Anyone who’s watched Showtime’s hit series Weeds is likely to recognize the show’s imminently catchy theme song, “Little Boxes” (“Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky…”). Each week, a different artist performs their rendition of the tune (past performers include Death Cab for Cutie and Randy Newman; The Shins have recorded a version as well) — now, fans get to show off their own versions. Showtime is hosting a user-generated video contest: Submissions are due by Sept. 14, with the winning song airing on Showtime and its performer(s) collecting $10,000.
And you know what? The entries are not all bad. My personal fave is the Daft Punk-inspired Little Robot Boxes.
Other media companies should take note of what Showtime is doing.
First, the contest is simple. Uploading a version of the song is a snap, and there’s a place for visitors to rate their favorites and post comments.
Second, Showtime provides an MP3 of the song to listen to (or remix, or mash up), as well as a music and lyrics sheet (in case you need a little help).
Finally, and most important — it fits organically with the show. In other words, it doesn’t feel like it came straight from the marketing department.
So far there are 38 entries — which isn’t bad for a show about a drug-dealing mom that airs on a paid cable channel.
While I won’t be entering the contest (you can thank me now), I will be singing my own version of the song when Weeds airs tonight.