UGO Networks Unveils 'Dream Prizes' Promotion

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Looking to tap into the dreams of males ages 18 to 34, entertainment Web site UnderGroundOnline, or UGO.com, is launching a series of summer promotions that feature prizes such as a dream date with a Penthouse Pet, a trip to Tokyo and private home screenings of movie premieres.


Playing up its positioning as part of the hip, cutting-edge underground, "our decision was to come up with prizes you could not normally buy, that you can only get at UGO," said Boris Kaz, executive vice president of sales and marketing at UGO Networks, New York. "It's part of our branding play. A $1 million cash prize is not a dream prize that fits our brand communication."


Its most nonmainstream offering is its PlayStation Pet promotion. From July 15 to Aug. 30, UGO members can enter to win a Sony PlayStation 2 and an all-expenses-paid date with a yet unnamed Penthouse Pet. "It's about the possibility," said Kaz. "Even thinking about a date with a Penthouse Pet, that's the attraction here."


UGO is following up this promotion with its Escape the Roommate contest. The promotion will offer a college student the opportunity to escape from roommates by taking a trip to Tokyo to visit the headquarters of Sony Entertainment. The student can opt instead to have UGO cover rent, utilities and furniture, as well as books and supplies for a school semester. In either case, the student will win a PlayStation 2 as well. The contest will run from Aug. 1 to Nov. 15.


On July 1, the site will tie in its latest promotion, When Summer Movies Attack, with its current Road Rave tour. The tour, which runs May 11 to Oct. 20, features two assault-type vehicles bearing the site's logo and Web address. The vehicles are working their way through the eastern and western United States, stopping at concerts, sporting competitions and other events.


The summer movies promotion will send a vehicle to the winner's house to show an exclusive private screening of a new release on a large-screen television for the winner and friends. The UGO staff will act as "slaves," serving popcorn and beer, for example. The promotion runs through Sept. 1.


To coincide with the promotion, a microsite is being launched that will offer the contest as well as an irreverent look at this summer's offering of movies. Features include ill-informed movie reviews based solely on advance trailers, a gallery of the hottest summer releases and an interactive trivia game.


To date, the site has signed up 250,000 members from its promotions alone.
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