Criteria for Judging a Video Contest
Fae Savignano, Marden-Kane SVP, provides this in depth post on video contest criteria.
Marden-Kane has provided you with information about “Good Criteria for Judging a Contest” and a follow-up article on “Criteria for Judging a Photo Contest”, well what about Video Contests? I’m glad you asked. Taking into account all of the previously suggested Judging Criteria in the articles above that may also apply to a Video Entry including some of the standouts below, I would like to expand that list to include the following recommendations geared specifically to VIDEO Contests:
I don’t want to put too much pressure on you, but the Judging Criteria is the glue that holds the Contest together and the key to selecting your perfect winner. First, decide what you are looking for in that perfect entry, what your marketing goals are, and how will the content be used. Once decided, you can now select judging criteria that clearly meets those parameters. The Official Rules should clearly state what the entrant can do and most importantly what they cannot do, what is acceptable and what is not. Don’t leave it up to the entrant to guess what you want to see, be clear with your objectives and your requirements, and they will respond accordingly.
And in addition to the information we provided in our “6 Tips for Creating a Contest Winning Entry” blog, here is what the Judges should look for when judging Video Contest Entries:
1] Did the Entrant follow the Official Rules including How to Enter, Eligibility Requirements, Entry Limitations, required Releases and more, specifically the Entry Content, Creative and Technical Requirements? More specifically:
- Was the Entry Form completely filled out?
- Is the video in the correct file size and format?
- Does the video length fall within the required time limit?
- Was it upload where and when as detailed in the official rules?
- Is the content matter appropriate to the contest theme and does it meet the posted criteria?
- Was the entry submitted/received within the prescribed time period?
- Are you allowed or not allowed to include music, the sponsor’s product, or people other than yourself?
- Was proof of permission submitted for any and all copyrighted materials used in the video?
- Has the video entry been properly identified, named and/or tagged as requested in the rules?
Note: Per the FTC, an acceptable disclosure for a video entry in a prize promotion should include audio or copy placement at the beginning of the video to state “this is my <contest name> entry”.
2] How does the Entry fare against the published Judging Criteria? Every Entry should be judged on its own merit, based on the established criteria. A properly designed Judging Criteria will have the judges focusing their attention on the qualities that are going to be weighed and assigned a value or score.
3] It is recommended to include an explanation/definition of each Judging Criteria so both Entrant and Judge can fully understand the Sponsor’s intent. Such as, but not limited to:
- Impact – what you feel when you first view the Entry. Does the video evoke an emotion from the viewer? Does the video engage you from the onset or does it lose momentum?
- Creativity – how the Entrant was able to convey their idea, message or thought in an original and imaginative way through their lens, narrative, performance, etc.
- Style – how the Entrant is able to showcase their personal originality and technique to influence how the video is presented and interpreted.
- Subject Matter – was the subject matter addressed in the narrative, performance and music (if applicable) in the video appropriately represent the Sponsor’s promotional theme?
- Story Telling – how the Entrant is able to let their Video Entry evoke the viewer’s imagination, which may differ by each viewer. Is the story being told the right story for the Sponsor and their brand?
4] Does the Subject Matter/Content/Performance fall within the assignment/theme? Is it relevant? What is the Impact? What does the Entry emote, within a Visual, Emotional, Aesthetic, and Intellectual context?
5] Even if the Technical Requirements have all been met, does the Video Entry create the visual impact that it should? Does the Entry exude technical excellence? Here are some examples of what to look for:
- Performance – or the manner in which the entrant presents themselves, speaks to the camera and relays their message. The best performance is one that is the most natural, which does not look contrived, scripted or stiff. Does the speaker know what they are talking about and do you believe them?
- Production – the quality of the video including how smooth the transitions are, and whether the editing compliments the flow of content. Having that finished look. Was the Video Entry truly ready to be entered or were some finishing touches, edits still required?
- Focus – the video in its entirety should be in focus, as sharp focus is key. Avoid extensive and sharp movements while filming. Video movement should be smooth and transparent. Also, limit and/or avoid zooming and animations.
- Lighting – how the Entrant was able to use and control light. Was the lighting applied in the video (manmade or natural) properly used to enhance the visuals? Is the entrant and images clearly visible, centered, in focus and without any glare? Was the video well-lit throughout filming and each shot properly exposed?
- Background – is the background unappealing, messy, unattractive or distracting? Does it contain copyrighted materials?
- Audio – the audio/sound should be heard and the dialogue should be intelligible and dynamically balanced. The sound in all shots should have the same volume.
- Music – if music is required and/or allowed to be included in your video entry ensure that it is appropriate and engaging to the listener. However, obtaining appropriate music that you can legally use will be problematic. Please be aware that you cannot use music without proof of permission as you may infringe on the copyright rights of the publisher, the composer, the performer, mixers, master, their heirs, et al.
6] Does the Video Entry tell a full story? What is the overall impression? What is the effect? Does the Video Entry stand on its own, as complete and outstanding? Does it have the Wow! Factor?
And finally, the Judge(s) selected by the Sponsor to judge their Contest Entries ideally should be an expert or have some degree of expertise in what they are judging. A professional videographer would be a perfect choice; however, this is not a requirement, but it will help the Sponsor select the Best in Show! Plus, the Entrants gain a sense of fair play when they see that the winner was chosen by an expert. It should be noted that the Sponsor can also be a part of the Judges Group as they are the experts in what their brand and marketing goals are.
Since creating and uploading a video is now a common trend, no wonder Video Contests have increased in popularity. Video Contests can generate social awareness and involvement with the sponsor and their brand. The content provided can attract new followers and promote social sharing. There are many more reasons why you should run a Video Contest for your brand and many different types of Contests to choose from, click here to see some notable examples. And, when you are ready to run your next Video Contest and customize the Judging Criteria to meet your specific goals, contact us.
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