User-generated content is all the rage. This Web 2.0 phenomenon sparked by YouTube and Wikipedia has already been utilized for everything from reporting the news to selling Doritos, and now it will even have a hand in deciding our next president. Following the trail set by the YouTube Presidential debates, progressive political organizer MoveOn.org is holding a contest for the best user-created Barack Obama ad.
MoveOn.org is asking its members to submit 30-second advertisements supporting the Democratic presidential candidate. The ads will be made available online at www.moveon.org, where they will be rated by the visitors to the site. A remarkably strong panel of celebrity judges (and Obama supporters?) including Oliver Stone, Ben Affleck, Steve Buscemi, Matt Damon, Julia Stiles and Jesse Jackson will then vote on the top-rated videos, choosing one grand-prize winner whose ad will be broadcast nationally. The winner will also receive a gift certificate for $20,000 in video and production equipment.
The site discourages people from directly attacking Hilary in their ads, but whether or not people comply, the ads are sure to run the gamut from wacky to offensive, inspiring to hilarious. That’s why user-generated content has become so popular: One truly never can tell what people will come up with.
The submission period runs from March 27 to April 1, and the winners will be announced on April 17. So if you’re at home watching CNN and thinking that Obama’s campaign managers don’t know what they’re doing, here’s your chance to show them up—and perhaps help out our future president.