AAFES officials ask shoppers to make a scene

  • Published
  • By Samantha L. Quigley
  • American Forces Press Service
Aspiring filmmakers in the military community have the chance to flex their creative muscle and play a part in "It's My Benefit 2," the sequel to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service's inaugural 2008 video contest. 

With a theme of "Rediscover the Values of AAFES," this year's contest is looking for commercials, of 30 to 60 seconds, demonstrating what AAFES value means to the filmmaker. 

It could mean a shopping spree valued at $1,000, $500 or $250 if the commercial is chosen as one of the top three winners.

"Beyond the prizes, AAFES is also offering budding directors, producers and actors major exposure as winning entries will eventually make their way to an international audience via the BX/PX's proprietary in-house network, EXTV," said Mat Dromey, the AAFES chief marketing officer. "Today, EXTV programming is seen ... around the world, including locations throughout Iraq and Afghanistan."

As with last year's contest, the commercials can be shot in the stores, said Lisa Moak, the AAFES' strategic marketing manager.

"All the store managers should be aware of this," Ms. Moak said. "All (filmmakers) have to do is maybe just mention it to a manager that, 'Hey, I'm filming a video for the contest.' They'll be happy to help."

The contest may give customers a chance to tell the world that they find value at AAFES by shopping the sales or using coupons, and it's also a chance for AAFES to educate customers about the store.

"The average shopper can save 20 percent shopping at AAFES," Ms. Moak said. "It's to get them to start looking a little more at the value of AAFES and how they're spending their money."

Rules for the contest, which opened March 20 to military identification card holders 18 and over, can be found through the AAFES Web site. They'll have until June 20 to upload their 100 megabyte or smaller video to the Web site indicated. It should be in one of several formats indicated in the rules, including MPG or WMV.

It's important to note that as soon as the video is submitted to AAFES, it belongs to them and therefore cannot be posted to other sites like YouTube or Facebook, Ms. Moak said.

The field of entries will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists before the announcement of the winners, which is scheduled for the end of July.

Like last year's 28 entries, this year's will be judged on "creativity, accuracy of information and how it promotes the value of AAFES," Ms. Moak said.

The winning videos are anticipated to begin airing about a month after selection.

Comment on this story (comments may be published on Air Force Link)

View the comments/letters page