Rhapsody Hopes to Co-Star During the VMAs

Old school digital music service Rhapsody this weekend will launch a new ad campaign, in conjunction with the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards show, aimed at the new generation of music downloaders.

New TV ads to be aired throughout the show, live performance integrations for the new Rhapsody MP3 store and a micro-site focused on exclusive albums from select VMA artists round out the effort.

“We view the VMAs as the Super Bowl of pop culture,” said Neil Smith, vp-marketing at Rhapsody America. “As the biggest rated cable event, it attracts a massive amount of nontraditional demographic. The strategy: It’s a big event, a large audience, [it has a] cool factor.”

The TV spots, via Droga 5, New York, tie into Rhapsody’s ongoing “Music Without Limits” campaign. There will be 15-second teaser ads in a preshow program and four 30-second spots during the show itself.

The Rhapsody campaign will focus on such bands as the Jonas Brothers, Panic at the Disco and Lil’ Wayne. It also will promote exclusive bonus tracks, available to consumers when they download music from these bands on Rhapsody.

This is part of Rhapsody’s overall strategy to drive awareness among a younger demographic, said a company rep. Rhapsody delivers more than five million songs a day to consumers through partnerships with digital services like TiVo, Philips, SanDisk, Logitech and Sonus. Via programming agreements, Rhapsody offers consumers access to programmed music content from MTV Networks’ MTV, VH1 and CMT music brands. The VMA