Your Ad at the Superbowl or the Oscars?

One interesting phenomenon in 2006 was the emergence of user-generated commercial contests, such as those for Firefox and Converse. In 2007, the stakes will be raised significantly, with fan commercials being shown during the broadcasts of the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards.

I first found out about Doritos having an open contest for its Super Bowl spot from an actor friend named Tommy who’d entered (see video above). Doritos is ponying up $2.5 million to broadcast the 30-second spot, according to Adweek. It also brought in Yahoo’s Jumpcut to run the contest. Yahoo told us last week the contest had seen over 1,000 submissions. The contest is now closed. Voting begins in January.

Fanvertising, or whatever it’s already been coined as, is strange territory. Tommy told a lot of people about his ad, and many left comments praising his work. A couple of them apparently felt it might give him a little extra boost if they enthused about how well the ad pushed the product: “Hysterical everyone here is laughing out loud and wants some Doritos.” Subtle. And, “This is awesome I want to eat Doritos like craaazy!”

Our own Jackson dubbs this “faux-astroturfing,” a display of knowingly buying into the marketing shtick to further a personal cause. Are we all that cynical? Maybe. Pass the chips.

Dove is following in Doritos’ footsteps by launching a new body wash with a user-created ad, to be shown at the Academy Awards. Unilever is using popular videobloggers Amanda Congdon and Ze Frank to get the word out about the contest. Despite the new media cred, though, Dove will make its selection behind closed doors. Doritos is doing some crazy American Idol type thing to determine the winner.

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