3M Presents Couples Speak


Awards assigned

Voting deadline



Members should not use any third party content (e.g. stock photography/video, animation, or other templated content) unless permitted by the Creative Brief. Stock music is allowed only with authentic proof of purchase and a valid audio license.


You must be a Zooppa member to participate in this contest.



Early Entry Prize

Videos received before 4pm PST on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 will be eligible for an Early Entry Prize. 3M will award $2,000 for the best video submitted before that deadline. The winner of the Early Entry prize will still be eligible for any of the final prizes, including the $8,000 Grand Prize.

Ask a couples’ counselor about what makes a relationship work, and they’ll tell you: “communication”. Do-it-yourself home improvement projects can highlight the differences in the ways that men and women communicate, and these differences can give rise to some humorous tensions. Men can be overconfident, men can be evasive and vague, men can be passive-aggressive. Women can be accusatory, women can be self-righteous, women can be deceptive.

These are, of course, stereotypes & when used in the right way, they can be humorous highlights of the differences between couples. If you imagine a couple assembling their daughter’s new tricycle you will begin to get the idea. The man might skip reading the directions and start assembling only to realize he’s used the wrong parts to hold the tires to the frame. The woman might take considerable time to spread out the directions, inventory the parts and think about how to start assembling the gift without making much immediate progress. We’re looking for videos that play with these gender roles as men and women work through home improvement projects – and of course it’s ok if you want to reverse typical gender roles.

In tense situations, men and women use a sort of “couples’ speak” to communicate – what they say and what they mean can be very different things.

For Example:

“Are you sure that’s going to work?” = “That’s not going to work”

“Is that paint on my carpet?” = “You’re sleeping on the couch tonight”

“You sure you got that?” = “You need help.”

“That looks interesting” = “We should hire someone”

It’s very hip today to embark on your own do-it-yourself home improvement projects. But it’s also easy to get in over your head, and to get into hot water. That’s when the couples’ speak starts.


Create a video, up to 30 seconds long, that showcases the kind of couples’ speak that men and women use during home improvement projects. If it helps bring the humor, key punchlines of the couples’ speak can be translated through subtitles.

Your videos should not showcase any 3M products. In fact, that’s the subtle point we’ll be trying to make: if you had used 3M products, maybe you wouldn’t be in this pickle.

Close your videos with one of the 4 animations – according to the 3M product that would have helped avoid the DIY home improvement hot water. The closing animations are available in the materials files.

The 4 animations feature these classes of 3M products (so your videos should be about problems arising from a lack of these types of products):

  • LeadCheck - Lead detection swabs. Learn more about LeadCheck here
  • Sandblaster - Sanding products. Learn more about Sandblaster here
  • Scotch Blue - Painters' Tape. Learn more about Scotch Blue here
  • Tekk - Breathing, hearing and eyesight protection. Learn more about Tekk here
  • Tough Duct - Tough duct tape. Learn more about Tough Duct here
You’re allotted up to 30 seconds for these videos, but you may not need all of it for these vignettes. If you can get in, get your joke, and get out in ten seconds, slap on the ending animation and upload it. It’s all good. Multiple renditions are encouraged (see the Awards for proof!)

These videos are about do-it-yourself projects, so it’s fine for them to have a bit of a do-it-yourself feel. They shouldn’t be ultra slick – but then, they shouldn’t look like a middle-schooler made them either.

Also, although these videos are about tensions between couples, we don’t want the videos to come off as mean-spirited or spiteful. After all, they’re meant to be funny. Think more network television and less cable.


  • Videos must be 30 seconds or less
  • No 3M products in the videos
  • Close your video with the appropriate 4 second ending animation from the materials files (these 4 seconds should be included in your 30 total second video run-time)

All music, images, video footage and other content must be either originally produced by the filmmaker submitting the video, or proper permissions must be authorized by the copyright owner. Proper permissions must include the right for the filmmaker to use the content commercially. Likewise, it is the responsibility of the filmmaker to ensure that all permissions are in place for use of actors' likenesses.


Younger, hip, Do-it-Yourselfers (25-45yrs) – specifically weekend Do-it-Yourselfers. People who want to do a great job on their small home improvement projects and want to do it themselves.

Sharing Contest You could win $1,000 by simply sharing one of the Couples Speak videos, or by sharing this brief page. Just click on one of the icons in the sharing toolbar (located to the right of the video brief above, or to the right of any of the competition videos) to share with your social networks. Once three people you've shared with come back to the Couples Speak contest in response to your sharing, you'll be automatically entered into a drawing to win the $1,000 sharing prize. The sharing contest closes on Friday, July 1, 2011. The drawing will occur that day, and we will announce the winner. The sharing contest is open to US residents only. You can check out the official sharing contest official rules here.

Questions? comments? Just want to talk about the 3M Couple Speak Video Contest?

Check out the 3M Couple Speak Forum Thread