Luck of the Wii

You may remember the ordeal we went through last Christmas to get a Wii for the boys. Although we failed to find one before Christmas, we came up with a pretty good idea to convey that we would eventually be buying a Wii: I stuffed 250 dollar bills into a Wii box that I borrowed from a guy at work and we put the whole thing under the Christmas tree. The boys were happy to see the Wii box and not very disappointed to find that there was no Wii inside it. Luckily, I was able to capture the moment on a digital camera. After I put it up on YouTube for friends and family to see, I thought that would be the end of it.

It wasn’t. Last month, Thomas noticed a new item in my YouTube inbox:

My name is Patricia McNaney and I am the Broadcast Business Manager at Young & Rubicam Advertising Agency. My work phone number is: (redacted) and my email address is (redacted).

We are interested in the possability of using a portion of the above referenced video clip in a Sears Holiday TV commercial.

Can you please contract me, at your convenience, to discuss the possability of the use of this clip in a TV commercial for Sears.

I look foward to hearing from you.


I was skeptical that this was a typical online get-rich-quick scam, but I called her and found out that her offer was legitimate. They were looking for the kind of great holiday moments that you just can’t get from child actors. If I wanted our video to be considered for final selection, I had only to provide a copy of the video and sign a couple of legal releases. I gave her my email address and she sent the following:

Mitchell –

It was great talking to you yesterday regarding the possibility of using the above referenced footage in a Sears Holiday TV commercial.

As discuss, I have attached two (2) releases for signature. The Footage Release needs to be reviewed and signed by you or if you do not own the video, by the person who owns the video. This release gives us permission to use the footage in a commercial for Sears.

The Consent and Release form is to be signed by anyone who appears in the video. This release gives us permission to use the footage containing their image.

It also explains that if this footage is used in a commercial, anyone appearing in the footage will receive a SAG contract for signature and will receive residual payments. The SAG contracts will be forwarded to the individual(s) in the video after final client approval of the commercial.

I also need to get a copy of the video. If you have the original, that would be the best quality for us to work with. If not, please send the best possible quality copy.

You can send the signed releases and a copy of the video to:

Patricia McNaney
(address redacted)

Please send via Fed/Ex so we can track the package in case it is lost in transit. Please charges shipment to Y&R Fed/Ex # which is: (redacted).

If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me at anytime.


Patricia McNaney

Today I sent three signed Consent & Release forms (Tina, Graham and Thomas), a signed Footage Release form and the video in original AVI format burned on to a CD. There is no guarantee that we will be selected for a commercial, but the boys already have plans for spending their residual checks!

4 Replies to “Luck of the Wii”

  1. Pretty cool guys, I hope it gets picked and that I get to see you guys on a commercial. I looked at some of the other ones on YouTube and I do honestly like yours the best and I’m honestly not being biased at all 🙂 Congrats…..Later

  2. Shari:

    I can’t tell you because we haven’t talked about those terms yet. As I understand it, if the video is selected for the commercial, we’ll receive “standard” SAG contracts with standard residual rates. I have no idea what those are but I am hopeful.

  3. I got the same message for one of my Youtube videos. I’m a little wary of this. With identity theft being so big right now. is a valid site and the number appears to be in Chicago (reverse lookup and a few numbers off of the main number at But I’m concerned because the form asks for SS#.

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