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The college crowd gets a big thumbs up from Sony with the September release of the Mylo (short for "My Life Online"), a new gadget that puts wi-fi-powered email, IM, web surfing and Skype calling under the thumbs of 18-22 year-olds. And to recruit more of these thumbs to the Mylo cause, Sony and agency McKinney + Silver have started a "thumbternity" that aspiring members can pledge at RushMylo.com. "If you think about the target, most of them are heading off to college and will be confronted with either joining a fraternity or a sorority," says McKinney executive creative director David Baldwin. "They're a really great way to network and meet new friends and be a part of college life and college community. So if kids want to join, this campaign is a great spoof. If they don't want to join—well, it's still a great spoof."
Designed as the epicenter of a sprawling campus, the Rush Mylo house contains everything you need to prove your worth, including a pledge name generator and "build your thumb" engine to craft your very own thumbified alter-ego. After adding their photo to the thumbternity composite hanging in the stately chapter room, pledges can chat with the house's two garrulous pledgemasters via Yahoo! Messenger, and additional features will go live as more of the house—and the surrounding environs—are opened up in the coming months. And finally, the hazing experience wouldn't be complete without the thumb-in-cheek videos created by McKinney + Silver and seeded throughout video-sharing sites like YouTube and Veoh, each starring a cast of thumb characters in assorted college scenarios.