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A new website invites users to make their own video ads for big-name brands, and get paid along with the deal.

Zooppa harnesses the trend in consumer-generated ad campaigns that has been increasingly in vogue.

It establishes competitions around partner brands including Havaianas shoes and Osè underwear. In response to a set brief, users upload scripts, storyboards or complete videos and can vote on each other's contributions. Top prizes are around US$1,500.

As the former audience increasingly acquires the ability to create and distribute its own creative media content, brands like Chevrolet, Doritos and Toyota have tapped consumers' enthusiasm to generate a kind of marketing campaign that owes much to the earlier efforts of Firefox's most passionate advocates and is seen by many to have more authenticity than expensively constructed television spots.

Zooppa uses a "Mr Big Zooppa" character to create an irreverant Italian-American personality for the site and is one of the first sites to aim to scoop such efforts into a single platform.

The site's "chief evangelist" Allison Green last month said: "Zooppa.com's purpose is to create a community of professional and amateur creatives and videomakers that compete in creating the best and the most viral video commercials ever.

"In particular – as everyone will notice after the official launch of Zooppa.com – we will concentrate our efforts in a developing system of blog-oriented advertising."

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Published 2 March, 2007 by Robert Andrews

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