Colgate to help MTV scout for new veejays

Music channel MTV is beginning its third hunt for veejays in five years.

The nation wide search for fresh young faces to reflect the spirit of the brand got underway on 3 April at a media conference in downtown Mumbai. Colgate-Palmolive's Fresh Energy Gel has tied up with MTV for the VJ hunt, using its strategic lifestyle marketing approach as a backdrop to the talent search.

True to the MTV image, a mysterious yellow cloaked mascot, called the MTV VJ Hunter, prowled the venue, even as celeb VJs including Cyrus Broacha, Mini and others basked in the spotlight.

The exercise will definitely be no quiet talent search, however. Auditions will be held at local hangouts and clubs in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore and aspirants can even send in their applications on the net. Viewers also get to vote on the finalists, and one lucky voter will get an opportunity to VJ on MTV for a day.

Earlier MTV hunts have produced VJs including Maria Goretti, Nikhil Chinappa, Amrita Arora and Mini. The search this time will not be confined to simple advertising - MTV is targeting print, outdoor and the net with a vengeance. While partner will provide the Internet platform for interactivity, innovative initiatives including ads on BEST bus tickets and Colgate toothpaste packs are on the cards.

The hunt will yield a maximum of four veejays for the channel, says MTV managing director Alex Kuruvilla, all of whom will be absorbed in the existing 25 shows being aired on the channel, as well as the vignette programming that has commenced on MTV.

MTV, says Kuruvilla is undaunted by the efforts of rival Channel V to grab viewer and media attention. "The MTV Star Hunt and the Video Ga Ga contest have been doing the same exercise", he says, dismissing the Popstars venture as a one off event that will not make a dent in MTV's popularity. Robust marketing and a strong programming calendar have ensured its leadership, he says., however, does not seem to have any qualms about first partnering V's Popstars and then helping arch rival MTV hunt for veejays. Says CEO Mahendra Swaroop, "We are just a media platform for anyone to make use of."

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