(April 10, 11:58 a.m.) Capitalizing on the YouTube Web site craze, the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association is sponsoring a contest asking consumers to create television commercials featuring the imported fruit, with a chance of winning $5,000.

The purpose of the “It Has to be Hass” contest is twofold, said Chris Tully, president of Preston Tully Group, Garden City, N.Y., the advertising agency for Hass Avocados from Mexico. The first goal is to link the contest to the launch of the group’s new television advertising campaign.

“The second objective is to extend the reach of our existing traditional television and radio campaigns to the Internet,” he said.

Rules of the contest can be found on the group’s Website, www. hasstv.com, beginning the week of April 14.

“We’re making it as easy as possible for consumers to participate in the contest,” Tully said.

Entrants may download the Hass Avocados from Mexico logo and other materials to create the commercials, he said. Entries will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity and suitability for use for promotional purposes. The contest, scheduled to begin the week of April 14, ends June 6.

The prize for first place is $5,000, while the second place winner will receive $2,500. Other prizes include copies of Dos Caminos restaurants cookbooks and autographed photographs of NASCAR stars Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, who drive the association-sponsored NASCAR Hasscar.

Successful entrants might see their efforts on television.

“The chance always exists that we could include the entries in our television campaign,” Tully said.