Online Exclusive: Branded Entertainment News

MCDONALD'S STRIKES SWEEPING INTERNATIONAL MUSIC DEAL

Becomes Sole Sponsor of MTV's Global Talent Hunt Program

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- MTV and McDonald's Corp. have struck a deal that will entwine the fast-food chain's brand throughout the youth music cultures of as many as 160 countries around the world.
McDonald's plans to become a major presence in local music cultures around the world.
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As marketers across the U.S. continue to increase their co-marketing and product placement involvement in the U.S. music business, McDonald's has agreed to become the sole sponsor of MTV Advance Warning, the music network's first global program.

Emerging talent
Advance Warning focuses on emerging new musical talent in each of the countries. The program, the first featuring new music talent with potential for international success, begins on a monthly schedule.

Locally adapted versions of the show have begun in Latin America and begin Feb. 19 in Europe and Feb. 21 in Asia. It will air in 160 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The international media buy, arranged at high corporate levels and not part of McDonald's upfront purchases, was "significant," according to executives close to the marketer.

Calling McDonald's the "perfect partner" to take the show global, Bill Roedy, president of MTV Networks International, said the partnership was "unprecedented."

'Long-term strategic alliance'
Larry Light, McDonald's executive vice president and global chief marketing officer, called the arrangement a "long-term strategic alliance" that offered "unlimited opportunity between McDonald's and MTV."

Neither company would disclose terms or the actual length of the agreement. "We haven't put an end date on it. It will evolve and grow we believe," Mr. Light said.

The marketer will work with the network and its "veejays" to create events that include local "battle of the bands" shows, band compilations and dedicated-listening parties with local radio stations around the world.

McDonald's will have exclusive content, promotions and sweepstakes for chances to win music exclusives, as well as music news, food offers and other opportunities for McDonald's customers and employees, said Dean Barrett, McDonald's senior vice president of global marketing.

High visibility
On each program, McDonald's will be included on signage that appear in the beginning and the end of the show on a composite logo incorporating the MTV and McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" logos.

Other components will include a dedicated microsite across MTV Europe's 11 local Web sites that will feature artist profiles and biographies, screensavers and wallpapers.

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