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AFN Europe officials are hoping that viewers will help turn commercial breaks during its Super Bowl XLV television broadcast into water-cooler fodder instead of a time to moan about another “Squeakers the Hamster” driving tip.

To get something fresh and different, American Forces Network is conducting its second annual “YoDoIt” campaign, which challenges viewers to create their own 14- or 29-second spots to air during the network’s broadcast of the Feb. 6 game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

All Department of Defense ID card holders are eligible to participate.

“Whenever you can get the audience involved in the product, they take ownership,” said AFN Europe public affairs officer George Smith.

AFN can’t air the multimillion dollar Super Bowl ads popular in the States because it receives programs for free. If AFN aired stateside ads, it would have to pay for live sports and entertainment, something AFN says it cannot afford, according to a news release announcing the program.

Col. Bill Bigelow, AFN Europe commander, said last year’s inaugural “YouDoIt” campaign resulted in 145 viewer-produced spots that aired during the Super Bowl and the pregame show. “We’re hoping this year we’ll have as many if not more,” he said.

“We expected 12 to 15 spots, we didn’t think it would be as popular as it was … people put a lot of effort into this,” said Rick Blackburn, chief of the regional media center at AFN Europe.

Smith said Europe is the only AFN location sponsoring the do-it-yourself announcements.

The spots that aired last year featured things such as a Super Bowl party role reversal, talking dogs, zombie survival tips and high school students raiding the commissary, plus some more serious topics. The spots can be seen at www.youtube.com/afnyoudoit.

This year, participants also have the chance for their spots to be included into regular AFN rotations or shown again during AFN coverage of DODDS high school sports.

Viewers have until Jan. 10 to submit spots. Submission requirements and an entry form are available at www.afneurope.net.

pattonm@estripes.osd.mil

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