Pratt student produces winning video

Jordyn Sanko
Pratt High School student Troy Hamm, recently won an award for creating a winning video in the Better Business Bureau promotional contest.

The Better Business Bureau recently hosted a competition challenging students from high schools in the Silicon Valley area to produce and market a video. This contest caught the attention of aspiring video producers and advertisers, including Pratt High School student Troy Hamm. Participants had four weeks to prepare a 1-minute video promoting and explaining one of BBB’s services in an effective and creative manner.

The competition took place from February 3 to Feb. 28, with teams of 1-4 people involved in making videos. The videos and marketing were judged on March 16.

Hamm won first place with his video, “Trust”, which described the charity feature that the Bureau offers through the follies of Dave, a common man with a big heart. He discovers the benefits of the Bureau through BBB representative Braxton Brenner after his credit card had been compromised. Hamm’s video received 804 votes, which was less than the second place winner; nonetheless Hamm had scored higher in the judging criteria and overall grading.

His reward was a $2,000 dollar donation of equipment of his choice that would be available to the school district and $500 in cash and gift cards.

Second place in the contest went to USD 350 St. John-Hudson’s A/V production class, which made a video called “Plumber Perils” that showcased BBB’s reliable service hiring capabilities. They received $1,000 in equipment and $250 dollars worth of cash and gift cards.

For Hamm, it was the was the first video competition that he has ever entered. After his mother showed him the rules, he was optimistic that he would succeed in placing from the beginning.

“I was very confident that I’d win because I have experience in making videos and there weren’t many other videos entered,” he said.

His experience comes from running a mildly successful YouTube channel “Troy Hamm” where he posts short videos over a variety of topics. He plans to create more videos and join again next year, especially with the awards he had earned from winning the competition.

The rewards were partially what drove Hamm to enter Pratt in the competition. PHS lost a class about video production last year, and the equipment could renew interest back into the subject.

“I entered because it sounded interesting knowing that there were prizes involved,” Hamm said. “I haven’t looked into buying equipment for the school yet.”

The competition did not only require a video to be made, but for the video to be advertised and shared on social media to test the participant’s marketing capabilities. Hamm chose to promote the video through Facebook.

“My mom posted my video on Facebook and a lot of other people from Pratt shared it from there,” he said.

The plot and characters of Hamm’s video were based on core interests of Better Business Bureau.

“I just tried thinking of a situation where BBB could be used then I followed their standards and went from there,” he said.

This ensured that the main point of the video was to advertise one of the services or themes, meeting the objectives of that portion of the competition in a clear fashion.

The argument wasn’t the only aspect of the video that was solid. It included memorable characters, such as fan-favorite Braxton Brenner. Characters in commercials can boost the memorability of the advertisement, thus increasing the marketability. Hamm said he plans to use Brenner in future videos, and hopes to enter again next year.

The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit organization that finds businesses, brands, services and charities that are reliable and safe to use, and shares that information with the public.