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IFC’s LoCo Awards Honor the Promotional Efforts of Small Business Owners

Local television commercials tend to get a bum rap, which is surprising, since they’re some of the most entertaining promotional efforts out there! Thankfully, the folks at IFC feel the same way.

Two of the channel’s most recognized personalities are bringing us the first annual LoCo Awards (short for Local Commercial Awards).

Small business owners are always eager to ham it up in front of the camera to promote their local establishments, often with humorous results. Well, IFC personalities Rhett & Link (of Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings fame) have decided that the time has come for such proactive and outgoing brand owners to get the recognition they deserve, so they’re hosting an awards event/sweepstakes to honor the would-be stars.

Here’s one such, ahem, “star”:

As you may have guessed, there are already several interesting and humorous videos in the running, and the beauty of it is that anyone can log on to vote. Plus, if none of the current submissions suit your fancy, you can always feel free submit the video link to any local commercial you feel is superior. That’s right—you get to submit your own entrees and vote on them! By the way, when you cast a vote, you’ll automatically be entered to win a cash prize of $250—in case you needed some extra incentive.

Cash prizes are always a good thing!

There are plenty of categories, from “Best Original Song or Jingle” to “Most Overly Dramatic Performance” and more. Know of any local commercials that fit the bill? Log on and submit the YouTube or Vimeo link, and while you’re there, cast a vote (just keep in mind that the deadline is July 20th). The three entries with the highest number of votes in each category will become category finalists. The finalists will be judged and a winner will be selected by Rhett & Link themselves.

We all enjoy a well-conceived and well-executed TV commercial from time to time, but it’s important to remember that the professional-caliber material isn’t all that’s out there. Commercials are an art form in and of themselves, and it’s nice to see lesser-known works have the spotlight for a change. Professional commercials can be entertaining, but local commercials—given just the right recipe of budgetary constraints and overly charismatic actors—can be truly unforgettable.

Social interaction is key!

IFC seems to know a thing or two about online marketing. The potential to win a $250 cash prize just for logging on and voting is a huge draw, but the genius move on IFC’s part is their facilitating social interaction with the brand by appealing to people’s interest in low-budget online videos. This is only the first annual LoCo Awards, but I’d imagine that this is the sort of awards show that will get more and more popular in years to come.

Interested in the LoCo Awards? Do you think it’s an effective way for IFC to develop its online fan-base?

Original image by: fotographic1980



Joseph Giorgi

Joseph is the head of the Media Team at Quality Logo Products. He's a video specialist, blogger, perfectionist, and all-around likeable guy. When he's not busy focusing on the nitty-gritty details of his written and visual work, he's normally listening to bad 80s music and scouring the internet for useless information on useless subjects. You can also connect with Joe on Google+.

Comments

  1. Jill Tooley

    Wow, cool! This is a sweet promotion. By getting the “little guys” involved, they’re bound to have a hefty stack of creativity to choose from by the time the contest ends. And that “wack it” video you included? That guy is so awesome! I want to meet him – haha! Have you seen any of the other entries? That video may be a tough one to beat, in my opinion. ;)

    I’ve always loved IFC! Sometimes they show incredible movies and shorts that are better than major releases, which is a good way to deviate from the typical fare. One Halloween they ran this amazing special that featured several short films, and my favorite (surprisingly) was about a renegade clown puppet named “Sparkles.” That was about 10 years ago, though, so it probably doesn’t exist anymore. (sad face) Anyway, I digress…but how I wish that I could find that on DVD or something and watch it again…

    Nice post, Joe!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Actually, if you check out the main LoCo Awards site, there’s a video for the China Star Buffet. It’s probably the best one that I saw. The owner/spokesperson is quite a character.

      “A renegade clown puppet named ‘Sparkles,'” huh? I’ve gotta admit — I kinda-sorta want to see that. ;)

      • Jill Tooley

        OMG, Joe! I just found it by random chance on YouTube! It’s only 8 or so minutes long…I thought it was longer than that. Oh well, enjoy it when you get the chance! :D

  2. JPorretto

    Speaking of bad commercials….I miss Eagle Man. “Look! He’s dropping his rates!”

  3. Jenna

    This is awesome! Local commercials are always so hilarious to me, but they are also very memorable. I especially love the ones that have testimonials from family members. There’s one that airs now where the company owner’s son and daughter (or niece and nephew) talk about how great the company is and it is so awkward and fabulous.

    I think it’s awesome that voters have the option to enter their own nominees, and it doesn’t hurt that people are entered for a cash prize just for voting! That is a great way to build excitement and encourage people to get involved!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Exactly! IFC did a fantastic job putting this awards event together. Who would have thought that honoring local commercials would turn out to be such a great idea?! Very unique move. And they’re definitely encouraging participation with the $250 prize, which is a huge “plus.”

  4. Cybernetic SAM

    IFC channel is one of the things I miss most about having cable… So many indie flicks I love today, I saw on IFC. Seriously one of the best channels ever, it doesn’t matter when you turn it on there is ALWAYS something on! I have never seen the LoCo, but from what I read, it is most definitely an effective way to build their fan base. If I know indie buffs (because I am one) I know they will be loyal fans no matter what, so something like this is seems only supplemental. I think it just adds more to their amazing repertoire and status. Though I think this will help catch the attention of the unlikely non-fans, who are just simply unaware of IFC. (which is insane to even think about). I seriously wish networks would come up with a way that you could just stream their network. If IFC had its own streaming network I would pay top dollar to have it!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Joe, you should have submitted your internet blog spot commercial thingy! “case and point, THE SPRING PEN!” a face meant to be seen by the mass population!

      • Joseph Giorgi

        “Your company name on an Eco-Carry Shopping Bag could say quite a bit.” ;)

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I’ll second that opinion. IFC is top-notch stuff!

      So, if you’re such a big IFC fan, then you’re probably a fan of The Whitest Kids You Know. They’re on IFC. ;)

      • Jill Tooley

        I am! I am! WKUK is so funny, and I wish they’d make more episodes!

        • Cybernetic SAM

          Hey now, I didn’t say I like EVERYTHING! Their shorts and movies are usually top notch! WKUK, well all I have to say about IFC for that is, nobody is perfect and they are allowed to make mistakes. It is just unfortunate they aren’t funny with their stolen humor and ideas from the beloved Canadian actors better known as Kids in The Hall! WKUK are just coasting on the path laid by KITH. and they aren’t very good at it.

  5. Vern-Matic

    Rhett and Link aren’t they the same people that made the Red House Furniture commercial?!?! Coming from Detroit I have never been privy to Eagle Man but growing up I had Mel Farr Superstar. I like this idea of IFC, it opens it up to an entire new audience.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I had never heard of Rhett & Link until I wrote this post, but it looks like they’ve made (and continue to make) lots of low- to mid-budget commercials. It’s possible that they made the Red House Furniture commercial.

      And yeah, IFC did a great job in reaching out to the public for participation with the LoCo Awards. Hopefully it gets more popular in years to come.

  6. Jana Quinn

    That’s an *awesome* promotion.

    Local promotions generally get a higher percentage of interest in the community than campaigns looking to cast a wider net. However, that lower overall number can still be frustrating. The LoCo Awards give an incentive to participate in the voting so that people who don’t have the time/talent/interest to create the content still have motivation to participate and get involved. Brilliant!

    My personal favorite local commercial is here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYYdF0zcuSI

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