Official Rules


1. Eligibility.

The “Sound It Out” Contest (the “Contest”) is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who, at the time of entry, are between 10 and 15 years of age. Void in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, outside the U.S. and wherever else prohibited by law.

Entrants into the Contest must meet the above criteria (“Entrants”).  Potential winners must be able to present proof of eligibility and failure to provide proof may result in disqualification. Employees of The Advertising Council, Inc. (the “Sponsor”), Values Partnerships Corporation, and anyone involved in the development, production, distribution of materials, judging or coordination of this Contest (collectively the “Contest Parties”), and persons living in the same household of Contest Parties whether or not related, are not eligible to enter or win. This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

2. Contest Period.

The Contest begins January 3, 2022 at 12:00:01 a.m. ET and ends January 31, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET (the “Contest Period”).

3. How to Enter.

There is one way in which participants may enter the Contest. 

Email Submission. During the Contest Period, participants must email their submissions to the following email address ( to gain chances of winning an iPad Pro, 1-year Calm App subscription, and a personalized journal. Participants gain one (1) entry into the Contest (the “Email Entry”). By submitting an Email Entry, participants indicate their agreement to follow these Official Rules. The decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding on all matters relating to the determination of eligibility of submissions.


Instagram Entry.  In addition to submitting an Email Entry, to be eligible to win the Viewer’s Choice      Award, during the Contest Period, participants must also log into their Instagram account, post a video or image, tag @SoundItOutTogether and use the #SoundItOut hashtag in the post copy or comments section  (the “Instagram Entry”).  Participants must be 13 years or older to hold an Instagram account. The prize for the Viewer’s Choice Award is an iPad Pro, 1-year Calm App subscription, and a personalized journal, however, the winner will be determined based on overall Instagram engagements on the post. By submitting an Instagram Entry, participants indicate their agreement to follow these Official Rules. Participant’s Instagram settings must be “public.” Entries from “private” Instagram accounts will not be eligible. The Instagram Entry must be posted directly from a participant’s Instagram account. The decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding on all matters relating to the determination of eligibility of Instagram Entries.  By submitting an Instagram Entry, participants agree to Instagram’s Terms of Use. This Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram LLC. IMPORTANT: MESSAGE AND DATA RATES MAY APPLY TO USE OF MOBILE PHONE/DEVICE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONTEST. INSTAGRAM IS FREE TO DOWNLOAD AND AVAILABLE FOR iPHONE FROM THE APPLE APPLICATION STORE AND FOR ANDROID FROM THE GOOGLE PLAY STORE.

Limit: one (1) entry per person during the Contest Period regardless of whether a participant has more than one email address. Participants can only win in a category by emailing their submissions. Instagram Entries will only be considered for the Viewer’s Choice Award and must be accompanied by an Email Entry. Additional entries after the first entry from the same Entrant will be void. All methods of entry have an equal chance of winning. All submissions become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.

Instagram Entries must remain publicly posted and may not be changed until at least February 9, 2022. Once an Instagram Entry has been submitted, it cannot be modified or deleted until after February 9, 2022.

4. Entry Criteria and Objectives.

Entries must consist of a completed written original song, rap, or poem/spoken word that relates to mental health or a video of the original rap, song, or poem/spoken word being performed. Examples of how entries can relate to mental health include the following: describing how participants process their own feelings, discussing the importance of talking about mental health with peers, and explaining how participants want to be supported by their parents and community.

Entries for submission can fall within the following categories (best original):

  • Song - words set to music or performed through singing voice
  • Rap - the act of talking over a beat in a rhythmic flow
  • Poetry or Spoken Word - words that are arranged for meaning, sound and rhythm and performed by voice.
  • Viewer’s Choice Award – based on the entries’ overall engagement (likes, shares, and comments) on Instagram

Requirements for all Entries include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • City, State
  • School
  • Email address

Additionally, all Entries must comply with the following minimum guidelines to be eligible:

  • Entries cannot show dangerous or reckless behavior or contain content that is violent or promote firearms/weapons
  • Entries cannot contain animals
  • Entry cannot be profane, pornographic, sexually explicit or suggestive or contain nudity.
  • Entry cannot promote alcohol, illegal drugs or tobacco.
  • Entries cannot contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement;
  • Entries cannot defame, disparage, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about people, brands, products or companies, including Sponsor or any of the other Contest Parties affiliated with the promotion and administration of this Contest;
  • Entries cannot feature brand names or trademarks or reference persons or organizations without express permission from any person or organization whose name, trademark or likeness is used;
  • Entry cannot include images of a known celebrity, famous or well-known person or any image which violates the right of privacy or publicity of any person
  • Entries cannot contain artwork (including, but not limited to, stock images and designs) not created by Entrant;
  • Entries cannot contain music or other elements that Entrant does not have express written permission to use and license;
  • Entries cannot contain content that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous;
  • Entries cannot contain content that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age;
  • Entry cannot communicate messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Sponsor and Contest Parties wish to associate.
  • Entries cannot contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations of the U.S.

IF FEWER THAN FIVE (5) QUALIFIED AND ELIGIBLE ENTRIES ARE SUBMITTED IN THE CONTEST, THEN THE CONTEST SHALL IMMEDIATELY TERMINATE AND NO WINNERS WILL BE NAMED. Contest Parties shall have no liability whatsoever (including any liability or obligation to award a prize) to any participant should the Contest be terminated as a result of this lack of participation.

5. Prizes.

There will be a minimum of one (1) winner and a maximum of four (4) winners.  The actual number of winners  shall be determined at the discretion of the Sponsor, based on the results of the judging panel.  The winner(s) will be eligible for an award in the form of an iPad Pro, one year subscription to the Calm app, and a personalized journal, as well as the opportunity to perform their original piece at the Sound It Out National Virtual Event. At the Sound It Out National Virtual Event, speakers will discuss the importance of mental health especially for middle schoolers, kids will share how they process challenging times and emotions, and the audience will hear from a special selection of winners of the Sound It Out Challenge. The approximate retail value of the performance is indeterminable. Odds of winning will depend upon the total number of Entries received.

Winners are responsible for all federal, state, local and income taxes associated with winning a prize. Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either expressed or implied by Sponsor.

6. Judging Criteria.

Contest winners will be selected by a qualified panel of judges including the Contest Parties on or about February 2, 2022 from among all eligible Entries received during the Contest Period, whose decisions are final.  Judging will be based on the following criteria:

  • The creative quality of the original song/rap/poem/spoken word submission
  • How well the original submission relates to the overall topic of mental health and/or emotional wellbeing
  • Clarity of message and expression

Winner of the Viewer’s Choice Award will be determined by the selection panel based on the entries’ overall engagement (likes, shares, and comments) on Instagram.

All decisions will be made in the sole and absolute discretion of the Contest Parties.

7. Winner Notification and Verification.

The potential winners will be notified on or about February 2, 2022 via email (the “Initial Notification”).

The potential winning participants must respond to the Initial Notification as instructed, with the name and email address of their parent or legal guardian within two (2) business days of the Initial Notification.  Any potential winner who does not reply to the Initial Notification with the required information and within the specified time period will be disqualified and an alternate winner will be selected and notified.  Within two (2) business days of receiving the potential winner’s response to the Initial Notification, Sponsor will contact the potential winner and the parent or legal guardian, as applicable, with a second notification (the “Second Notification”).  The potential winner and the parent or legal guardian of the potential winner will be required to sign and return, within three (3) business days of the Second Notification, an affidavit of eligibility, a liability waiver, a publicity release (where legal), and an assignment of rights in and to the potential winner’s submission (collectively, the “Releases”).  The Contest Parties reserve the right to require additional documentation

If the potential winner and the potential winner’s parent or legal guardian (i) cannot be reached or does not respond to Second Notification within the specified time period, (ii) fails to sign and return a completely executed set of Releases within the designated time period, or (iii) fails to comply with these Official Rules, the potential winner(s) may be disqualified, in the sole discretion of Sponsor, and in such case will forfeit the prize. If a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, then Sponsor will choose the entry with the next highest score according to the judging criteria as the alternate potential winner.  Only two (2) alternate winners will be determined through this process, after which the prize may remain un-awarded.  In the event of a dispute as to the identity of an Entrant, entry will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person who is assigned to the email address by an internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization that is responsible for assigning email addresses or the domain associated with the submitted email addresses or the domain associated with the submitted email address. Potential winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.

8. Prize Conditions.

No substitution of any prize is offered. No cash in lieu of prizes and no exchange or substitution of prizes. Any other incidental expenses on prizes not specified herein are the winner’s sole responsibility. Any individuals appearing in the video of a winning entry must sign agreements waiving any union or other fees for the display of the video in such forms as may be required by Sponsor or applicable unions before the entry can be considered for display. Failure to sign such forms may result in disqualification at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

9. Grant of Rights and Publicity.

By submitting an entry, all participants grant to Contest Parties an exclusive worldwide, perpetual, unlimited, irrevocable, royalty-free right and license (the “License”) to use, edit, adapt, modify, reproduce, publicly display, publish, publicly perform, transcode, make derivative works from, or otherwise make any use of their video in any media and content whether now existing or later invented without any restrictions, right of approval or advance notification to the Entrants of any kind, for commercial or non-commercial purposes, including without limitation, in future trade, publicity and/or advertising for such Contest Parties products and/or services, unless prohibited by law. The winning Entrants further grant to Contest Parties a License to use the winner’s individual name (first and/or last), hometown, place of residence, photo, image, voice, and likeness, in connection with the Contest and/or video in any manner and in any media and content whether now existing or later invented without any restrictions, right of approval or advance notification to the Entrants of any kind, for commercial or non-commercial purposes, including without limitation, in future trade, publicity and/or advertising for such Contest Parties products and/or services, unless prohibited by law. Entrants further agree: (i) that Contest Parties may exercise any and all rights hereunder without attribution, notification or compensation to Entrants; (ii) that Contest Parties shall have the right to freely transfer, assign or sublicense their rights hereunder, in whole or in part, to any other person or entity, without notification or approval by Entrant; (iii) that Contest Parties shall have no obligation (express or implied) to use the entry in any manner and Entrants shall not be entitled to any damages or other relief by reason of Contest Parties use or non-use of Entrants’ submission; (iv) to be bound by these Official Rules; (v) that Entrants may be contacted by Contest Parties by telephone, mail or email regarding this Contest; and (vi) to sign and deliver to Contest Parties such documents as Contest Parties may reasonably require to effectuate the rights granted herein.

10. Representations and Warranties and Indemnification.

Entrants represent and warrant that: (i) the entry is Entrants’ original work; (ii) the entry does not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; (iii) Entrants have obtained written permission from each person whose name, likeness, voice or other intellectual property is used in the entry ; and (iv) the publication of the by Contest Parties will not infringe the rights of any third party. Entrants will indemnify and hold harmless, Sponsor and the other Contest Parties from any third-party claims to the contrary and any third party claims arising out of or related to Entrants’ Video or participation in the contest.

11. Limitations of Liability and Release.

Sponsor and other Contest Parties are not responsible for: (i) technical problems or technical malfunction which may affect the operation of the Contest, including, but not limited to, any of the following occurrences: (a) hardware or software errors; (b) faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; (c) errors or limitations of any Internet Service Provider (“ISP”), servers, hosts or providers; (d) garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; (e) failure of any e-mail transmissions to be sent to or received; (f) any inability to upload or download any information in connection with participation in the Contest; (g) inaccessibility of the website, in whole or in part for any reason;  (h) lost, late, delayed, corrupted or intercepted e-mail, website, or Video transmissions; (i) unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Contest, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; (j) destruction of any aspect of the Contest, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an account used in connection with the Contest, including but not limited to, undeliverable contact attempts that result from any form of active or passive e-mail filtering or for insufficient space in Entrant’s account to receive e-mail; (k) any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Website; and (l) any personal injury, or property damage or losses of any kind which may be sustained to user’s or any other person’s computer equipment resulting from participation in the Contest, use of the website, or the download of any information from the website. BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, EACH ENTRANT AGREES FOR ENTRANT AND FOR ENTRANT’S HEIRS, EXECUTORS, AND ADMINISTRATORS TO RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS THE CONTEST PARTIES, AND THEIR RESPECTIVE AFFILIATES, PARENTS, OWNERS, FRANCHISEES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS AND EMPLOYEES (COLLECTIVELY, THE “RELEASED PARTIES”) FROM AND AGAINST ANY LIABILITY, CLAIM OR CAUSE OF ACTION (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES), INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH, OR DAMAGE TO OR LOSS OF PROPERTY, WHETHER CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE OR NOT, ARISING OUT OF PARTICIPATION IN THE CONTEST OR RECEIPT OR USE OR MISUSE OF ANY PORTION OF THE PRIZE, ENTRY OR PARTICIPATION IN THE CONTEST OR IN ANY CONTEST OR PRIZE RELATED ACTIVITY, OR ANY ACCESS TO OR USE OF THE CONTEST WEBSITE, OR ANY CLAIMS BASED ON PUBLICITY RIGHTS, DEFAMATION OR INVASION OF PRIVACY, OR MERCHANDISE DELIVERY.

12. General Terms.

Sponsor or its designated representative has the right, but not the obligation, to monitor/screen video submissions. By entering, Entrants acknowledge that Contest Parties have no obligation to use or post any video. If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Contest, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, modify or terminate the Contest or any portion thereof. ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS PROMOTION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY FRAUDULENT CLAIMS, MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS – AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. Proof of making an entry will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by Sponsor. Any use of robotic, automatic, programmed or like entry methods will void all entries affected by such methods and be deemed tampering. Persons engaging in any of the foregoing activities may be disqualified. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. By participating, Entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor and judges and waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Contest or these Official Rules. Sponsor reserves the right to make changes or additions to these Official Rules and/or change the dates of the Contest at any time.

13. Choice of Law.

This Contest is offered only in the United States and is governed by the laws of the State of New York. By entering, Entrants consent to the jurisdiction and venue of the federal, state and local courts located in New York City for the resolution of any disputes.

14. Privacy Policy.

Please read the Ad Council privacy policy for more information about the information collected from participants.

15. Winners List.

You may mail-in for a winner’s list, by sending an email to:

The winners will be announced on or around February 10th, 2022 on and @sounditouttogether on Instagram.

16. Sponsor.

The Advertising Council, Inc.
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017