MTV Casts Verizon in ‘Valemont’

MTV’s newest drama boasts the star power of Wanted actress Kristen Hager and Six Feet Under star Eric Balfour, along with a less likely leading character: a Verizon phone.
 
Valemont is a branded vehicle entertainment that premieres tomorrow on MTV, shown in two-and-a-half minute snippets before the start of The Hills at 10 p.m. and then after The City at 11 p.m. The series plumbs the supernatural, featuring a mysterious young woman named Sophie who’s in search of what happened to her presumably deceased brother, Eric. Sophie’s only clue is Eric’s Verizon Wireless phone. She takes it as a guide and returns to Eric’s college, Valemont University, to find out who killed him.
 
Valemont is designed to help show off Verizon’s video and messaging capabilities by making them integral parts of the story line. Each episode of Valemont begins with a text or video message from Eric on the Verizon phone. During episodes, the phone plays an important role. In the first clip, Sophie is shown what is believed to be her missing brother’s decayed body. She steals the phone that was found with him before slipping away to pursue what happened to him by infiltrating Valemont. Each episode closes with a five-second Verizon billboard.
 
“We thought long and hard for the best possible partners that would be organic to the story and move it along,” said John Shea, vp of integrated marketing at MTV Networks.
 
MTV will air two episodes in the time slot for the next six weeks. Viewers will then be driven online to see the next 23 episodes, available at MTV.com, a dedicated show site and through Verizon’s VCast mobile video service. At the Valemont site, visitors can read student blogs, Twitter accounts and view photos from the fictitious university. They can also sign up to receive text message updates about the show.
 
The approach is a promising new route for reaching young audiences, Shea said. The Hills and The City are popular with teenage girls.
 
“They’re watching and engaging with stories in a whole bunch of new ways that aren’t limited to long-form TV programming,” he said.
 
MTV co-produced the series with Electric Farm Entertainment.

See also: “NBCU, American Family Roll Out Brand Series”

Nielsen Business Media