Dancing to the Groove of truth

Washington, DC; October 20, 2010– truth, the nation’s largest smoking prevention campaign for youth, is teaming up with MTV Games on a new dance-related initiative that includes an online dance contest, grassroots tour stops, and online outreach. All efforts are built around the video game Dance Central -- a highly-anticipated new immersive dance video game exclusively for Kinect for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft that will release on November 4, 2010.

Dance Central is the first controller-free, body tracking, fully immersive dance video game -- with choreography for both beginners and experts. Players will be introduced to more than 650 dance moves, and more than 90 dance routines created by professional choreographers.  Players can groove to hot hits and classic dance beats from a wide variety of classic and contemporary artists, including Cascada, Kool&The Gang, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Nelly Furtado, Rihanna, and Technotronic. 

Gaming is a very popular form of entertainment among teens. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s January 2010 report ( Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds), young people spend 17 minutes per day playing video games online, second only to the time spent online on social networking sites (22 minutes). In addition, this research found that the majority of gaming– 49 percent -- is being played through traditional gaming consoles; Dance Central is such a console-based game.  truth’s primary audience is youth ages 12 to 17 who are most likely to engage in rebellious behavior such as smoking.

“In our efforts to promote our important messages through intersecting with teens’ everyday lives, truth has created more than a dozen online games– all designed to entertain and educate teens about tobacco use, by highlighting a tobacco-related fact or information in an entertaining and engaging way,” said Cheryl Healton, Dr. P.H., president and CEO of Legacy, the national public health foundation that directs and funds the truth campaign.“Teens have responded very well to our use of games as an educational tool. So we are very excited that this latest effort with MTV Games will allow truth to extend its messages and brand awareness with teens by collaborating with a popular game that has created a big buzz with teens and that we anticipate will have a wide audience.”

The initiative between MTV Games and truth will have several different elements, all designed to drive teens to an online dance contest:

Online Dance Contest:

The contest entry period will run from today through November 25th. At the Web site www.dancecentral.com/killerroutine, teens can show off their own freestyle dance moves by uploading videos of themselves dancing, as well as share videos with others. From November 26th to December 17th, users can log in, register and vote for their favorite dance video. The dance contest winner will be announced at the end of December 2010, but all registrants will be eligible to win prizes just for registering. 

Prizes for participating in the Killer Routine dance contest will include:

    <*> Grand Prize: the winner of the dance contest will receive a dance party at the winner’s house with a DJ there to spin tunes and a visit from one of the choreographers who helped develop the game. The winner will also receive six full Dance Central gaming systems, including an Xbox 360, a Kinect Sensor, and the Dance Central prize package.  <*> Top 5 Prizes: The winners of the next five most popular dance videos will each receive an Xbox 360/Kinect Sensor/Dance Central prize package. <*> Ultimate Gaming Sweepstakes: One randomly-chosen registered Killer Routine participant will receive an Xbox 360/Kinect Sensor/Dance Central prize package.  <*> Daily Sweepstakes: Every day, starting November 26th and ending December 17th, select registered users will win truth“gear”– fashion-forward items like t-shirts that contain tobacco-related facts or information. The two t-shirts featured in the Dance Central video will be part of the giveaway.
Game Packaging:

Two of the back-up dancing avatars in the Dance Central game will be sporting truth“gear”– fashion-forward t-shirts that highlight tobacco-related facts.

    <*>353 t-shirt– highlights the fact that every day in the U.S., 353 people die from lung cancer caused by Big Tobacco’s products. <*>1 in 3 t-shirt– highlights the fact that one out of three youth smokers will eventually die from a tobacco-related disease.
Grassroots Tour :

truth extended its popular national summer tour into the fall, making stops at teen-oriented musical and sporting events through October. At select tour stops throughout the country, teens will be able to experience Dance Central through a full game set up, and see signage about the game. truth tour riders -- young people in their early 20s that discuss tobacco use with teens through experiential marketing– will hold dance contests in the zone. truth tour riders will send tweets from the road related to the contest, and post videos and info online at thetruth.com. The Dance Central/ truth tour stops have and will include:

    <*>October 8 - America Haunts event– Fort Worth, Texas <*>October 9 and 10– Simon Game Day Event at the Grapevine Mills mall– Grapevine, Texas (suburban Dallas) <*>October 16– The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace (Las Vegas, NV) <*>October 22-23 - Brea Mall– Brea, CA (Orange County, CA) <*>October 27-28– America Haunts event– Melrose Park, IL (suburban Chicago) <*>October 29-30– Orland Square Mall– Orland, IL (suburban Chicago)
Video&Web

To promote the contest online, truth and MTV Games produced a new 30-second spot featuring a young man showing off his“killer routine”.

    <*>The spot will play on television channels such asVH1 and The N; on websites such as thetruth.com, myyearbook.com, and dancecentral.com/killerroutine ; and at media sites popular with teens and the truth audience, including: FUEL, Vevo, Gamespot, BET, and Hulu. Digital banners will also drive people to the contest website,www.dancecentral.com/killerroutine. <*>The video will also be shown on video monitors at select Champs Sports/Foot Locker stores in the Tampa and Chicago areas. In addition, the spot will air at select Wendy’s restaurants in the Dallas and Washington, DC areas, and in malls in Los Angeles, Tampa and Chicago. <*> Online banners driving users to the contest website will be featured on websites including MTV’s dancecentral.com and rockband.com, <*> Social media: Information about the contest and the videos will be streamed from both Dance Central and truth’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Weekly postings about the contest will run on truth’s Facebook page, and top dance submission videos will be featured. <*> E-cards to truth’s database will point truth followers to the contest and website.  
Content Integration
    <*>FUEL TV- the cable channel devoted to action sports - will make an appearance at the truth truck and tour zone at the AST Dew Tour Finals in Las Vegas. A televised segment with a truth tour rider will focus on the Dance Central/Killer Routine contest, and feature a leading action sports athlete.
The Viacom/ truth collaboration continues a long working relationship between the two youth-centric brands. Since the campaign’s inception in 2000, truth’s edgy, iconic advertisements have been an established fixture on the MTV channel; additional opportunities extended truth advertising through broadcast, online and outdoor advertising.  

For more information about the Dance Central gaming system, visit:

http://www.dancecentral.com

To learn more about truth and its other online gaming efforts, visit the truth arcade at:

http://www.thetruth.com/games

About the truth campaign and Legacy

truth, launched in February 2000, is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth allows teens to make informed choices about tobacco use by giving them the facts about the industry and its products.

Legacy is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation’s programs include truth, a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use; and a nationally-renowned program of outreach to priority populations. Legacy was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit www.legacyforhealth.org.

About MTV Networks

MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products.  The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 350 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, The N, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, Atom, Gametrailers and Xfire.

About MTV Games

MTV Games is dedicated to creating, marketing and publishing high-quality, innovative interactive products that are relevant to the MTV audience and complement the core values of the MTV Networks brands. Dance Central™ was developed by Harmonix, the world’s premiere music videogame developer, published by MTV Games and distributed by Microsoft, exclusively for Kinect™ for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

###

Contact:

Patricia McLaughlin:

Legacy (202) 454-5560;

pmlaughlin@legacyforhealth.org

  


Games PressGames Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com.