, 'cause kids say "sweet" all the time....dude.)

Grand Prize goes to Wacktube, one of the worst actresses in the history of acting, with a failed "makeover" premise in a barely watchable, nearly two minutes of pure idiocy.

2nd Prize goes to Nandrews, of My Hands are Bananas fame, who gives us what is in my opinion the best of these three lame comedic efforts with a Kids in the Hall-like, seemingly half-scripted sort of improv bit.

3rd Prize goes to TheBigBadWolf, who's got the best cinematic eye, even if his faked Jamaican accent and silly premise kept him down in the rankings. Also, he failed to write an ending. Or maybe it was because he's black.

It's nice, I guess, that young filmmakers are being encouraged to share their talents, but at least come to the table with an idea that might work. If this sort of stuff keeps up, we'll be smelling the death of user generated content soon. I see $250,000 wasted by H&R Block. If these three were the best, they clearly didn't get enough entries to justify the contest.

He is handling the money
He's serving the food
He knows about your party
He is calling you "DUDE!"

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  • off topic BUT IMPORTANT. also, I found no email address:


    By Blogger copyranter, at April 3, 2007 at 8:18 PM  

  • Thanks, copyranter. I'll post about this tomorrow.

    (jetpacks AT gmail DOT com)

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at April 3, 2007 at 8:54 PM  

  • I work for H&R Block. This contest was a way for us to extend our brand to a new audience. We received a lot of really good entries. The winners were selected directly by open voting on YouTube. H&R Block wasn’t involved in their selection. You can take a look at all of the entries at http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=20D7D746EA4D4E93

    By Blogger Mike, at April 4, 2007 at 10:14 AM  

  • Mike:

    Thanks for commenting and for the clarification. Were you aware of the voting "irregularities" that were attributed by some You Tubers to your winning entry? Seems she has multiple accounts and was voting for herself. Some policing may be needed in the future if this is to function fairly.

    See the accusation here.

    I must commend H&R Block for having the guts and the honesty to find bloggers talking about them and to come out here and "engage the customer."

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at April 4, 2007 at 10:22 AM  

  • jetpacks...
    We have recently become aware of potential irregularities and are disappointed to hear this. Unfortunately, there isn't a good way to prove or disprove the allegations. Hopefully, the YouTube community will understand this and embrace the great work that was done by the many directors that entered our contest.

    By Blogger Mike, at April 4, 2007 at 12:42 PM  

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