Ikea taps new YouTube wannabe to launch bed-making contest

'We're looking for bed-making maniacs who aren't worried about what Mom says...,' announced the Swedish home furnishings giant yesterday while offering a US $5,000 prize for the most imaginative consumer posting of the quotidian activity on newbie social network Shycast.

Making beds is one of the few activities that haven’t so far found fame on YouTube and its ilk. But Almhult, Sweden-HQ’d Ikea launched a contest yesterday that may change all that – while simultaneously deepening its already enviable relationship with fans of its brand. The potential attraction is not only the chance to win US $5,000, but to take Ikea up on its invitation to ‘break all the rules of bed making’ while vying for cyber fame with spectacular sheet-tucking techniques.

Rather than posting its contest on tried-and-true YouTube or other established venue for consumer-generated videos, Ikea chose Shycast. The New Jersey-based newcomer styles itself a ‘Social Network for People and Brands,’ and its website is replete with offers to partner with marketers to leverage the fast-growing power of social networks. Shycast is reportedly working with other big consumer marketers, including Unilever, to design and host contests and promotions based on user-generated videos.