LG Moves To Wyclef Beat

Mobile phone maker gets product placement

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%%STORYIMAGE_RIGHT%% LG Mobile Phones, in concert with Y&R Advertising's Brand Buzz, has hooked up with Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean for a national brand-awareness promotion on the eve of the artist's launch of his CD, "The Preacher's Son."

A Wyclef concert last week in New York's Times Square featured co-branded signage, and LG, San Diego, is following up the event with a national gift-with-purchase promotion for the next month and product placement in a Wyclef video.

"We really wanted to celebrate our innovative technology, and Wyclef is a Grammy-winning artist and a global trendsetter, which is a good fit because LG is a global manufacturer," said Debra Cassidy, LG Mobile Phones director-marketing.

Wyclef's video for the single "Party to Damascus," featuring rapper Missy Elliott, will integrate the new LG VX6000 camera phone. Wyclef is shown chatting with Missy on the LG Phone and the video later shows Wyclef's image on the screen of the phone. Cassidy, who hasn't seen the final cut of the video, said, "Wyclef has been really good with us to ensure we get the right exposure out of this."

For the next month, a promotion will offer any buyer of an LG mobile phone in the country a Living LG Gift Pack, which contains a copy of "The Preacher's Son"—dropping at retail Nov. 4—limited-edition posters of Wyclef and an LG hands-free ear piece.

%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% LG spent upward of $1million in cross-branded media weight in New York promoting last week's event, including out-of-home, bus wraps, radio (produced by Wyclef), online advertising and street teams. Brand Buzz did the advertising and marketing around the event.

LG, which has its global headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, entered the U.S. mobile phone market in 1998. The brand's marketing mix includes TV, radio, print and alternative platforms such as the Wyclef deal. Cassidy would not disclose total annual marketing-communications budgets for the brand.

Cassidy also said she is considering tour support for Wyclef behind the record, but added that the topic has not been discussed with the artist and his new label, Clive Davis' J Records.

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