Dot-Coms Among Sponsors of Movie Festival

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A number of Internet companies will join with Cinemax and other sponsors to host the SummerScreen film festival this summer.


The festival, which kicks off June 3 in the Hamptons section of New York's Long Island, will run for 11 weeks, and go on a 10 city tour making stops in Los Angeles, Miami and Minneapolis.


The festival will attempt to create a traveling carnival-like atmosphere, and will include live bands, games and food. Consumers will be allowed onto the festival grounds at 6:30 p.m. with movies starting after sundown. The festival will run for three nights in each city. The featured films will be E.T., Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Top Gun. Three hundred thousand people are expected to attend.


"This is the ultimate guerrilla marketing tool," said Evan Shapiro, CEO of FourFront, New York, a full-service consulting agency with production, event and guerrilla marketing expertise, which helped create the festival. "Our partners can reach out and touch as many people as possible."


Each of the festival's sponsors -- including Flooz.com, Flower.com, Stockback.com and Shopforcash.com -- will have a booth on the festival grounds.


Flooz will shape its booth like a giant gift box in an effort to make a memorable impression. There will be four live Internet terminals where users can sample Flooz. Additionally, two Flooz "Gift Heroes," men in orange tights who sing songs about the Web site, will circulate around the festival grounds.


"We are in the business of building a consumer brand. Our brand is a little offbeat. It resonates with people in fun ways," said Robert Levitan, CEO of Flooz.com, New York. "The summer is normally a quiet time in terms of gift giving. We want people to think of Flooz as an every day gift not just during the holidays but also the summer. We want to keep Flooz on their brain."


The festival will be promoted in movie theaters across the country, and the sponsors also will get screen time before the festival's movies begin.


America Online will use Moviefone to promote the festival. In the cities SummerScreen is visiting, the first thing consumers will hear when they dial Moviefone is an advertisement for the festival.


Trucks transporting the projector, screen, booths and other materials will have logos of the sponsors' brands on them.


Online, Cinemax.com will run a contest asking people to pick their favorite movie to win $5,000 in Flooz.


The event will likely feature a check-in service where consumers provide their names, addresses and phone numbers at a main gate to receive passes that will enable them to enter contests at the various booths. Flower.com, for example, will give away a year's worth of flowers. Stockback.com will hold a sweepstakes for a $1,000 stock portfolio.
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