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STUTTGART, Germany — American Forces Network Europe is challenging its viewers to create commercials for its Super Bowl XLIV broadcast, which will be aired live on Feb. 8 in Europe.

All Department of Defense identification card holders are eligible to enter the "You Do It" promotion with 14- or 29-second spots to replace the multimillion-dollar productions shown by networks stateside.

AFN can’t air the stateside commercials because it gets programs for free. If AFN aired the stateside Super Bowl ads, it would have to pay for the game. In place of the stateside ads, the network fills the time with public service advertising and command information spots.

"For years AFN has heard viewer complaints about not being able to see the iconic Super Bowl commercials," Col. Bill Bigelow, AFN Europe commander, said in a press release. "Obviously, the rules prevent us from airing them, so we thought, why not do the next best thing and give our viewers some airtime. Now when the game is playing, instead of seeing another ‘pick up your dog’s poop’ commercial for the 500th time, you may see a neighbor’s commercial, or, better yet, your own."

George A. Smith, AFN Europe’s operations manager, said he does not know what to expect, except for some wild and crazy entries.

"The world has changed," Smith said about how AFN came up with the idea. "There are people out there with cell phones shooting news and giving it to the big dogs like CNN or Fox. They are supplying the networks with product faster than the networks can produce it."

Videos to be aired will be selected based on topic, originality and entertainment value, according to the release. Entries must be submitted by Jan. 10 and in WMV or MPEG-4 files. For a full list of rules, visit http://www.afneurope.net and continue to the "You Do It" link.

AFN Europe expects to have about 500,000 Super Bowl viewers in Europe, Afghanistan and Iraq.


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