Val's halla Records owner Val Camilletti stands in her shop. The store is in a contest to win a 30-second Super Bowl commercial. (David Pierini/Staff Photographer)


It’s pretty expected the Super Bowl broadcast will come with a dose of chip, beer and commercials.

But a local suburban record store? That would be a new one, especially with the average $3.5 million price tag of a 30-second commercial. But Val’s halla Records, a 40-year-old Oak Park shop, has entered a small-business contest to win a free 30-second television commercial during the big game.

The Intuit Small Business Big Game contest works by having businesses share their stories, with a select few earning the chance to win votes from the public. So far, Val’s has made it to Round 2 of the voting process. Twenty semi-finalists will make it the Round 3, and Intuit employees will select the final four. The final four are sent back out for a public vote to choose the big winner.

The record store owner, Val Camilletti, explained on her store’s contest page that the shop is “seen as a square in the quilt of our customer’s lives.”

“Grandparents tell their grandchildren about music they bought. …We are woven in the fabric of the community of music lovers, locally and also around the world. In an industry rife with trivia, our relentless pursuit of answers, even if they don’t result in sales, keeps us a destination.”

Don’t believe the claim? Ask Val anything — there’s a good chance she’s got the answer. In fact, it’s almost a guarantee.

“The ultimate goal, to my mind, is to offer information and services to every single customer regardless of whether or not it leads to a purchase,” Val wrote.

To participate in the contest, Camilletti must post a 90-second video telling the story of the record store. This week a local documentary maker volunteered to shoot and produce the video, which should be available for viewing soon.

Those interested in voting can do so until Oct. 13. To read more about the contest, or to vote for Val’s, click here. Voters can vote once a day. 

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