Dell is running a pretty interesting online video contest, with several elements that I think are worth talking about. The purpose of the contest? To find America’s Favorite Small Business. There are 10 finalists, and the voting is up to you and the other YouTube viewers of the world, and you can vote every day through the contest’s conclusion.

The winning small business gets a king’s ransom:

Which business will win $25,000 in Dell products pre-loaded with Windows® 7 Professional & Microsoft® Office Home and Business 2010, a $50,000 prepaid card from MasterCard, and their own online reality show?

I’ve worked with several small businesses over the last decade or so, and I don’t know one of them that wouldn’t want that prize. The biggest problem with most online video contests is the lack of a decent prize, and Dell certainly doesn’t suffer from that issue here. This is the kind of prize package that could take some small businesses from the brink of failure to the cusp of success.

YouTube Pitches For Dell Online Video Contest

The online video contest is nothing new. It’s not like Dell invented it. But they’ve utilized it for this contest in a way that makes a lot of sense, allowing the small businesses to really use the short-film-style format of a webisode to tell their story.

They’ve got a custom YouTube Channel page dedicated to the contest, and you can see the videos from all the finalists there:

Let’s look at a few of the finalists, shall we?

Here’s the video from Related Grey, a post-production and visual effects studio:

Here’s SoNo Trading Company, which makes mustard:

And here’s Shwood Handcrafted Wooden Eyewear:

Video Ads From Google For Dell Online Video Contest

They’re also promoting the contest… with video. Specifically, video ads from Google. You might have seen it right here on ReelSEO on the sidebar:

That’s pretty darn good ad targeting, if you ask me, and is totally relevant to our core readers–good work, Dell.