Hyundai, TNT Partner for ‘Leverage’

NEW YORK The Hyundai Genesis luxury sedan’s high-tech bells and whistles will be featured throughout the 13-week run of Turner Network Television’s new original show Leverage. Billed as a high-octane adventure starring Timothy Hutton as Nate Ford, a modern-day Robin Hood avenging the little guy, the premiere episode will be presented by Hyundai commercial-free.

In the season-long “Get Ready to Get Even” interactive game, the audience will be asked to help solve a mystery and find $100,000 that was stashed in the trunk of a Hyundai Genesis after a heist goes wrong.

Each week, players prove themselves to Hutton’s team by going to the Leverage HQ to complete a mission and uncover a new clue. To help them solve the mystery, there will be hints in the show’s episodes, in spots that air on TNT, in print, at Web site and other media that integrates the Genesis. Lead Dog Marketing Group, New York, devised the game. 

“They’ll go to the Leverage headquarters [Web site] where they’ll learn about the assignment and the characters’ special skills,” said Katherine Johnson, svp, Turner Entertainment Promotions and Marketing. “It’s all about engaging people with the show and the characters.”

Sponsors Hewlett-Packard and DirecTV will be integrated into episodes as well. One of Hutton’s Leverage team members will use one of HP’s latest laptops, while Direct TV, in a deal with its agency Deutsch, New York, will highlight its sports package in high definition.

For the Genesis, which will be featured on at least five episodes, it’ll be all about highlighting the high-tech features such as the GPS navigation system and an auxiliary port for mp3 player use. “It’s an aspirational vehicle and that really comes across on the show,” Johnson said. Sponsor brands will also be featured within weekly series tune-ins and on-air billboard messaging entering commercial breaks.