Case of beer for a year the prize in unique Pabst commercial contest

Want to win $100 and a case of beer every week for a year? That prize is yours if your commercial for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer is picked by the Pabst people to run in a DVD of indie shorts and commercials.

Rich Seng is the creator of the free-distribution “Cherry Bomb” DVD. He had no trouble selling 20 local advertisers to run their commercials, many surprisingly produced by top agency creatives, in the two-hour film compilation. Then he heard that Pabst is big in the music scene and just might be an advertiser.

Seng contacted a marketing director at Pabst, once the pride of Milwaukee and now headquartered in San Antonio. He sent him a “Cherry Bomb” DVD got an immediate response and was told “we want a spot.”

The problem was, Pabst hasn’t made a commercial since the 1970s. And so the contest idea was born.

Two winners will be selected by Pabst executives and a party announcing the winners and screening all submissions will be held April 28 at Delilah’s, a “Cherry Bomb” advertiser.

DVD content tends to run towards the offbeat and experimental. CUFF, Movieside, Prime Shorts, Z Fest, Prime Shorts and IFP program their selections in 17-minute blocks. Films run from 45-seconds to 15 or 20 minutes.

So far, Seng has sold 20 advertisers. He proudly mentions Joe Perillo BMW dealership as the newest advertiser. His charter advertisers currently tend to be local clubs and retailers, such as The Hideout, The Double Door, Jinx Cafe, Uprise, Skateshop and Reckless Records.

The 1,300 DVDs made are distributed at what Seng calls “demographically appropriate outlets,” similar to his advertisers’ places of business. Out of the 1,300, 45 copies go to advertisers for distribution.

Pabst will pay the $199 rate “Cherry Bomb” charges for a 30-second spot. And that includes a free commercial as part of the advertising/promotional/distribution package. Seng pays $50 to have a spot made by any of 100 filmmakers on his list.

“They are willing to work on spec,” he said. “Some are young Columbia or Art Institute grads, and some work at major ad agencies who want offbeat samples for their portfolios. It’s pretty amazing. Advertisers get commercials worth thousands of dollars from guys doing it for $50.”

To enter the Pabst Blue Ribbon Spot Contest for a chance to win 1,248 bottles of brew, call Rich Seng at 773/235-8886 or Email him at for submission guidelines. Deadline is April 21.