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Over the past year, a growing number of companies have begun to sponsor promotions involving consumer-generated content. For example, Frito-Lay and Unilever each ran contests in which consumers were invited to create commercials and the winning spots were aired on television.

These types of promotions offer many advantages for marketers. If a promotion is executed well, it could generate publicity for a relatively small investment. Consumers are also likely to spend more time on a company’s Web site watching videos and learning about the company’s products than they would otherwise. Moreover, a company may end up with a great commercial at a fraction of the price they would have had to pay an agency to develop it.

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