MTV's Latin channel auditions new brand

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MTV Networks' Latin channel has created an online music contest reminiscent of American Idol as a part of its rebranding effort. The effort is designed to give Latin American music artist hopefuls exposure, and the chance to become a star.

The rebranding of the channel, Tr3s: MTV, Musica y Mas, aims to embrace the bilingual and bicultural lifestyle of the Latino audience in the US. Capacity created the rebrand, while the campaign, “I Feel Tr3s,” was created by Casanova Pendrill.

Tr3s partnered with Yahoo! En Español and Verizon Wireless to launch the "Dame un Break" contest as a multitouchpoint initiative July 13. Through August 18, aspiring artists can audition online via a microsite on Yahoo! En Español, www.dameunbreak.com. A voting period will run from August 16 to August 29 and the winner will team with Sebastian Krys, a Latin Grammy-award winning producer and Tr3s to produce the song and video. The music video will appear first on V Cast Video On Demand by Verizon, and subsequently be shown on Yahoo! En Español and Tr3s.

There is also a sweepstakes component whereby the winner will be flown to Los Angeles to watch the filming of the video.

“For us, it gets us cross-platform and allows us to leverage our partners' assets,” said Carol Snell, VP of trade marketing, for MTV Tr3s.

The campaign was born from internal research that showed its 12 to 24 demographic has a high interest in music-based initiatives coupled with people achieving fame. 

"It's a piece of the American Dream,” Snell said of the contest.

For the partners, it is an exercise in acquiring new customers in a coveted demographic, as well as catering to existing customers.

Entrants can decide whether they want to be included in Tr3s' mailing list for future initiatives. They can opt-in to be added to its database to receive information via an e-mail blast regarding news on the channel.

Armando Rodriguez, general manager of Yahoo! Hispanic Americas, said a main goal was to create a high level of engagement in a unique way for its users. “This segment is very young and savvy.…we're creating an experience that is relevant to them,” he said.

To measure the effectiveness of the program, click-throughs to the site and the number of participants that upload their audition videos — as well as the number of individuals that enter the sweepstakes — will be taken into account.

The contest was created in-house among all three partners.

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