Pushes Ads and Sponsors Viewer-Created Content on Heavy.com

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Burger King Corp. is sponsoring free video content for iPod downloads on Heavy.com’s entire fall season, according to the company. The campaign on the Web site's “Must Stream TV” adds to the chain’s string of buzz-producing alternative media plays.
Heavy.com is a Burger King-sponsored Web site that features viewer-produced video content.

The work is being created by interactive roster agency VML, Kansas City, Mo., a unit of WPP.

“Customization is the foundation of the 'Have It Your Way' brand promise, and we are always seeking innovative and cutting-edge platforms to reach target audiences," Gillian Smith, senior director of media and interactive at Burger King Corp., said in a statement.

It is the first time a marketer has sponsored an entire season of content for the broadband network that boasts 6 million unique monthly viewers and a viral reach of 65 million. Content mainly targets males ages 18 to 34, the sweet spot of Burger King’s marketing target.

Viewers create videos with masks
Terms weren’t disclosed, but as part of the deal, Heavy.com distributed Halloween masks of brand icons the King and Subservient Chicken for viewers to use in their own videos, which are running on the Burger King-branded section of Heavy's video Web site.

One video, now live, follows a prankster wearing a majestic costume and the King mask as he goes through a McDonald’s drive-through, asking for a Whopper, Chicken Whopper and other Burger King-specific products. He ends up buying a strawberry shake, laughing throughout the prank as McDonald’s employees admonish him for coming to the Golden Arches dressed as the Burger King.

With as much as half its content coming from Web-savvy viewer submissions, Heavy.com has become a hot property for marketers seeking to connect with young, influential consumers. Burger King joins the likes of Unilever, Coca-Cola, Virgin Mobile and Sony, which has contributed to Heavy.com’s reported $10 million in revenue this year.

Burger King “has been one of our top advertisers,” said Simon Assaad, co-CEO of Heavy, declining to discuss financial specifics. “It’s comparable to what others would spend to access that audience.”

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