You’ve seen those ads… click on this and tell us why you should win, and you get a chance at… whatever it is we’re selling.

Earlier this year, I entered one through Outside Magazine (Don’t you love Outside magazine?  Currently, the only reason I fear the demise of print and bookstores is magazines like Outside) that they’d partnered with Ford Explorer to promote.  You wrote where you’d go if they’d loan you a brand new, fully loaded Ford Explorer.  If they figured you had a good story, you’d get the Explorer and a film crew that’d follow you around like papparazzi and hope you’d do something worthy of a commercial.

It’s very exciting to enter such a thing.  You get to daydream a little about what you’d do with the prize.

What’s better is when you get a call-back.  The ad agency in charge of the promotion called me about my essay wherein I said my family and I would load that Explorer down with our boats, bikes, tents and such, then we’d go either East, West or North.  We’re too far South for there to be much reason to go South.  It just gets flatter and hotter that way. I figured, four of us + three directions to choose from= something would come up a winner.

That must have got the agency’s attention, ’cause like I said, they called me back for the next round of eliminations.

I yapped on as enthusiastically as I could- the logic being that they’d want somebody who’d yap to be on camera, right?  Lots of sound bites to pick from.  Lots of the stories were about me and my brother, whose family we had just met halfway across the country for an adventurous vacation.  The agency asked if it’d be cool to call my brother, too.  I said of course.  Worst case scenario- neither of us would get the trip, best case scenario- we’d both get an Explorer and we could meet in the middle of the country AGAIN and have another cool trip and maybe wind up in a commercial… and there were all the possibilities in between.

Just to hedge our bets, I sent the above cartoon illustration featuring me, my brother and our various kids (and bigfoot).  I should have included the wives, too, but they never seemed to want to talk to our wives. I thought that was odd.

Anyhow, it was the Worst case scenario this time around.  Neither of us heard back except the one message saying that they hadn’t eliminated us yet.  That was a while back, and the contest is long over, so I guess we got the point.

Time to go find another contest to enter.