MTV, Legacy in ‘Made’ Integration

In a bid to expand the reach of its “Truth” antismoking campaign, the American Legacy Foundation is once again teaming up with MTV, locking in a five-week integration with the network’s unscripted series, Made.

Per terms of the deal, MTV will run a pair of two-minute “Truth Rider Challenge” interstitials in each of the next five episodes of Made. The first clip introduces viewers to Natalie and Jeremy, two Made alumni who will compete for a seat on the Truth Rider tour bus.

Each summer, the foundation taps seven young people to serve as a traveling street team for “Truth,” which works to destabilize the effectiveness of Big Tobacco advertising. (In accordance with the terms laid down in the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, the ALF is funded by the country’s four leading tobacco manufacturers: Philip Morris, R. J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson and Lorillard.)

In the course of the integration, the two wannabe Truth Riders will get an inside look at the machinations of the antismoking effort, learning how to spread the word about the dangers of tobacco use at various outdoor venues (concerts, festivals, etc.). The winner of the competition will be revealed during the Oct. 31 installment of Made.

Contextually, the Truth Rider Challenge clips seem to jibe well with Made, which is less a traditional makeover show than a vehicle for self-improvement. The series is currently in its 10th season on MTV.

“When your brand is called ‘the Truth,’ you can’t be anything less than 100 percent authentic in how, when and where you speak to your audience,” says Neil Capobianco, account director, PHD (the ALF’s media shop). “The Made tie-in gives us immediate authenticity with the truth’s teenage target audience — a group that is notoriously sensitive to any brand that tries to be something it’s not — and provides a far more relevant, memorable (and cost-effective) context for the message than a straight commercial platform can deliver.”

MTV and “Truth” most recently worked together on a similar integration, creating a send-up of the network’s competition series, Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Island. The two also joined forces in March, developing “The Infectors,” a series of five MTV-exclusive vignettes.

“American Legacy Foundation has been a great partner for us,” said John Shea, evp, integrated marketing & brand content, MTVN Music and Logo. “In our latest collaboration, viewers will see an almost seamless delivery of the truth anti-smoking campaign’s messages via two former Made contestants who bring some of that show’s themes and challenges to life.”

Publish date: October 5, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT