YOUtopia Aims for 1 Million Teens With Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake Promo

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YOUtopia.com, a teen loyalty site, is scheduled today to air the first of a series of video-on-demand Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake shopping sprees in an attempt to add 600,000 new users to its 400,000 user base by the end of 2001.


The seven-minute shopping spree episode, labeled "Britney and Justin Shopping Adventure," will feature the pop music celebrities shopping at Bloomingdale's in New York. Spears and Timberlake, a member of the band 'N Sync, will discuss where they shop, what types of products they are interested in, and popular fashion and makeup trends. While YOUtopia.com does not have advertising agreements for the promo with any of the brands featured, the site hopes to forge future relationships through the promotion. Some of the brands featured include Diesel Jeans and Lucky Brand Dungarees.


As part of the promotion, YOUtopia.com is offering viewers a chance to win 200,000 YOUdollars, the company's online currency, redeemable for $1,000 worth of merchandise from more than 700 stores, restaurants and e-tailers, including J.Crew, Sam Goody, Bloomingdale's and Footlocker.


YOUtopia.com is targeting the promotion to its core demographic of 13- to 19-year-olds. "Britney has been involved with the site from the beginning, and both stars attract our teen audience," said Steve McDougall, president and chief operating officer at YOUtopia.com, New York.


YOUtopia.com is marketing the event primarily through a referral program in which members who refer a friend receive additional entries into the shopping sweepstakes. The promotion also is being advertised through content on teen music sites, including www.cdnow.com, www.efanguide.com, www.worldofbritney.com and www.britneyspearsportal.com. In addition, the site is promoting the event and sweepstakes contest through e-mail newsletters to its user base.


YOUtopia plans to air a new video approximately every two weeks, McDougall said, adding that a specific schedule has not been determined yet. "By running every few weeks, it will give us the time to measure responses to the promotion," he added.


The company earns revenue by selling YOUdollars to participating online and offline merchants, McDougall said. He added that while its user databases are not for sale, users can opt in to receive promotions from BMG Entertainment, a partner and investor in the company.


YOUtopia, which debuted in June 2000, offers teens content and promotions related to Britney Spears; a virtual dating game in which members can earn YOUdollars; a "Monkeytrading Game" that allows members to invest their YOUdollars in the stock market; a list of interactive teen trivia games in which users can earn YOUdollars and prizes from partners such as Bloomingdale's, Sony and Clearasil; YOUdollars account balance services; chat and e-mail services; online calendars; customized site design services; referral programs; and a YOUdollars online shopping program created in cooperation with GiftCertificates.com.


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