SOURCE: YouTube

May 21, 2007 10:00 ET

YouTube Seeks the Best Shorts on the Internet

Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze Joins Forces With YouTube to Launch Online Sketch Comedy Competition, "YouTube Sketchies"

SAN BRUNO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 21, 2007 -- YouTube, the leader in online video, today announced its first ever sketch comedy competition, the YouTube Sketchies sponsored by Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze (www.youtube.com/sketchies). In this three-round elimination comedy battle, aspiring sketch comedians will put their digital shorts up against others to determine if they have what it takes to be repetitively funny, build an audience and keep people entertained.

The Sketchies will encourage people to create original episodic comedic series that will entertain the YouTube audience with gut-busting material. Over a nine week period beginning Thursday, May 24, YouTube users will upload the first of potentially three comedic shorts in an attempt to build an audience and keep the community laughing week after week. Winners will receive new gear, a brand assignment and production budget from Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze to create an original comedy short that will live online at SierraMist.com, a trip for two to meet The Lonely Island and attend a VIP screening of their movie "Hot Rod," and more.

"Some of the best YouTube comedians use the episodic format and they've been hugely popular as a result. We've seen an evolution on YouTube from one hit viral videos, to people building passionate audiences that tune in to see every new video," said Jamie Byrne, head of product marketing, YouTube. "Smosh, Chad Vader and The Lonely Island exemplify the type of comedians we expect people to discover during the YouTube Sketchies."

"Sierra Mist has played an active role in identifying and nurturing comedic talent," said Frank Cooper, vice president of marketing, Sierra Mist. "Through our relationship with YouTube, we're able to facilitate the creation of bite-sized digital entertainment and bring emerging creative stars into the Sierra Mist fold."

Three Round Elimination Format

Round 1

Submissions for first round of the YouTube Sketchies begins on May 24 and ends on May 31. A panel of top Hollywood agents, writers, producers and executives will choose 20 finalists from the entries submitted based on criteria provided by renowned sketch comedians, The Lonely Island and YouTube. Those top 20 will be presented to the YouTube community on June 7 to determine which 10 move to the next round. Voting ends on June 13.

Round 2

The top 10 creators from the first round of voting will develop and contribute a second episode for the YouTube Community to vote on by June 19. The community voting period will be held from June 20 through June 27 when the top five sketch comedians will be chosen to move on to the third and final round of voting.

Round 3

The top five creators will be asked to submit a third and final video by July 3 for the YouTube community to vote on. The community voting period will be from July 4 through July 11 and the winning series will be unveiled on YouTube on July 12.

The YouTube Sketchies Contest Details

Each entry must be an original video from an aspiring content creator and be less than three minutes in length. The Sketchies is open to U.S. legal residents only.

YouTube, Paramount Pictures and Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze are providing prizes for the winners. Prizes will include:

Grand prize

--  Production budget and brand assignment to create an original comedy
    short for Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze on unique ways to squeeze more fun into
    the summer. The original short will debut online at SierraMist.com**
--  All expenses paid trip for two to meet The Lonely Island and attend a
    VIP screening of their movie "Hot Rod" due in theaters on August 3
--  A meeting with top talent agents
--  Panasonic AG-HVX200 camcorder (or equivalent)
--  Final Cut Studio 2
--  Lighting Kit - 300 watt variable output video/digital lights
--  Winning series will be featured on YouTube home page in the
    Participatory Video Ad space
    
First runner-up
--  Panasonic AG-DVX100B Camcorder (or equivalent)
--  Final Cut Studio 2
    
Second runner-up
--  Final Cut Studio 2
    
**Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze will award the grand prize winner with a brand assignment and production budget to create an original comedy short that will live online at SierraMist.com. The focus of the assignment will be to showcase unique ways to squeeze more fun out of the summer. Hitting shelves nationwide on May 21, Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze is a new extra lemon flavored version of Sierra Mist available for a limited time only this summer.

About YouTube

YouTube is the world's largest online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube is based in San Bruno, CA and is a subsidiary of Google, Inc.

About Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze

Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze has the great lemon-lime taste of Sierra Mist with an extra squeeze of lemon flavor. Launching nationally on May 21, it is available for a limited time only this summer.

Sierra Mist is a product of Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi-Cola North America (www.pepsi.com), the refreshment beverage unit of PepsiCo, Inc., in the United States and Canada. Its U.S. brands include Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Aquafina, Sierra Mist, IZZE, SoBe, Mug, Tropicana Twister Soda, Tropicana Juice Drinks, Dole and Ocean Spray single-serve juices. The company also makes and markets North America's best-selling ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1MsHWTHVMs

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