June 10, 2009, 12:00 AM

Amazon turns over ad campaign to the masses

Amazon.com is taking interactivity to a new level by challenging consumers to create its next TV commercial. The ad contest could produce a single grand prize winner of $20,000 in gift cards based on results from online voters and a panel of judges.

Amazon.com Inc. is taking interactivity to a new level by challenging consumers to come up with a new television commercial. The “Your Amazon Ad Contest” invites consumers to create an Amazon television commercial and compete for $20,000 in Amazon.com gift cards.

Entries are due by July 17. An Amazon judging panel will review submissions and select five finalists based on “creativity, overall appeal and the likelihood of inspiring viewers to shop with Amazon,” says the company, which is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Amazon is hoping to tap into its shoppers and their creative juices, such as the widely reported spoof customer reviews on Amazon.com extolling the virtues and benefits of “Three Wolf Moon” T-shirts, says Steve Shure, vice president of global marketing at Amazon.com.

Contest finalists will be announced Aug. 24 and from that date until Sept. 6 shoppers can view entries online and vote for the audience prize winner. An Amazon judging panel will select the jury prize winner and each winner will receive a $10,000 Amazon.com gift card. If the same entry wins both, the winner gets $20,000 in Amazon.com gift cards. The winners will be announced on Sept. 21 and also will receive travel and lodging for two to attend a U.S. film festival-to be announced-where their commercials will be screened.

Consumers can upload their submissions to Amazon.com/yaac or WithoutaBox.com, an independent film network acquired by Amazon through its subsidiary IMDb. Content must meet Amazon’s standard content guidelines and submissions must be suitable for family viewing on a national network.

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