Why We’re Putting Regular College Kids On a Screen in Times Square

A typical 30-second ad that you see on a Times Square screen probably cost about $300–450k to produce*. If you don’t find that shocking, you probably work in the industry. It’s even more shocking when, today more than ever before, “ordinary” people can produce high quality content without fancy gadgets and hundred-thousand-dollar budgets.

At Spoon University, we know this. We’ve been trying to tell everyone all along that young people (yes, even college students) are capable of creating quality things. And they have a massive potential to share those quality things with each other if they’re just given the place and the megaphone.

My cofounder and I started Spoon University because we looked out in the world and didn’t see anything that spoke to our real-life problems — many of which seemed to center around food. There was no place to share our small victories in the kitchen and unite with our generation over the common struggles of being curious, underfunded young people. So we created this platform to show ourselves and everyone else that we were capable of making stuff. What we made was more authentic, more empowering, and more far-reaching than we could have imagined.

Over the past two years, Spoon University has grown into a new kind of media company — one that’s a system more than a website. We’re building a structure that trains the next generation of content producers and gives them a platform to show off their new skills. This isn’t about creating content for free, because we’re an educational platform with the goal of making content better. This is about each of us, reaching our potential and proving to the world what we’re made of.

And now we’re going a step further. We’re showing the world that even college kids can make things worthy of being on screens bigger than my apartment.

We bought an ad in Times Square to show all of our members and contributors how much we believe in them, and to show everyone else what they’re capable of. And we’re holding a competition for students around the world to submit the videos we show on it.

We believe that this content is every bit as good but 1000x more authentic than anything else in Times Square. And for the students that make it — this is an opportunity for them to get seen on a scale they couldn’t imagine. It’s an opportunity to be differentiated and recognized for their talent and hard work.

So to any college kid out there that wants to check off an item on your bucket list, now’s your chance.


*According to my sister, who’s in advertising.

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