Last week, my producer and I were invited to the Tongies III in LA, an award show for branded videos. It's such a funny name..."the Tongies." I couldn't tell how legit it was before going, but hey, I get a free flight to LA and a couple of nights in a sweet hotel so why not.
Legit or not legit will be determined by how it fares the test of time--it's only the third year. But they did put on quite the Hollywood show. They pretty seamlessly copied off of the Oscars and the Golden Globes, what with the red carpet, dresses and suits... and the presenters prefacing each category with a bit of blurb, then going, "and the nominees are..." then cut to a reel with swelling award show music. It was pretty impressive.
The branded short I made last year for MasterCard Priceless Cities was nominated for Best Long Form video (one "long" minute). I went with so little anticipation to win and hardly even cared, but it's funny because when the reel of nominees started playing and I saw my name up there, I did get nervous for a moment. And when I didn't win, there was also a brief moment of disappointment.
Apparently to some, this was a really big deal. Some people lived off of this thing, Tongal. They do it full time. And the members at my table told me I was a very rare case to have submitted something, win the round, and then also get nominated for the Tongies all on first try. So I got a little patting on the back.
The show had me thinking about where this whole branded content business was headed. And do I like it? I'm still shaping my opinions on it, even though I'm knee deep in already being in this industry.
When the show was over and we got back to the hotel, obviously we were craving tacos. So we did a lil 2am taco run, and the night was all good.