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Coming to a Mall Near You: Coke-Sponsored Movie-oke

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Coke Zero and L’Oréal are getting ready for their close-ups by sponsoring the Yoostar Casting Agency Tour, a nine-city crosscountry jaunt with 25 stops at college campuses and malls to spread the acting bug and the concept of “movie-oke.”

NMA Entertainment & Marketing brokered the sponsorship deal between the brands and Yoostar, which is also an agency client through its Vanguard Entertainment division. The $169.95 Yoostar entertainment system comes with a Webcam, green screen, microphones, classic film clips minus key actors and other tools wannabe Brandos need to insert themselves and act their way out of scenes from The Godfather, Rocky or National Lampoon’s Animal House. The system comes with 14 scenes—Yoostar has licensing deals with five studios—and additional clips can be downloaded a la iTunes for a nominal fee. Performances can be uploaded to www.yoostar.com or shared on social networking sites.

The tour was designed by Alloy Media + Marketing to show ease of use and to convey the communal experience of creating personalized scenes and sharing the results.

“The point of the tour is to get people together and get them to experience how easy it is to use,” said Todd Unger, vp-marketing for Yoostar Entertainment Group.

Coke and L’Oréal’s role on the road is to give the auditioning “actors” an enhanced sense of the star treatment. A L’Oréal stylist will offer wannabe actors makeup touch-ups before filming and hand out gift bags containing mascara, lip gloss and hairspray. Coke Zero will create a relaxing retreat-—not a Red Room since this is Zero, but a similar type hang—and sample the soda. The tour began in Boston last week and will conclude in Los Angeles in November when the units launch at Best Buy.

At stops, a mobile talent unit arrives complete with agency receptionist and in some cases, Jamie Kennedy (Scream, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment) as lead agent and judge. Contestants use the technology to perform a scene for the Yoostar agents, who will whittle the finalists down to 10 per market and upload scenes to the Web site for public voting. The winner of the auditions receives a walk-on in a to-be-named 2010 Lionsgate production. Second prize is a role in a Webisode from the producers of Gossip Girl.

From day one, the concept has been a pretty seamless sell to marketers. Yoostar is already in discussions with a fast-food chain, a telecom and an automotive brand for major deals in 2010. “Everyone wants to have their 15 minutes of fame,” said Mark Owens, partner/president of NMA, Sun Valley, Calif. “People get it really quickly: ‘My consumer would love to be in Top Gun...’”