MTV, Swatch Launch Global Art Project

MTV Play Ground/Swatchl MTV Network is launching a global art and design initiative with the help of Swatch.

Dubbed Swatch MTV Playground, the cross-platform effort showcases work from aspiring artists working in 2D and 3D animation, illustration, graphic art, motion design, film and music. The online hub -- www.swatchmtvplayground.com -- functions as a Web gallery.

The online site, available in 19 languages, is aimed at MTV viewers and various creative communities worldwide.

MTV is airing a teaser spot in the first two weeks of May to promote the initiative. One invites artists to upload their work; another, in July, will drive traffic to the site so users can rate and discuss the postings. Both companies will promote Swatch MTV through a digital seeding campaign spanning Europe and Asia that targets industry creatives, students and the MTV audience.

In addition, MTV will create a series of vignettes entitled "Talk @ the Playground" later in the year, which pairs musicians with famous artists from the world of design, fashion, fine arts and film to discuss creativity.

Swatch has a history of working with contemporary pop artists in various mediums. Over the years, Swatch art specials have been crafted by Keith Harding, Akira Kurosawa, Sam Francis, and Pedro Almodóvar. Blue Man Group has also been a recent collaborator.

"Art is an important pillar of our brand's identity," said Klaus Peter Mager, who heads Events International Swatch, in a statement. "Swatch has always had a very democratic sense of contemporary art."

The campaign offers artistic challenges coupled with prizes, such as tuition grants, internships and cash awards. The first competition will ask entrants to address the theme: Imagine Time In The Future.

Kevin Razvi, executive vice president, MTV Networks International and VBSI, Viacom's in-house branding business, said the company would utilize a cross-platform effort to "create a compelling and far-reaching project."

MTV is a subsidiary of Viacom.

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