Last night in my econ class, I introduced students to the “amateur” v “professional” debate by talking about the 2007 Super Bowl, the first time any major brand had engaged fans in a contest where the winner got a Super Bowl slot. At the time, the contest spurred discussion of “professional” versus “amateur”. Note that most of western science in the 1800s and even early 1900s was conducted by, you guessed it, amateurs.
For example, from a Washington Post story, January 2007:
“What this means is: You’ve got some kid with a video camera and he’s playing on the same field as everyone else, and he did the whole [ad] for, what? A hundred bucks?” said veteran adman Kipp Monroe, with Herndon’s White & Partners.
Also, it was in 2007 that Web 2.0 critic Andrew Keen wrote The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture. He’s still a critic.
Kristin Dehnert, who created the “Check Out Girl” spot, has a degree in Speech Communications from the University of Illinois. She wrote on her bio that she was “Location Manager and Scout for commercials as my paid ‘day job’ but my true passion is writing and directing. My dream is to make directing commercials and feature films my new ‘day job’.” She won 11 awards for a short film, “Underground.”
A Close Second:
The Dorito “Live the Flavor” ad was created by Weston Phillips, 22, and Dale Backus, 21, in North Carolina. They spent $12.79 … plus a lot of hours … and their existing investment in technology, of course. From their website (at the time):
We were trying to get into advertising in mid-October, a month or two before we saw the Doritos contest,” Phillips said. “When we saw the prize — $10,000 and your ad gets aired in the Super Bowl — we really didn’t think about the repercussions of having an ad in the Super Bowl. We were looking at the $10,000 and thinking, ‘That would be pretty nice.’
P.S. I don’t remember which one won!