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Wine lovers have chance to win $5,000 for a video


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POSTED: Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Oahu restaurateur will give away $5,000 to the winner of a video contest, and entrants needn't even mention his eateries' names aloud.

The contest is only open to adults 21 and older — because video-makers have to explain or otherwise show what they love about wine.

The minimum 55-second to maximum 60-second videos must be uploaded to YouTube and to www.formaggiowineminute.com, but entrants should read the official rules at the latter site first to make sure all eligibility steps are completed.

The contest is the latest development sprouting from the Formaggio Wine Minute, which started as a way to “;educate the public about wine in a casual manner,”; said Wes Zane, owner of the Formaggio Wine Bar and Formaggio Grill restaurants.

The concept unfolded as radio commercials that would talk more about wines than the restaurants — and now “;the main emphasis”; of the Web site has become the Formaggio-YouTube video contest.

“;I don't really want them to talk about Formaggio. I want them to say why they love wine,”; Zane said.

Video contests via YouTube are commonplace, but “;no one's done it in this manner,”; Zane said.

This contest encourages entrants to donate $1 or more to Wash., D.C.-based Share Our Strength, a nonprofit that fights childhood hunger.

Entrants would also be wise to include an inaudible reference to Formaggio Wine Bar and Formaggio Grill “;cleverly,”; according to the restaurants' announcement.

“;It'll be fun to see them pull a cork and the cork says Formaggio,”; to see the name superimposed somewhere or shown in the background, or whatever, he said.

He would love the videos to take on a life of their own online.

“;I hope that videos will go viral. I'm keeping my fingers crossed,”; he said. “;Internet buzz is a good thing.”;

Videos that go “;viral”; spread like wildfire through people e-mailing YouTube or other links to friends who forward them, or by posting links on social media sites including MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and others.

The duo known as nigahiga gained such stardom on YouTube that Hilo boys Ryan Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi got a movie deal.

Thankfully, the somewhat NSFW (not safe for work) “;Subservient Chicken”; did not, but the video link nevertheless wound up in office e-mail in-boxes, likely around the world.

It isn't that Burger King's viral video was that racy; it's just that prior to its release, it wasn't every day one could see a grown-up dressed in a garter-belt-adorned chicken suit. The amount of pent-up desire for such a sight was also unknown before Miami-based advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky brought it to the world.

It is also unknown how much foot traffic the disturbing pre-plucked poultry sent into Burger King restaurants, but that is not important to Zane.

He is after “;top-of-mind awareness,”; he said.

“;We're going to crown the champion in November, right as we get into the holidays. It's not a bad time to have people talking about you,”; Zane said.

Videos must be entered by Oct. 1, and voting commences the next day, through Oct. 24. New video choices will be posted each week, and the winner will be announced Nov. 3.

Zane is mulling over additional nontraditional marketing tactics for his other eateries including Good to Grill, Burgers on the Edge, Caliente del Sol and Lanikai Catering.

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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).