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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

GoPro Awards: Million Dollar Challenge

Entered in Contest or Promotion

About this entry

In the 16-year history of GoPro, our new camera launch strategy has remained the same: put our internal media team to work to shoot and produce an insane video featuring athletes hucking themselves out of planes, professionals getting up-close and personal with sea creatures and hard-to-get heli-shots above incredible landscapes to show off the capabilities of the newest GoPro.

But in 2018, with the launch of HERO7 Black, we took our hands off the wheel and challenged GoPro users to help us create the most epic highlight reel ever for the new camera. In exchange, we ponied up $1 million to be shared equally between the content creators whose videos were selected for the final reel.

We gave people 3 months to capture, share, create and compete, and GoPro HERO7 Black users exceeded our wildest expectations. We received more than 25,000 submissions - videos that made us laugh, cry, cringe, cheer and celebrate. We included a little bit of each in the final 2-minute highlight video, selecting 66 clips from 56 users from around the world. The result from this first-for-GoPro initiative still blows our minds… a HERO7 reel with no shortage of hucking, helis and sea creatures, shot entirely by our users.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

HERO7 Black is our most advanced GoPro ever, with next level in-camera video stabilization and audio capabilities as well as cool new photo and video modes that make it easier than ever to for anyone to create professional looking content. And since more than 50% of our marketing assets come from our user Community, we made giving back to them a top priority for the HERO7 launch.

We launched the Million Dollar Challenge the same day HERO7 Black hit shelves on Sept. 20, 2018. We put faith in our Community and challenged them to purchase a HERO7 Black, get the shot and submit for their chance to earn their cut of $1 million. We didn't know how many submissions would come in or, more critically, what the quality of footage would be. We had no template for the story, no creative brief, no control. To say we were nervous is an understatement! But it turns out we lost nights of sleep for nothing. Leading up to the submission deadline on Dec. 9, more than 25,000 submissions came in and the video began to form and evolve daily.

With high spirits, our small-but-mighty Creative team set a weekly review meeting to go through Each. And. Every. Single. Submission (Did we mention there were more than 25,000 of them). Late nights and long meetings were logged across all departments within GoPro to complete the 4-day turnaround we set for ourselves from submission deadline to video release.

We launched a 'countdown to release' on our YouTube page and told the world to watch as we launched the final video on Friday, Dec. 14. We did not inform creators in advance of who was included, so this debut moment was not only an opportunity to show off what HERO7 Black was capable of, but also it allowed us to reveal the users who were now $18K richer.

The GoPro Million Dollar Challenge validated what we already knew—our community includes some of the most vibrant, creative, talented and adventurous people in the world, and that HERO7 Black is the best tool to help them share their moments and experiences. The user response to the Awards challenge, and the awesomeness of the videos received, exceeded every expectation we had when we first put this idea on the whiteboard. The Million Dollar Challenge has inspired us to commit even more to our community in 2019 and beyond.


With more than 25,000 submissions received via the GoPro Awards submission platform, we selected 56 Creators from 22 countries to receive an equal cut of 1 million dollars, which equated to $17,857.14 per creator selected.

Creators included some you might anticipate: filmmakers, photographers and professional adventure-seekers. But there were many more interesting people you might not expect: from a grocery-store clerk, a grounds keeper, a dentist, a lawyer and a flight attendant to students, lifeguards and entrepreneurs; and even a Sophrologist, which we learned is a person who practices Sophrology, a self-development technique that uses mental and physical exercises to achieve an alert mind in a relaxed body.

For some, this was the first GoPro they had ever purchased, while others have been long-time users of the HERO cameras.

A couple more metrics-based results:

A couple intangible results:


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