Ever since YouTube crashed onto the scene a few years ago, companies have been holding video contests, and anywhere from several hundred to several thousand video-makers have been entering each one. Now, such contests have become so popular that there are at least a dozen running at any one time, and veteran commercial directors are beginning to gripe about losing work to the great unwashed masses. So what are these contests, and which videos are winning them? I did a little legwork, and came up with this sampler of contest winners.

Doritos "Crash the Superbowl" Contest

This spot was shown during last year's superbowl -- quite an honor.

Turbotax Rap Video Contest

They even hired Vanilla Ice to be the judge. Here's the rap Vanilla liked best:

Sketchies II YouTube Sketch Comedy Contest

For two years in a row, YouTube has gone looking for the best amateur sketch comedy troupes out there, via the videos they submit. This year's winner has a special place in my heart, since it's about Sherlock Holmes. (Shameless plug: check out my book!)

Radiohead Video Contest

AniBOOM hosted a contest for animators, who were invited to make videos for some of Radiohead's new songs from In Rainbows. This mesmerizing entry for the song "Reckoner" took the prize.

Doritos "Guru" Conest Winner

The winner of this Doritos contest got to name a new flavor of chip. Find out why they call it "Scream Cheese" --

On the Lot Filmmaker Attacked by Aliens

Remember the ill-fated reality show On the Lot from back in 2007? It was kind of the ultimate video contest -- the winners got to appear on the reality show, and then every week's episode was a new video contest, the final winner of which got a development deal at Dreamworks. (Kind of a weird prize -- the writer/director who wins gets to become a producer. Okay ... ) Anyway, this was the video submission which earned filmmaker Zack Lipovsky a spot on the show.

Bjork "Innocence" Video Contest

Crowd-sourcing music videos seems to be catching on. Here's a weird winner for a weird song by Bjork.

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