Known as Germ, the competition will see professionals going up against amateurs, vying for prizes in four categories: best movie viral; best interactive viral; best image viral; and best international viral.
The competition comes as advertisers increasingly turn to the internet to promote their products -- especially with ideas that may be too risque to run on mainstream media. Favourites have included Trojan Condoms' "sex Olympics" and Burger King's "subservient chicken".
The Channel 4 IdeasFactory initiative is being backed by Bore Me, the site that boasts the world's largest collection of viral emails, as well as the digital agency DS Emotion and viral promoter Hot Cherry. The plan is to make the competition an annual event.
Adam Gee, commissioning editor for interactive at Channel 4 responsible for IdeasFactory, said: "Channel 4's IdeasFactory is committed to identifying and nurturing hot new talent and showcasing some of the best ideas around.
"The entertainment value, impact and reach of viral emails is phenomenal -- a great idea will go global in next to no time but if it's a bad idea, the viral will stop dead in its tracks."
Entries have to be submitted by December 5. They will be judged first by a panel of experts, who will come up with a shortlist of finalists. These will then be judged by the public, who can vote for their favourite.
Further information on the competition can be found at the competition website.
If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.
This article was first published on brandrepublic.com