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Official Rules

Important Dates

Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday, February 9, 2017.  Your entry must either be submitted online or postmarked by this date.

March:  Middle School Evaluators judge videos.

May: High School winners will be announced at the Courageous Persuaders Awards Celebration.

The Competition/2017 Official Rules & Instruction Guidelines

The following rules must be followed, or your video will be disqualified

  1. Your commercial must be 30 seconds long or less, and your message must be about the dangers of underage drinking or the dangers of texting while driving. Students can enter separate videos in both categories. Middle School classrooms are your target audience.
  2. There are two ways you may enter your commercial: (a) Upload video entry to the Internet (i.e., YouTubeVimeo, or SchoolTube) along with the completion of the online entry form; or (b) you can mail the entry form and DVD/VHS to Courageous Persuaders®, 1900 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 100, Troy MI 48084.
  3. Deadline is 5:00 p.m. Thursday, February 9, 2017. Your entry must either be submitted online or postmarked by this date.
  4. More than one commercial may be submitted by one student.
  5. Should your commercial be selected as a winning entry, please save all original work.
  6. You may enter as an individual or as a team. All team members listed on the entry form must be a high school student, in grades 9-12 (ages 19 and under) and a United States or Canadian citizen attending a United States (or U.S. territories) or Canadian high school. Team members are decided by the team captain. Team members must be listed on the entry form. Should your commercial be selected as a winning entry, the scholarship money would be divided evenly among all team members listed on the entry form.
  7. A completed Consent Form is required for each individual involved with creating or producing the commercial, including any music and sound effects. This includes all team members, all on-camera actors, all voice-over announcers, individuals in photographs, music composers, sound effect creators, and musicians who have participated in any way. You will only be contacted and required to fill out and return the Consent Form if selected as a finalist, prior to your entry being sent for final judging, aired on television or added to the Courageous Persuaders® website. Every person involved in developing or producing the commercial submission must sign a Consent Form.
  8. A completed Work Cited page is required and must be completed under an MLA or APA format and submitted with the Consent Form if chosen as a finalist. This includes any photographs, researched facts and statistics. Do not use any family photographs, published photographs, website photographs, or film footage without written permission from the owner or all people in the photograph/film footage. This includes footage of school activities and sporting events. Photos that appear on the Internet and in magazines usually have copyrights and cannot be used (all movie, video game and TV footage is protected, as are news photos and film footage). Any video or photographs submitted using images without signed permission of the video or photograph’s owner will be disqualified.
  9. No alcohol can be consumed or appear to be consumed during the making of your commercial. You may dramatize the drinking of alcohol if you use a non-alcoholic beverage and cut the scene when the container reaches the lips of the actor. Nothing can be ingested. All “real” alcohol brand names must be removed from bottles or covered up so that they are not seen. Do not use any distinguishable alcohol containers, even if the labels are removed.
    No “drinking games” are allowed in your video (i.e., Beer Pong).
  10. Commercials must be acceptable for airing by television stations; vulgar language and graphic content are not allowed.
  11. Commercials that contain dangerous stunts, unsafe driving, vomit or vomiting, or toilet scenes will be disqualified.
  12. Do not show any company names or logos (i.e., businesses, high schools, universities, cemeteries) trademarks or art, including those on hats, shirts, and other items of clothing.
  13. Do not include any phone numbers or web site addresses except for CourageousPersuaders.com. You may include your name and those of your team in the video as producers of the video, if you choose, although it is not necessary.
  14. You may not use images in your video of tombstones with legible names and dates on them unless you have written permission from the family of the deceased. Permission must be submitted with your entry. You may edit the names and dates by blurring or blacking them out.
  15. Videos submitted to the Courageous Persuaders® competition will not be returned, and may be displayed, duplicated, edited and exhibited for educational or promotional purposes as deemed appropriate by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association Education Foundation, Inc. Submission of the video constitutes your approval for such use and exhibition. We suggest you make a duplicate of your commercial in case it is damaged in mailing.
  16. Any video that glamourizes or encourages drinking will be disqualified. Any videos submitted by students will be determined to be ineligible at the sole discretion of Courageous Persuaders®. Any dispute associated with a video submission will be governed in accordance with substitutive and procedural Michigan law.
  17. Given the fluctuation in number of entries each year, we are unable to determine odds of winning, however each year at least 16 awards are presented.
Music and Sound Effects

The only music and sound effects allowed on your entry must come from one of three sources:

  1. Courageous Persuaders Free-Use Music; Do not use any published music without permission of owners. This music is ONLY available for the Courageous Persuaders Competition. Any other use is in violation of US copyright laws.
  2. Garage Band Software, consistent with the Garage Band Software License Agreement
  3. Your own music you created and performed alone or with your team member

Please note: other resources/websites for music or sound effects that may indicate “copyright-free” may not be completely and legally copyright-free; use of any music or sound effects from other so-called copyright-free websites will disqualify your entry. Option (c) above, allows you to include work that is original to you. Everyone involved in composing and performing the music and sound effects must sign the Consent Form. You may not play (i.e., “cover”) anyone else’s music or use their sound effects unless that person is a team member who is available to sign the Consent Form. You may, however, use Garage Band as an element of your original music consistent with the Garage Band Software License Agreement. Do not use any other music, songs or sound effects.

Courageous Persuaders Free-Use Music Rules

  • Permission is granted for use in the Courageous Persuaders competition only.
  • You are welcome to use our special Courageous Persuaders Free-Use Music, available exclusively to students producing commercials for this competition.
  • On your submission, you must identify the music as “Courageous Persuaders Free-Use Music” and specify the track number you used.
  • Explore this incredible searchable music collection from Yessian Music, one of the world’s leading music companies.
  •  Email Brian Yessian with any questions: brian@yessian.com.
  • Please read instructions below for access to the library.
    • Instructions: 
      • Search for Courageous Persuaders® Free-Use Music: www.yessian.com/search
            • User ID: courage@yessian.com
            • Password: first1