YouTube and the people behind the hit television show, The Office, launched a contest to let people create their own 20-second promos for the show. Selected entries will appear on and, and the winners will air on NBC during The Office this summer.

I doubt that we’ll see the best promos, unless the promo creators have either:

  • Super-understanding, cool bosses, or
  • Another job waiting.

When I heard about the YouTube contest, I immediately came up with an idea, and I knew that I had the perfect video footage to use. My idea was to use some hilarious footage that I shot during a company meeting. The person who led the meeting planned some team-building activities, and boy, did we have some doozies!

I knew that I could tape myself saying something, and then let the team-building video carry the promo to victory.

Then reality set in.

None of the people who participated in the team-building activities had given me permission to use their images outside of official company purposes. Some of the people had since left the company, and I didn’t know how to contact them–even if I thought that I had the slimmest chance of their agreeing to be laughed at on national television.

If I thought that it would be hard to get buy-in from the people in the video, I knew it would be nearly impossible to get my management to see this as a positive for the company. Although I might be able to keep the company anonymous in my video credits, a simple Internet search would quickly reveal the name of my current employer.

I’m curious to see the winning promos in the YouTube contest. I look forward to reading where the creators wind up a year from now.