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A Handmade Moment

Jun 1, 2009

by Vanessa Bertozzi

Attention all artists, videographers, film students, DIY addicts, advertising students, home video makers, professionals, camera nerds and other creative members of the Etsy community: here’s your chance to show the world how talented you are, and help us spread the Etsy gospel while you are at it!

And if that’s not enticing enough, we are also giving away pantloads of cash. We’re hosting a new contest at

Etsy wants promotional videos, and since our community is creative, artistic and unique, we’re turning to you.  For the next few months we will be accepting submissions for :15 and :30 (second) videos promoting Etsy and the handmade movement. This is your opportunity to express your passion (or is it an obsession?) for Etsy. 

The guidelines are simple: your ad’s theme must be “A Handmade Moment” and must legibly display the text “”.

We will select 10 finalists from those submissions which surpass a minimum score based on a variety of criteria, and then invite the community to vote on a winner. The winning submissions will receive a total of $10,000 (and we’ll use the video, too)!

First Prize: $3,250
Three Runners Up: $1,250
Six Finalists: $500

We’re calling the contest the Handmade Moment, and you’re invited.


Wait, WHAAAAAAAAAT? I want that fame and glory and money. How does this work?

1. Make a :15 or :30 (second) long Etsy promotional video. The length must be exact.

2. Upload your video(s) to Etsy at Submissions will be accepted through August 31, 2009, at 11:59 p.m. ET, to be exact. You must have permission to use all of the content in your video.

3. Start promoting your video and sharing the heck out of it. One of the criteria for the selection of finalists will be view counts, sooo…

Embed your video in blogs, on Facebook or MySpace, and anywhere you think people will see it. On August 31st the 25 videos with the most views will be well positioned to form the pool from which our jury will select the 10 finalists. (Our friends at are powering the video pages and will keep count for us.) We will be taking other criteria (keep on reading) into consideration to select the finalists, because being popular doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best.

What should the video promotion be about?
The advertisement should be for in general (and must not be for a particular seller). Your ad’s theme must be “A Handmade Moment,” and it must legibly display the text “” Other than that, go nuts. Be original. One of the criteria when we pick the winners will be creativity.

For real? Does my video ad have to be made from any specific media?
Nope! Animation, claymation, film, live action, silent movie, dance, mime. The sky’s the limit. Just make it awesome!

Rad, I can do that. How does Etsy choose the finalists?
We’re looking for something great.  Etsy will choose finalists based on our not-so-top-secret scoring criteria, awarding points for: (1) creativity and originality, (2) handmade ethos, (3) humor and whimsy, (4) technical skill, (5) catchiness and (6) brand appropriateness.

Once the ten finalists are selected we will invite the community to vote for up to three favorite videos to help determine the winners, alongside a panel of expert and celebrity judges who will score the entries.

I have a ton of ideas.  What should I do?
You can make and submit as many videos as you like.

How long does the contest last?
Submissions are accepted for three months, but the sooner you upload your video the more time you’ll have to get views, so hustle! Submissions can be entered beginning June 1, 2009 through August 31, 2009 at, so start crafting your video ideas today.  Finalists will be announced in September.

I use Youtube/vimeo/blip/odeo/elsewhere to host my videos. Can I still enter?
No, sorry (darn lawyers!). You have to use our upload tool at Click the “submit video” button at to learn more, and then use our widget to promote your video.  There’s a long explanation for how and why, so be sure to fully read the Official Rules before you hit that submit button.

Remember, views will only be counted through, so be sure to use our sharing tools when placing your video elsewhere on the Internet. After you register your video at, be sure to grab your embed code and start sharing. We encourage you to post your video to your blog, Facebook page, MySpace page… wherever you think you can get people to click and watch!

My ad is twenty two seconds long. Does that disqualify me?
Sorry, but the rules state your ad must be either exactly 15 or 30 seconds long. Remember, a great ad is short and sweet, and attention spans tend to drop in a matter of seconds online.

Will Etsy help?
Fear not, aspiring creative director! We’ve created a resources page with some music and logos you can use. However, you don’t have to use these resources, so be creative.

My friend is a film student and would be so good at this. Can I tell them about this?

My friend is in advertising and would be so good at this. Can I tell them about this?
If you or your friend are employed professionally in the advertising industry, you are ineligible to participate. Sorry! (Etsy employees are ineligible, too, by the way.)

My work is really abstract, I’m not sure I could make a promotional spot. Making a commercial just sounds so…commercial.
We still want to see it. Etsy loves artistic and creative and unique, it’s what handmade and our community is all about. Just make sure you display “” somewhere in the video, and we’ll all agree it’s a promotional video.

Etsy needs to make their own darn ads!
We believe our huge and talented community can do a better job. And that’s why we want to pay you to do it.

I’m not in the United States. Can I enter?
It depends. The contest is open to residents of the United States, Canada (except Quebec), United Kingdom, and Australia. We are trying to be as inclusive as possible, and we have obtained legal representation in as many countries as possible. Unfortunately, as contest law differs from place to place, we are not able to offer this opportunity in all countries and territories.  (Anyone can submit a video, they just won’t be eligible for the prizes.)

I bet the lawyers want to say something. So what’s the “but…”?
They sure do, and our lawyers are sweet, so be nice! Be sure to read the Official Rules before you submit your video.  Here are some highlights that we want to call to your attention:

  • Your video must be made by you.
  • Your video must not break any laws.
  • You must have the rights to all content (visual, music, audio, or otherwise) used in your video.
  • Your video must be exactly fifteen or thirty seconds long.
  • Etsy approves all submitted videos, and reserves the right to remove any video we find objectionable for any reason.
  • Your video must include the text “”
  • Etsy will have a non-exclusive license to all videos, in perpetuity.
  • Videos will be accepted beginning on June 1, 2009 and ending on August 31, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
  • You can enter as many different videos as you like.

And your video cannot:

  • display any non-Etsy trademarks or logos or obvious variations thereof (you can write anyway you wish, or use a logo from the resources page).
  • contain any photos, imagery, music or video clips that you did not create yourself and own the rights to (as well as those found on the resources page).
  • contain more than three identifiable people.
  • contain a minor who you aren’t the parent or legal guardian of.

You can find all the details at This contest is open to most humans, except as noted above and in the rules, and is, of course, void where prohibited. Good luck and tell your friends!

If you have questions or comments, please see this forum thread. We’re closing the comments on this Storque post so we can follow the conversation over there.

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