FOX 50 Drives $200K with High School Lip Dub Contest

by Julie Foley Second Street


FOX 50, part of Capitol Broadcasting, is a DMA 24 television station in Durham, North Carolina. The popular broadcasting network has been running contests since early 2008.

The Idea

Three years ago, the FOX 50 team was looking for an exciting contest that could be tied in with the FOX television series Glee. The idea for the FOX 50 Lip Dub Project came from a similar lip dub video contest targeting high school students that the team had seen another television property execute.

The Execution

The FOX 50 Lip Dub Project gave local high schools an opportunity to explore their creativity by creating a lip dub. What is a lip dub? It’s a music video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing taken in a single, unedited long shot. You can see for yourself in this this sample lip dub and behind-the-scenes video that FOX 50 made to help the high school students create their own lip dubs:

Each of the three years that the contest has run, Goodwill Community Foundation has been the title sponsor. William Peace University has been a web-only sponsor all three years, while It’s OK 2 Ask, a suicide prevention task force, joined the campaign during the second year and, an anti-littering organization, joined the third year.

While the advertising packages that the title and presenting sponsors received differed some, both received:

  • Logo and audio on all TV promos
  • Web banners
  • Page wraps
  • Pre-roll before each video
  • Mentioned in texts and social media shoot-outs
  • Invitation to watch presentations

The voting period lasted five days where viewers could vote for their favorite lip dub video from one of the 44 participating high schools. The the winning students received a $10,000 grand prize for their high school, while 2nd and 3rd place winners received $5,000 and $2,500 for their respective schools.

The Results

The third annual FOX 50 Lip Dub Project received 2.2 million votes and generated more than $200,000 in revenue! In fact, the promotion was such a success that it was honored by FOX Affiliate Relations for the best 2012 Sales Success Story in the Country in the Social Media division.

Why It Worked

  • The FOX 50 team planned the contest well in advance. Video contests in particular benefit from plenty of advance planning.
  • The prize was valuable enough to make creating the lip dub videos worth the effort.
  • FOX 50 consulted with area high schools when designing the contest, and kept them involved in the promotion by making posters and other marketing materials available for download.
  • The promotion was a lot of fun for both the participants and the FOX 50 team!

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