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Heinz has just announced the winner of their Top This promotion, which invited consumers across America to create the next ad for their Ketchup product.

The Top This TV competition website describes the competition as

We said make us laugh. Make us cry. Make us say, “Wow! Why didn’t we think of that?” But make it something you’d want to see on TV.
Well, people uploaded a boatload of commercials to YouTube that they wrote, cast and shot themselves—and spent tens of thousands of hours watching them.
Four runners-up will win $5,700, and their commercial will air on The Today Show on September 17. The grand prize winner will win $57,000.
Oh, and eternal glory.
Watch the winning Top This commercial on the Primetime Emmy® Awards, Live! September 16th, 8pm/7c on FOX.

Here’s a list of the semi-finalists

As you can see, many of the ads look professionally made, and perhaps some were made by agencies. However, the big winner here is the brand. Loyal consumers have spent many hours making, submitting and then telling their friends about their ads giving huge exposure to Heinz, as well as providing the change for everyday consumers to provide their interpretation of the brand positioning.

Heinz have already announced a follow up competition to start in October.

Perspective: It’s not just big brands that can run these competitions. With the ever increasing tools now available on the internet, as long as you have some passionate consumers, you can channel their creativity into a campaign channel.