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MTV youth marketing uses mobile to promote setting goals

MTV launched a new multi-platform advertising initiative inviting youth to publicly share something they feel strongly about.

The "Declare Yourself with HP" campaign includes mobile, digital, on-air and on-the-ground elements. For the mobile component, MTV advertised on its own programs.

"It was a text-to-screen application through a call to action on air," said Michael Scogin, vice president of wireless at MTV, New York. "We relied on [television[ for the promotion and started out on the ?It's On with Alexa Chung' where Alexa said: ?Text DECLARE to short code 66333.'"

On an HP-branded microsite, the new campaign uses technology to encourage youth to "declare" statements about themselves for their peers to see.

HP and MTV created an online forum at http:// where users can make their declarations. To help shape their goals, the site hopes users will feed off of each other's positive messages.

MTV's ability to reach the youth demographic will extend HP's "Declare Yourself with HP" marketing campaign.

First, users will engage with the Web site or mobile text to screen by making a declaration, then with other users by reading and sharing their statements. The desired outcome is users becoming a part of a larger social movement urging others to stake a stand and make their statement.

Other core elements of the campaign include the takeover of and the text-to-air component.

MTV enables viewers to announce their declarations over custom HP vignettes created by MTV during the network's "Summer Sunblock" programming.

"On-air is a nice easy call to action," Mr. Scogin said. "It's an easy way for them to submit and for us to moderate and approve and get that stuff on air."

Summer Sunblock features regular on-air throws to the HP hub, a giveaway for an HP notebook PC for an in-studio fan during It's On with Alexa Chung, on-air texting experience and a text-to-screen declaration sweepstakes at concerts.

Through MTV Networks Digital's MyVoice, a panel of 15,000 people that allows the company to tap into the MTV audience by hosting online discussions and detailed surveys, MTVN Digital gets its youth consumer demographic.

A unit of Viacom, MTV has been broadcasting for over 27 years as a cross-section of music, creativity and youth culture. Originally airing music videos, MTV has shifted its focus to original programming for the youth demographic.

MTV is no stranger to mobile. In October, the network launched a new hour-long program, the "Best of Choose or Lose," exclusively on mobile devices via MediaFLO USA Inc.'s Flo TV service. Additionally, MTV offered Street Team '08 reports in a weekly podcast, which viewers can find on iTunes (see story).

"When we do these on-air mobile components, we get really great participation rates," Mr. Scogin said.

"Every phone can send texts, most young people are on those ?all you can eat' SMS plans. Young people are probably more likely to watch TV with their cell phones right next to them instead of computers."