MTV Goes To The Mall with Sears

Heavy Brand integration Will Be Present In Movie, Sears Stores.

MTV and retailer Sears are teaming up on a movie musical from the producers of High School Musical.

The movie, The American Mall, will premiere on MTV August 11, with the DVD and soundtrack hitting stores the next day. The movie's pickup had been leaked last December, though the Sears partnership came later on, according to a network spokesperson.

Sears brand integration will be present throughout the movie. Many of the movie’s scenes were filmed at Sears locations, and the characters will wear Sears fashions and products. Co-branded spots will appear during the movie.

According to MTV, the decision to release the movie at the end of the summer was meant to lead into the back-to-school shopping season. The hope is that the Sears clothing featured in the movie could seed trends for the fall.

Other promotions will include integration with the movie’s characters in Sears stores, VIP access cards for teenagers, product giveaways and promotion on shows such as TRL. Sears will also have an exclusive special edition The American Mall DVD, with bonus features.

"We're leveraging The American Mall partnership at every possible touch point, which is really exciting for Sears, as MTV is a highly relevant brand for young adults," said Richard Gerstein, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Sears.

The American Mall is about a young woman named Ally, whose mother owns a music store in the mall. Ally meets wannabe rock star Joey, who works part time as a janitor in the mall. However, the mall owner’s daughter Madison gets involved, threatening the store and Ally and Joey’s relationship.

The American Mall is part of an ever growing list of brand integrated programming on MTV. Last year MTV and deodorant brand Axe brought back The Gamekillers, a faux dating show featuring actors playing “gamekillers” interrupting actual dates. MTV and Pepsi also created a micro-series companion to The Hills.