Sprint TV, Suave Ask Moms To Write Webisodes Starring Leah Rimini

Television sitcom actress Leah Rimini, a cast member of "King of Queens," will star in a series of Web-based videos via a partnership with Suave, Sprint and MindShare Entertainment.

The Web series supporting Sprint TV, Unilever's Suave brand and MSN, called "In the Motherhood," will run on MSN.com starting this week through June and will be supported by a partnership with "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

The program, the result of a joint initiative between Suave and Sprint Nextel and created by MindShare Entertainment, entails consumers who are moms, who have the opportunity to submit their own ideas for scripts and also do some of the writing for the show, which profiles the lives of three mom girlfriends.

Although the characters and story lines are being developed by Hollywood scribes, the material will come from consumers, who will be encouraged via integrated advertising to describe their experiences in narrative form, not as a script, at inthemotherhood.com. An "online mom" community will vote for the best entries, which the pros will polish and put in the Webisodes.

Suave and Sprint are promoting via integration with "DeGeneres," which will publicize the series for 10 weeks, and print promos in People magazine. "DeGeneres" will run segments within the show showing clips of the five Webisodes and detailing how the videos were made. The first will air on May 11 and subsequent Webisodes will air on May 22 and 29 and June 5 and 12.

The Web site will offer games, blogging and peer-to-peer conversation. They also can be viewed at suave.com as well as on Sprint TV, available on Sprint Power Vision phones.

Anita Newton, VP marketing at Sprint, says that while Sprint will promote the series only on Sprint TV, the effort is meant to pitch the Sprint brand and the portfolio of cell phones and services as solutions for busy moms.

Among those services are the Sprint Music Store, which offers wireless music downloads to Sprint Power Vision phones for 99 cents per download; Sprint Navigation, a GPS turn-by-turn direction guidance system; Sprint Family Locator, and the Sprint TV and Sprint Picture mail.

Both Suave and Sprint have mom-directed marketing programs. Suave has an exclusive partnership with the Hot Moms Club, an online community. The brand, per a release, has developed a study of 3,000 mothers nationwide.

Newton suggests Sprint might be working with Unilever on other projects directed to women.

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