Current TV And Mekanism Unveil A National Look at Subculture Leaders: 'Awaiting Input' -- Interactive Program Encourages Participation In Al Gore’s Unique TV Network

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Mekanism launches an unconventional and ambitious new advertising program for Current TV, co-founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt. Designed to raise awareness of Current's unique approach to television, the campaign features an interactive Web site and videos that integrate an original animated 3-D character ViC, who serves as the eyes and ears of Current, motion graphics, and documentary footage of subcultures from seven major US cities. The campaign can be viewed at http://www.awaitinginput.com.

Mekanism today announced the launch of an unconventional and ambitious new advertising program for Current TV (Current), co-founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt. Designed to raise awareness of Current's unique approach to television, the campaign features an interactive Web site and videos that integrate an original animated 3-D character ViC, the network’s hero who serves as the eyes and ears of Current, motion graphics, and documentary footage of subcultures from seven major US cities. The campaign can be viewed at http://www.awaitinginput.com.

On a mission to reinvent television, Current’s goal is to build on its Viewer Created Content or VC2, which presently makes up 30% of its broadcast. The interactive site at http://www.current.tv allows viewers to upload content, vote on other VC2 videos, and get free online training to hone their production skills.

“We are taking a new approach to building awareness that matches our new approach to television," said Karl Carter, VP of Marketing and Vanguard ideas at Current. “The Awaiting Input campaign is part of a non-traditional marketing push by Current. It is all combined to create an integrated campaign including wild postings, outdoor advertising, including a 77-ft billboard in Times Square, and free, live events in key markets featuring Lauren Hill, Mos Def, The Roots, Fishbone, Little Brother, Suffrajett, Rich Medina, Simon Dawes, Pepper’s Ghost and Malene Younglao.”

Carter adds: “Mekanism jumped into this project without hesitation—we know we couldn’t have asked for more creative and professional partners in creating this campaign. The outcome speaks for itself!”

The series of one to three minute Web videos kicks off in San Francisco, where a chance intersection between a street artist and the Current TV control room gives birth to ViC, a spunky, knee-high robot created by Mekanism in collaboration with Current and Brooklyn-based artist, Fuse Green for the series. ViC also has a special super-power, Current Vision: a ray he projects out of his eyes.

When he turns his “ray” on ordinary scenes, they transform into eye-popping motion graphic sequences that open each documentary and reveal the truths lying beneath the surface. As the embodiment of Current's open-mind, open-source approach to television, ViC independently seeks out movers, shakers and visionaries as he moves from city to city—the very type of people the network is seeking to create and upload their own, original TV content.

Each episode weaves together three short documentaries, plus animation and motion-graphics from Mekanism's award-winning team. In Los Angeles, for example, ViC visits the founder of the first women-only skateboarding tournament, a filmmaker who teaches his craft to incarcerated youth, and Shepard Fairey, a world-famous street artist. Several episodes incorporate VC2 content from Current programs that are already airing on the network. Users can also download and remix ViC into their own content, a new open-source approach to advertising.

Episodes are launched every two weeks through December. Cities highlighted are San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami.

The program supports Current's mission of television that is inclusive, spontaneous, dynamic and, above all, Do-It-Yourself.

About Current TV

Current TV, which launched August 1, 2005, is the first national network created by, for and with an 18-34 year-old audience. The network shows young adults what's going on in their world, in their voice. Current is also the first network in history whose programming is supplied in part by the very audience who watches it. Current's short-form programming ranges from the hottest trends in technology, fashion, music and videogames, to pressing issues such as the environment, relationships, parenting, finance, politics and spirituality. Through a partnership with Google, programming is anchored each half-hour by "GoogleCurrent," which offers news without a traditional news desk by reporting on topics that people are searching for on the Web. Current launched into an initial 20 million U.S. homes on DIRECTV, Time Warner Cable and other cable systems. For more information, please visit http://www.current.tv.

About Mekanism

Mekanism (http://www.mekanism.com), based in San Francisco, is an award-winning production and design studio that develops story-driven campaigns bridging broadcast and digital media. Specializing in integrated ad campaigns for the youth market, Mekanism creates branded content distributed via broadcast, Web & DVD. Mekanism works directly with clients and/or partners with agencies to concept and produce compelling film, animation, and interactive projects that inspire measurable brand-loyalty. Clients include Current TV, adidas, Sega, Napster, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Rock the Vote, and Pioneer.

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Ariane Herrera
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