CNN, Philips Set Election Promo Tie-In

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Cable News Network, Turner Network Sales and Philips Consumer Electronics Co. are joining forces with CNN cable affiliates on this fall's "Your Choice, Your Voice," a local, Internet-based educational campaign.

The six-week campaign, designed to help teach students about the electoral process to be used in the upcoming presidential election, will be a "multi-faceted promotion [involving] integrated marketing, local ad sales and educational outreach," TNS senior vice president of marketing Coleman Breland said last week.

It will run from Sept. 26 through Election Day, Nov. 7.

This may be an ideal year for students to learn about the electoral process since, according to a front-page story in USA Today last Wednesday, the George W. Bush-Al Gore faceoff is shaping up as a "tight presidential race" in the Electoral College, with more states up for grabs at this stage than in any campaign since 1980.

For the local ad-sales element of Your Choice, Your Voice, TNS spokeswoman Leigh Majors said that wherever possible, affiliates will try to tie in with consumer-electronics stores. TNS, which set its affiliate-participation limit at the first 100, has already signed up that many, she added.

On the marketing side, TNS is still in the process of lining up schools.

During each of the six weeks, a 10-question quiz will be posted on Turner Learning's Web site for classes nationwide to take and submit online. On Election Day, the students will hold mock online elections in the classroom.

At the end of the campaign, one classroom in each participating cable system's franchise area will win Philips audio-visual equipment, ranging from 25-inch television sets and VCRs to DVD and compact-disc players, Majors said.

One classroom chosen from among the nationwide entrants will be visited and taped by a CNN Newsroom production crew. CNN Newsroom is a 30-minute, commercial-free weekday news/features program that can be used by teachers in the classroom in conjunction with a free daily guide available via the Turner Learning Web site.

Participating cable operators will be encouraged to host awards ceremonies for their winning classes and showcase them on their local-origination channels. In addition, operators will partner with local retailers to create opportunities for the schools to win local and national Philips merchandise.

"This program is a prime example of how the partnership between Turner and Philips extends beyond the naming rights of the Philips Arena" in Atlanta, Philips CEO Robert Minkhorst said in a prepared statement.

Last fall, when Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and Philips announced their 20-year, $100 million alliance-centered on arena naming rights-the companies said they would also explore various ways to share resources, from marketing and media to technology.

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