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CAMDEN, N.J. - The Campbell Soup Co. here has joined forces with Scholastic and NBC's "American Dreams" series for a novel promotion that will tie in an essay contest sponsored by Campbell's with a storyline on the show.
Campbell's Tomato Soup is sponsoring a national teen essay contest for high school students with a grand prize of a $100,000 scholarship, using the theme "How does your American Dream compare to that of your parents?" The contest, which starts Aug. 15 and ends Nov. 30, is open to teenagers ages 13 to 18 in grades nine to 12. In a parallel storyline on "American Dreams," which is set in the 1960s, book-smart high school student Patty Pryor (Sarah Ramos) will enter a similar essay contest. The storyline will continue to weave through additional episodes during the season. The top 10 essayists will be announced Feb. 6, 2005, with the grand-prizewinner announced Feb. 11, 2005. The winner and a friend will also receive walk-on roles enabling them to participate in the "American Bandstand" scenes during a future episode. The winner’s school will also receive a 1 million Campbell's Labels for Education bonus certificate.
"This is an exciting opportunity for Campbell Soup Co. to showcase our iconic tomato soup in a unique manner," said Larry McWilliams, president, US Soup, Sauces, and Beverages. "We look forward to partnering with NBC and Scholastic, and we are proud to award a $100,000 scholarship to a teenager so that they can pursue their American Dream."
There will also be a major in-store component. "We will have combo cards in the stores, tear pads, and tomato soup dump bins in the shape of a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup," Campbell's spokeswoman Beth Jolly told Progressive Grocer. "There will also be a header card for the bins."
The promotion adds new meaning to enhanced interactive television and marks the first time that a TV program will be integrally linked to branded entertainment in such a partnership. The campaign includes a cross-promotional effort that projects the creative storyline into a real-time activity allowing "American Dreams" viewers to both watch and participate, while at the same time teenagers around the country will be benefiting from an in-school curriculum program that teaches the history of the period while promoting intergenerational dialogue.
The essay contest storyline launches on the Sept. 26 season premiere of "American Dreams." At the end of the hour, the show’s cast will appear in a 30-second spot to encourage student participation.