The Kindle Took Me Far

A few months ago, my sister forwarded an email to me that she got from Amazon. The email described a contest they were holding called “Your Kindle Commercial”. Participants were urged to create a commercial for the Amazon Kindle that was 30 seconds long in order to compete for a Grand Prize of $15,000 in Amazon Gift Cards and up to 4 semi-finalist prizes of $2,500 in Amazon Gift Cards.

Jen wanted me to enter the contest…but I wasn’t so sure. I knew the email probably went out to thousands of really talented people who could very well beat me…and I wasn’t sure if I was up for the competition. There is something about design contests that I like, and something about them that I don’t like. I think it’s great when things go your way, but when they don’t I get flash backs to college critiques where things go wrong and people don’t respond well to what you just posted on the wall. Rejection is never something that is easy to deal with…which is why sometimes I wimp out and avoid it.

So a month went by and I came up with every excuse in the book why I couldn’t create a commercial to enter. My sister kept bugging me and bugging me asking every week if I had something to submit…but of course I didn’t. Finally, one day she brought it up in front of my parents and said, “Why won’t you just do it? $15,000 is a lot of money! It’s worth a try anyways, I think you could win.”

So then I felt guilty and started really thinking about something I could create. Eventually, a concept came to me and I started to get excited about the possibility of winning. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, but I figured I would just do my best and see how it went. I chatted a few times with some friends and Matt about their thoughts on what I had come up with and after a week of creating, I was super happy with the end result.

I woke up that Saturday morning and watched the video probably 5 times before I felt comfortable sending it in for judging. I remember pushing the send button and walking over by Matt and saying, “Well, that’s it. I guess I just have to wait and see how it goes!”

Of course, after I sent it I showed the video to my sister and some family and friends to get their opinions on whether or not they thought I had a chance to win. All of them said they liked it and that I might really have a chance, but I was still skeptical.

A month and a half went by and it was finally the day Amazon was supposed to announce the winner. I turned my computer on early that morning and to my surprise, instead of posting the winners, there was a post saying they extended the judging deadline. Stink. Now I had to wait a WHOLE week to know. Great.

I didn’t have to wait a week though. I was sitting at work two days later when I received a phone call from an unknown number. I’m a call screener, so I didn’t answer. Upon listening to the voicemail, I came to discover that it was a lady who worked for Amazon that was calling me to “discuss something very important” with me. I instantly got super nervous and thought “Is this it? Did I really win?”. I was so nervous that I had to wait a little bit before calling her back, but eventually did. What I found out was that I was a “potential semi-finalist” and she wanted me to sign some paperwork before they announced the winner that Monday. So, I did what I was asked and signed the paper work and sat around waiting. To my surprise again, I got an email on Friday letting me know I won the Grand Prize! I thought for sure when I saw the email in my inbox that I had lost. Turns out, for once an email notification was good!

So that’s the story. Now you can see my submission and also the two semi-finalist winner’s (Brittaney Parbs and sisters Pearl and Jane Wang) submissions here. Congratulations to them for winning the semi-finalist prizes!!

So, the cat is out of the bag after a long weekend of keeping it to myself! I have to say, it feels good to be the winner and be recognized for the kind of work I produce and all of the time I put in on this project. I am still contemplating what to spend my prize on! If you have any suggestions, feel free to pass them along. :)

I just want to say thanks to the people at for choosing me to be the winner! Oh, and make sure you keep your eyes out for my commercial!


  1. Mollie · September 28, 2010

    Books! Lots and lots of books! Oh, and probably a Kindle. It would only be fair.

  2. RandomizeME · September 29, 2010

    Wow, congrats! What are you gonna do with your gift cards?


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