Do you need $25K to fix your home?

Home Depot's gift logo


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.

About the author

In more then twenty years in journalism, Lisa Napoli has managed to work for almost every major


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