Somewhere in my parents’ attic, there resides a copy of Vanilla Ice’s debut album, “To the Extreme.”

I could make excuses -- all the other kids, including my friend Claire had it -- but the truth is, I loved that tape, and I could recite the lyrics to every song. And I’ve loved that fade haircut. All of which is probably why Intuit’s YouTube contest was the first to catch my eye, apparently, failed rappers are the next big thing in the world of product pitchmen.

On the heels of Britney Spears’ ex, Kevin Federline, who appeared in a Super Bowl ad for Nationwide Insurance, Intuit is now using Vanilla Ice for a YouTube contest. Would-be rappers can win $25,000 in cash for uploads rhymes about using TurboTax software. The rules can be viewed at http://turbotax.intuit.com/taxrap/ and the YouTube introduction, at www.youtube.com/watch?=1CCO0vKwYDI has already been used by more than 25,000 people. His entry, kicking off the contest, is a ditty called "TurboTax Mojo," that can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMudXTz4NuQ. Anyone who enters the contest has the chance to win free TurboTax software.

At the same time, H&R Block is running a contest for its TaxCut Online. The Super Sweet Refund can win $5,000, “showing us your wildest, funniest ideas” planning to spend your refund this year. That attempt is available at www.youtube.com/contest/supersweetrefund.

Vanilla Ice uploaded a video of his own tax-related rhymes to give users something to emulate. His rhymes included the following verse: "I tour around the world/Spit my lyrics for dinero/Pay my taxes on time do the budget/Make my payroll...business deductions from Miami to Palermo/On April 15 you better be prepared so/You learn before you burn or you'll end up like El Broko." The irony is that his own sample of "Under Pressure," by Queen and David Bowie, can’t use a copycat.

If nothing else, user-generated content is already something, even if the campaign doesn't necessary relay on the need to bear the inside.  Vanilla introduction of a sporting using an Uncle Sam hat might be more at home in an ad for Liberty Tax -- though the plan used the chance to entice a group to try the contest. The group attempt both upcoming group trying to run the instead use.

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