Win Up to $50,000 by Entering the Sears Appliance Comedy Project

Sears Comedy ProjectSears may not be the first company you think of when it comes to filmmaking, but Tongal has partnered with them in offering filmmakers an opportunity to win up to $50,000 by sharing, pitching, and making their funny and clever video ideas. Focusing on the lighthearted and comical side of innovation, Sears's Appliances Comedy Project consists of three phases that run from now until November 11th, and is currently accepting submissions for the "Idea Phase," which ends at 12pm on October 14th. Continue reading for more information on how you can get your hands on some serious dough.

The goal of the Sears Appliance Comedy Project is to create a funny 30-60 second video based on one of several comical concepts provided by Sears. Your ideas/pitches/videos don't have to be Sears-centered -- focusing on appliances or their other products. It just has to be funny and creatively incorporate one of the following concepts:

  • What can go wrong when large things have to fit into small places?
  • What can go wrong when you are not precise or exact enough?
  • What can go wrong when you try to do two things at the same time?

These concepts aren't picked at random; each one relates to one of Sears' new appliance features, which they share below each concept to give you an idea of what can be done. For example, with the second concept listed above, the feature that goes with it is "a Refrigerator that heats water to the exact temperature and dispenses it through the door."

Idea Phase

The first phase of the project, the Idea Phase, asks you to submit up to 5 ideas for a video in 140 characters or less. So, no long and detailed scripts or lengthy concepts. All you need is a seed of an idea. Here's a video from Tongal that shows you how simple your idea can be:

The winning idea creators will receive $250 each, and if their winning idea is the basis for the 1st place video, will receive $1,000, the 2nd place Video $500, the 3rd place Video $450, and the 4th place Video $287.50.

To get started, you'll have to register at Tongal first. You can do that by clicking on the "Submit Your Idea" button, which takes you to a registration page.

Pitch Phase

The next step is the Pitch Phase, which is a little bit more labor intensive. You are asked to submit your pitch in 500 characters or less, as well as concept images, storyboards, video, and a link to your reel in order to give judges a clear idea of how you would go about producing a 30 to 60 second video based on the winning ideas from the previous phase. Winners will receive $1,500 to help them produce their video. The project's site explains how you can secure your spot in the winner's circle of the Video Phase:

Additionally, upon submitting a Video that satisfies the criteria laid out in your winning Pitch, the Pitch winners will also be GUARANTEED a winning place in the subsequent Video Phase.  So, if your Pitch is selected and you execute your Pitch effectively in your Video submission, you will win an additional $5,750 at a minimum, and have a chance to compete for the $20,000  First Place video prize.

Three pitches will be awarded. Tongal gives an example of a winning pitch here.

Video Phase

The three winners from the Pitch Phase move on and make a video with the $1,500 they receive. However, even if you didn't win, Wild Card submissions are also accepted. All wild cards are judged, and the one that scores the highest is judged along with the three winners from the Pitch Phase.


This is how the winners of the Video Phase are paid:

  • 1st Place: $20,000
  • 2nd Place: $10,000
  • 3rd Place: $9,000
  • 4th Place: $5,750

Here's the contest's schedule:

  • Idea Phase: 10/11 - 10/14
  • Pitch Phase: 10/17 - 10/21
  • Video Phase: 10/23 - 11/11

For more information on the Sears Appliance Comedy Project, check out the contest's page here and the requirements page here. Also, before you submit, be sure to read the official rules.


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Your Comment


287.50? That is... precise...

October 12, 2013 at 7:38PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

David J. Fulde

No more, no less.

October 13, 2013 at 12:51AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I was wondering - is this any different from contests that Poptent runs?

October 12, 2013 at 8:55PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I understand why not North Korea, but why not North Ireland and Quebec?

October 13, 2013 at 2:01AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


this is just a slightly better spec spot B.S. contest. $1500 to shoot a 30-60 sec spot ? thats doesn't even cover my day rate. see for more info on this years old scam of asking for spec work. In fact the total money they are spending is about 1/2 what a national ad would cost them working with an agency + production company, and thats a bit on the cheap. don't leave money on the table, don't get ripped off, don't work for spec for a company that can easily afford paying people properly.... of course maybe their agency just sucks and they figure they have nothing to loose and may get a better creative concept. per se, I don't mind the 1st phase of write a 140 word concept, but after that you should get paid for your work. period.

October 13, 2013 at 11:21AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


how can you win $50000 if first place is 20k

October 13, 2013 at 12:57PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I've participated in Tongal projects before and have sold a few spots to them. Although it has its benefits, at the end of the day it's a total crapshoot, and you'll most likely have ended up working for free.

There's no real communication like with a real client, so their project brief sometimes doesn't do a good enough job of articulating what they want.

October 13, 2013 at 9:26PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Great blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
I'm hoping to start my own website soon but I'm a little lost on everything.
Would you recommend starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a
paid option? There are so many options out there that I'm totally overwhelmed ..

Any ideas? Thank you!

January 4, 2014 at 3:57PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM