Lending Club YouTube video contest enters final week

There is one week left in Lending Club's $5,000 YouTube video contest. Nearly three weeks ago, Lending Club announced a contest "for the best video about Lending Club and person-to-person lending" as measured by total views on August 10th. So far there are a total of 13 contestants vying for the $5,000 prize. The top video has over 7,000 views. It is still possible that someone could enter the contest before the end of the week and take the prize. The most popular videos on YouTube gain tens of thousands of views in a single day.

After reviewing all the videos I think that five clearly stand out above the rest. These are not necessarily the videos with the most views. If I was a one-man judging panel and had to rank order the videos here is where they would stand:

#1 - Chris Barrett's Lending Club Commercial Submission - 1,496 views
Funny video of a girl who is getting her Paris Hilton news through magazines instead of the internet since her laptop broke. She's so last week. Her friend suggests Lending Club to borrow the money and replace her computer. Professionally done. Great acting. It was directed by Chris Barrett and written by Elizabeth Licorish. Chris Barrett is a partner in Powerhouse Pictures Entertainment and is a documentary film director. He is currently shooting a documentary about teacher sex scandals called 'After School' which should be released this winter. Although this has less than 2,000 views it is the fastest climbing video and was featured on Elites TV. The video was just uploaded on August 3rd. Chris Barrett is an established YouTube video artist and has over 2,200 subscribers.

#2 - Lending Club Viral Video - 778 views
This video was created by Share Ross, a self-employed freelance artist, and her husband. Share is well-known as the bassist in Vixen and the guitarist/singer in Bubble. In the one-minute video she does a great job of explaining how Lending Club works. I would give this video the award of most likely to appear on actual TV. Very well done; professional quality.

#3 - Lending Club Commercial - 5,705 views
A guy attempts to clear a long set of stairs on his skateboard. Yes, you know how it ends. Captions read, "You can't erase the past. But with Lending Club, you can refinance old debt. To buy a new skateboard...or pay off medical bills." It's short (only 14 seconds), funny and very youtube-ish. It's the kind of video someone would email to a friend and say hey, check this out! It has received hundreds of views from MySpace embedded links and, in my opinion, is the most likely winner based on its MySpace popularity. It won a YouTube honor - #80 most linked to video in the sports category. It was created by Sean Orndorff from USC.

#4 - Battle at Kruger, Lending Club and You - 1,088 views
Fascinating video of a young buffalo attacked by wild animals (banks and credit cards) and is rescued from certain death by a pack of brave buffalo (Lending Club lenders). Great storyline and the audio is well done. This video, created by David Baldwin from Texas, was featured on the Lending Club blog.

#5 - Lending Club Contest! - 7,202 views
The first 15 seconds of the video is dedicated to explaining how Lending Club works - one of the few videos which does that well. The rest of the video shows various possible uses for a Lending Club loan. The biggest advantage this video has is that it was uploaded very early and has been collecting views for weeks longer than some other videos. It was created by Steve Dinelli who will be a freshman at Robert Morris College this fall.

Honorable mentions. The following videos stand out for one reason or another.

The Magic of Lending Club - 520 views
Harry Potter borrows money (transported by owl) for new textbooks, socks, a faster racing broom and friendship. Creative.

Come on in! Get your feet wet! - 228 views
A home video shot of a family playing in a water fountain while on vacation in Europe. Subtitles say things like "Cool down! Enjoy life! Lend and borrow with Lending Club!" If you hang on until the end of the two and a half minute video you will learn that the vacation was funded by eight members of Lending Club. This may be the only person who has personal experience with Lending Club to enter the contest.

Cat Lovers - 251 views
This is part two of the get your feet wet video. Art Ture explains that he and his wife borrowed money from Lending Club and took a trip to Europe. There are four and a half minutes of video from their trip including lots of cats. Again, I like how this is a personal Lending Club story. It is, however, unlikely to gain many page views because few people are generally interested in vacation videos unless you are in them.

Raccoon in Da Club - 583 views
Twenty-two second video of a raccoon. "Join raccoon-to-raccoon Lending Club. The CLUB not the tree." Nice play on LendingTree.com.

Microwaving My Credit Card - 33 views
Thedebtkid cooks his credit card in the microwave. "There is an easier way to melt away your credit card debt...lendingclub.com."

Brilliant Viral Campaign - 892 views
This was one of the first videos to enter the contest. It is a dubbed-over 1-minute clip from the Hound of the Baskervilles called The Hounds of Bad Credit. Someone wrote in the comments, "Perhaps if it was all redubbed, and the audio quality was better. As it is, it's just sort of bad. I'm giving it a 4 of 10. But the concept is a great idea! I'd just redo it." I'd agree. Creative idea but the audio quality actually makes it a little painful to watch.

The final two videos were difficult to understand. In Netbanker's review Jim Bruene said, "One is recorded so softly, you cannot understand a word of it, another features a guy reading website copy on his couch...I don't want to skew the results by linking to them. Trust me, you don't need to watch them." To be complete and fair I will link to them, but I agree with Netbanker's assessment.

Get Money, Lend Money, No Problem (Lending Club) - 4,168 views
Poor audio quality. Impossible to understand.

LendingClub.com Contest Video - 1,249 views
This was the first entrant uploaded July 23. Contains profanity. Not interesting enough to keep my attention for six minutes. It's the longest video in the competition.

Since some of you may disagree with my top video picks I threw together a quick poll so you can vote for your favorite. Which one do you think should win? Note, I was limited to 10 poll options so I combined the two entries that were made by the same person and excluded the last two videos.

Overall, some high quality videos have already been produced for Lending Club's contest. This week we will post interviews of several of the video producers. They have fascinating stories.

If you are interested in joining the contest in the final week you can get the details on our earlier post or, if you have a Facebook account, on the official contest site.