Amazon Solicits Customers for TV Ad Ideas

6/9/09

Amazon.com wants your brain. Well, actually it wants your creative ideas for a television advertisement. The “Your Amazon Ad Contest” announced yesterday is giving customers of the Seattle, WA-based internet retail giant a chance to send in their own ads for the website. Two winners, one picked by Amazon and one voted on by people on the site, will win $10,000 in Amazon.com gift cards each. The ads will be shown in a to-be-announced movie festival and may end up on national television.

“User-generated content is the hallmark of Amazon from the very start,” said Steven Shure, the company’s vice president of global marketing, in an interview. He says he considers the contest an expansion of other opportunities customers have to add to the site—if a bit more formal than book reviews. “We believe customers know and care about Amazon,” he says.

It’s unclear how many and what quality of entries Amazon will receive by the July 17 deadline, which is why there is no guarantee that the ads will appear on TV. “We’re not going to air bad ads,” Shure says. If the same ad is picked by both the Amazon jury and the audience vote, its creator will receive the full $20,000—nothing to sneeze at, between Amazon’s constantly growing range of goods and the current economic climate. The prize money was picked as an “amount that would be meaningful to an individual,” Shure says.

Five finalists will be announced on August 24, and people will be able to vote for the audience prize winner until September 6, with the final winners revealed on September 21. (To submit an idea, go to www.amazon.com/yaac.)

Depending on the success of this contest, it may be repeated, Shure says. It also may be adapted for foreign markets, as a global outlook is the overall focus of Amazon’s marketing, he says. “If something works, we’ll keep trying it.”

Eric Hal Schwartz was an intern in Xconomy's Seattle office. Follow @

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  • Jennifer Wentz

    Tarzan needs a new loin clothe, so Jane lets him in on a little secret…..Her laptop she has hidden in the bush, where she introduces him to “Amazon.Com”. Tarzan quickly becomes addicted and shops it like its hot with all the latest fashion and high-tech gear. Tarzan and Jane now live in a “posh tree-house” and he gives his chest pounding call ending with “AMAZON.COM”