February 8, received an email from Tim McAlpine entitled "Gut Check." He and DeAndré Upshaw had come up with an idea for a contest that, in Tim's mind, could spell either professional disaster or endless entertainment. The contest was to encourage people to submit a music video about moving your money from a bank to a credit union, taking inspiration from General Larry Platt's wildly amusing "Pants on the Ground" audition for American Idol. The launch of the contest would capitalize on the Move Your Money movement, which encourages people to ditch big banks for credit unions and community banks.
"Awesome and fun OR awful and suicidal?" Tim asked.
A user-generated video contest based on "Pants on the Ground" and Move Your Money?! I called him almost immediately, saying "do it...it's a great idea!"
I'm sure I had nothing to do with his decision (his intuition about things like this is vastly better than mine), but he went live with his contest the very next day.
Six days later? Crickets. No entries. Very little discernible buzz.
"Fruitcake!" I thought. I had emphatically encouraged a good friend to launch a dud.
I panicked, and decided to create a video so he would have at least one submission. I studied the "Pants on the Ground" lyrics, modified them to fit the contest rules, and recorded a Credit Union Warrior version of "Money in the Bank" (complete with falsetto background vocals that will make you either laugh or hurl). I threw together a video to go with the song, and became the first entry in the contest...almost my apology for leading Tim astray.
It just goes to show you how crazy our expectations and levels of patience have become. The contest was a great idea, and (despite what I feared) there was significant buzz. Deciding whether or not to enter a contest takes time. Creating content takes time. Often, when you launch a thing like this you lose sight of those important points.
Within weeks, the Money in the Bank contest had received 14 entries...all of them packed with personality, energy, and even some catchy tunes. Two videos were posted on the very popular Move Your Money blog, tens of thousands of people visited YoungFreeHQ.com, and the participants had a blast.
Being remarkable sometimes means risking "looking like a fool." Currency Marketing is remarkable.
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