December 6, 2006, 12:00 AM

HobbyTron.com throws online video into the chopper

HobbyTron.com has launched a contest calling for the most creative customer-generated videos featuring a mini remote-control helicopter.

HobbyTron.com has launched a contest calling for the most creative customer-generated videos featuring the Picco Z mini remote-control helicopter, an item the company says is this year’s hottest remote-control toy. To enable the contest, the toys and hobby supplies retailer, which specializes in remote-control cars, airplanes and helicopters, is turning to a rising star in e-commerce: online video.

To be eligible, videos must be posted on either YouTube or Google Video with a link of the video submitted on the HobbyTron.com web site. Winners will be judged by the company, No. 409 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites, on creativity and originality of content. The grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 shopping spree on HobbyTron.com, two second place winners each will be awarded a $500 shopping spree, and 10 honorable mention winners each will receive a $50 gift card toward any purchase through HobbyTron.com.

Placement of videos on sites such as YouTube can create buzz around products and brands and drive viral marketing, industry observers say. In addition to using the free placement by customers on video sites of the product-oriented videos, HobbyTron.com may use winning videos in future marketing campaigns.

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