20071214 home depot gift logo 18
Home Depot's gift logo - 

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Doug Krizner: Not that we needed it, but there's another sign of how bad the housing market is. It has to do with YouTube and a troubled home-improvement store. Lisa Napoli has more.


Lisa Napoli: Home Depot's earnings tanked 20 percent in the last quarter, what with the subprime mess and all.

So to drum up some business, the big box hardware store launched a contest on YouTube: To win a $25,000 gift card, you have to make a video explaining how you'd use it to improve your house.

Here's one entry:

Home Depot Contestant: [To the tune of "Jingle Bells"] "And our washing machine / We found it in the trash / We'd like to get a nicer one / If you would give us cash!"

Bruce Hollander creates promotions and contests. He says user-generated content is a good marketing tool:

Bruce Hollander: The word is involvement. That's a tremendous advantage, rather than just having you write a name on a piece of paper and sending it in for a sweepstakes.

So far, videos uploaded in the contest have had 80,000 views -- 2,000 hours of free promo.

In Los Angeles, I'm Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.