[04/24/06 - 12:00 AM]
News Corporation's FOX Entertainment Joins Toyota in Unprecedented Integrated Partnership Promoting Hit FOX TV Series "Prison Break"

[via press release from FOX]


Cross-Divisional Promotion Introduces Automaker's New Yaris Sedan Via First-Ever Ad-Supported Scripted Wireless Mobisodes� "PRISON BREAK: Proof of Innocence" Shot on Location at "Fox River State Penitentiary" Fox.com to Create Exclusive Content for "PRISON BREAK" Microsite Fox Broadcasting to include Toyota Ad Exclusivity in Several New Episodes Car Company Sponsored FX PRISON BREAK Marathon March 19

The new hit FOX series PRISON BREAK, recently referred to as "The Hottest New Drama on Television," will serve as the centerpiece for a massive new integrated marketing partnership between several of News Corporation's entertainment divisions and premier auto manufacturer Toyota. The promotion, coinciding with the launch of Toyota's new Yaris Liftback and Sedan, crosses several of the company's entertainment divisions, including Fox Broadcasting (FOX), Fox Mobile Entertainment (FME), Fox Interactive Media (FIM) and the FX cable channel.

"By threading complementary content across several FOX Entertainment platforms, we've created a unique PRISON BREAK marketing partnership with Toyota and Zenithmedia," said Jean Rossi, Executive Vice President, Sales, for FOX. "We look forward to expanding this partnership with other divisions in the near future."

PRISON BREAK is the No. 1 new drama of the season among younger demographics and the No. 1 new program on FOX.

"We're utilizing this emerging entertainment medium as a way to provide fans of PRISON BREAK with details about the show courtesy of Yaris," said Jim Farley, Vice President of Marketing for Toyota. "Our partnership with FOX provides an exclusive portal to showcase Yaris to consumers in a fun way where they can discover more about the car on their own time."

FOX, original creators of Mobisodes� -- short episodes of programming designed exclusively for mobile phones � will produce the serial, "PRISON BREAK: Proof of Innocence." Toyota's sponsorship of this series makes it the first-ever ad-supported scripted Mobisode.

"PRISON BREAK: Proof of Innocence" is available free, exclusively to Sprint customers on FOX's Channel 20 on SprintTV. Advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi LA will produce unique 10-second marketing messages for Toyota that will air at the beginning of each Mobisode, followed by a two-minute episode that parallels the current PRISON BREAK storyline. Toyota vehicles, including the all-new Yaris Liftback and Sedan, will be prominently featured in the 26 Mobisodes, which will be released three to four times per week, beginning today.

The Mobisode's storyline complements the original series, and the producers allowed unprecedented access to the show's location. Many of the serial's exteriors were shot at "Fox River State Penitentiary."

"PRISON BREAK: Proof of Innocence" introduces the character Amber McCall and follows her path to exonerate her friend L.J., who has disappeared after being framed for murder. L.J. is the son of lead character and death row prisoner Lincoln Burrows. The Mobisode series is produced by Eric Young of Sparkhill, producer of the award-winning "24:Conspiracy" series.

"We're pleased by the overwhelming success of our Mobisodes as a new way to engage and entertain consumers," said Mitch Feinman, Vice President of Digital Content, Fox Mobile Entertainment. "Toyota's sponsorship of the PRISON BREAK Mobisode series is an industry first. We're excited that innovative advertisers like Toyota are taking notice of this new entertainment medium."

The marketing partnership will also allow FOX Interactive Media � with its 70 million unique visitors per month - the opportunity to create a Toyota-branded PRISON BREAK "microsite" within FOX.com, offering unique content tied to the hit FOX series. Visitors to the site will be able to register for a PRISON BREAK/Toyota Sweepstakes. Additionally, the site will contain exclusive behind-the-scenes video streams from the series.

John Trimble, Senior Vice President, Advertising Sales for Fox Interactive Media, observed, "This is a prime example of how Fox can come together in a rich, cross platform campaign and reach the most desirable demographics in unique and custom ways."

Additionally, FOX is providing Toyota with "category exclusivity" for auto advertising during several upcoming PRISON BREAK broadcasts, with the first airing Monday, April 24 (8:00�9:00 PM ET/PT). FOX will also drive viewers to both the Toyota-branded "microsite" and the Mobisodes with co-branded advertising in daily and weekly national publications. Toyota was also sponsor of the FX cable channel's PRISON BREAK marathon Sunday, March 19 (Noon�7:00 PM), which replayed the last six episodes of the hit series along with a one-hour recap leading into the show's return to air Monday, March 20 (8:00�9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

To celebrate the partnership, FOX and Toyota will also join together on April 27 in Los Angeles at the famed 20th Century Fox lot for a publicity event featuring the stars of PRISON BREAK and the all-new Toyota Yaris. The Yaris will be featured prominently throughout the night, with other parts of the night devoted to raising money for Toyota charities.

The debut of the Yaris Sedan joins the all-new Yaris Liftback as Toyota's newest U.S. entry in the growing subcompact segment. Launched in 1999, the first generation Yaris was Toyota's best-selling model in Europe and was named the (2000) European "Car of the Year." With exceptional EPA gas mileage ratings - up to 40 mpg highway - the car you can afford to drive is finally the car you actually want to drive.

Toyota established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates ten manufacturing plants including one under construction. There are more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the U.S. which sell more than 2 million vehicles per year. Toyota directly employs more than 32,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $13 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) is a unit of News Corporation. FOX finished the 2004-2005 season as the No. 1 network for the first time among Adult 18-49 viewers, while continuing to dominate all network competition in the more targeted Adults 18-34 and Teen demographics. FOX airs 15 hours of primetime programming a week as well as late night entertainment programming, major sports and Sunday morning news.

Fox Mobile Entertainment is a leading provider of mobile content for wireless carriers and consumers. An industry pioneer, Fox Mobile Entertainment created AMERICAN IDOL's text message voting system and the Mobisode�, the now pervasive term for short episodes of programming designed exclusively for mobile phones. The company has since launched four Mobisode series and the company's first Mobisode, "24:Conspiracy," is now available in 25 countries and six languages. In February 2006, Fox Mobile Entertainment launched Mobizzo (www.mobizzo.com), a mobile entertainment portal that offers consumers a diverse selection of mobile content. Fox Mobile Entertainment is a unit of 20th Century Fox Television and News Corp. (NYSE: NWS)

With the third largest reach of any Internet company, Fox Interactive Media (FIM) is building an integrated network of sites that offer its more than 70 million worldwide members socially rich media experiences centered on entertainment, news, information and self-expression. The company's network includes assets from News Corp. divisions, including the highly trafficked Foxsports.com, Americanidol.com and Fox.com. FIM also owns and operates such category leaders as MySpace, the number one social networking site on the Web; IGN, a leading gaming and entertainment site; Scout.com, a dynamic collegiate and pro sports network of property; AskMen, a leading men's lifestyle site, and Rotten Tomatoes, the premier destination for movie-goers, among others.

FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from Fox. Launched in June 1994, FX is carried in more than 88 million homes. The diverse schedule includes a growing roster of distinctive original series and movies; an impressive roster of acquired hit series; an established film library with box-office hits from 20th Century Fox; and marquee sports such as NASCAR. For more information about FX, visit our web site at www.FXnetworks.com.

  [april 2006]  

· 24 (FOX)

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