Students win YouTube video contest

Mayday, mayday—Butler University has two new celebrities.

Juniors Kristen Allen and Emily Cagle were the grand-prize winners in the Indianapolis Airport Authority’s “Show Us Your Favorite Things @ IND” YouTube video contest.

Indianapolis Airport Authority Director of Communications Susan Sullivan said the contest was part of the IAA’s effort to engage customers through the use of social media and make better use of sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

“We were looking for ways to populate the airport’s YouTube channel with fresh, creative videos at little or no cost to IAA, ways to generate positive earned media coverage for the airport and simply to gain more knowledge and insight about this popular social media tool,” she said.

Sullivan said the IAA is currently discussing with Delta Air Lines about the possibility of launching another YouTube contest as early as March of this year.

Allen and Cagle’s one-minute video featuring an airport-themed version of “Twelve Days of Christmas” received 10,342 YouTube views and won round-trip airfare and a five-night stay in Tampa, Fla.

“I’m looking forward to sunshine, beaches and relaxation—especially with all of this snow,” Allen said.

Allen heard about the contest through the Scholars for the Advancement of Business Leadership listserv and, at first, didn’t give a thought to seriously entering the contest.

“I didn’t have real motivation to create a video, but told my co-workers at Information Commons that I thought my favorite thing would be the moving walkway,” she said. “I started throwing out ideas like sending a mariachi band down it, sending numerous people doing the wave down it and having a dance party on it. And that’s how the seed got planted.”

Allen said she brainstormed and wrote most of the script over Thanksgiving Break with the help of her grandmother.

She said they tried using alliteration techniques such as “six shiny shoes,” but they had to use objects that were available for the time of day and locations of the airport that they could access.

The familiar holiday tune was renovated with new lyrics to highlight different aspects of the airport such as the baggage claims, Southwest planes, I-465, chapel services, payphones and of course, “a trip down the moving walkway.”

Allen and Cagle went to the airport late at night to film and avoid having too many other people walking through the video.

“Pretty much Kristen just said go do this and that—do a cartwheel on the strip—and I was like okay,” Cagle said. “Most of it was recorded on our first try.”

Cagle did the singing and most of the actions in the video with Allen filming and editing with equipment she borrowed from her employer, the Center for Academic Technology.

“I had a basic idea of what I wanted for each shot, but as we filmed we modified or brainstormed what else we could do,” Allen said. “The whole night turned into one big joke—I remember laughing nearly every time I turned on the camera.

“Emily and I actually felt like the midnight recording adventure in the airport was worth entering the contest.”

Allen and Cagle said they mostly used Facebook to show off their video and earn the most views.

“We also created a fan page on Facebook where we uploaded bloopers to encourage viewers to keep watching,” Allen said.

Cagle said the way Facebook can connect to so many different people was “strange, weird and awesome.”

She said they also asked friends and family to spread the word as well as advertising it in the Butler Connection to gain peer support.

Both women said they were amazed at how quickly and successfully something like this could travel through the social networks and, in general, how encouraging everyone was in the process.

Cagle described the experience as awesome and said she was thrilled to have been a part of it since she had never been to the airport before filming.

Cagle said they weren’t sure if they were going to take their trip over spring break or during the first week of summer vacation, but one thing is for sure—these two grand-prize winners have another trip to make down the moving walkway at the Indianapolis Airport.