MICROSOFT EXPANDS XBOX PROMOTIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

Doritos Launches Contest; Rock Band Tour Sponsored

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Microsoft Corp. has tapped two new promotional partners for its Xbox video-game console, Frito-Lay's Doritos and the alt-rock band Linkin Park.

Microsoft on Feb. 4 kicks off with Doritos

Ad for the Xbox - Doritos contest.
a promotional contest for a chance to win Xbox game consoles that includes offline and online components.

Specially marked bags of Doritos and Doritos Xtreme snack chips will include game pieces that instantly win one of 10 the grand prizes, which include an Xbox console and a Thomson Multimedia RCA brand big-screen TV, or a code that can be used on doritos.com.

Online giveaways
Online, consumers have a chance to win one of 50 game consoles, or they can enter the code from the game piece to get free downloads of an Xbox cheat code courtesy of the Official Xbox Magazine or music from Xbox games such as "Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding" courtesy Virgin EMI. Anyone who accesses the codes and music tracks also receives savings on Xbox hardware and software for a limited time via a hotlink from walmart.com.

Doritos through

Photo: AP
Xbox to sponsor the next tour by rock group, Linkin Park.
its agency, Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, will break a dedicated spot to support the Xbox promotion under its "For the bold and daring" theme by early February. Extensive online marketing and viral Web efforts are also part of the mix through dorito.com. BBDO's interactive unit Atmosphere handles the online components.

Projekt: Revolution
Xbox will also sponsor Linkin Park's Projekt: Revolution tour, which includes bands Cypress Hill, Adema and DJ-ZTRIP. The 19-city tour starts Jan. 29 in Colorado Springs and winds up in Las Vegas Feb. 24.

The tour sponsorship marks the first deal between the game and a music partner. Consoles signed by the band will be given away by local radio stations.

Xbox is in year two of a three-year

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agreement with footwear company Van's and PepsiCo's SoBe. Late last year Xbox concluded its launch marketing program with Tricon Global Restaurants' Taco Bell. The Xbox will likely partner with a soft drink brand by the summer, said Cindy Spodek-Dickey, group manager or national consumer promotions and sponsorships for Xbox.

Microsoft said it sold 1.5 million Xbox consoles between the product's Nov. 15 launch and Dec. 31. It expects to ship 4.5 million to 6 million units by June 30.

The Xbox goes on sale in Japan Feb. 22 and in Europe and Australia on March 14.

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