MySpace engages users in online wedding series

LOS ANGELES: MySpace plans to debut a new reality Web series as part of the social network's larger strategy to build its reputation as an entertainment portal.

LOS ANGELES: MySpace plans to debut a new reality Web series as part of the social network's larger strategy to build its reputation as an entertainment portal.

“Get Married on MySpace” is an interactive online series that follows one engaged couple as the MySpace community plans their wedding. Users will be able to influence wedding plans by voting on the winning couple, the bride's dress, the couple's rings, and the wedding location. The 13-episode series will debut in May and conclude with the wedding in August.

The social network is currently raising awareness for the series among users interested in starring as the couple, as well as advertisers for branding tie-ins, said Jason Kirk, VP of video and entertainment for MySpace.

“We are bridging expectation between what you see online and... get on TV,” Kirk noted. “Our goals are to [increase advertising] opportunities, but also to find new users and keep users entertained.”

Kirk said the initiative is intended to draw older users to the social network and help shake off its image as a site only for teenagers. The venture will initially target women between 18 and 34 years old, but Kirk hopes the program ultimately draws a wider demographic, including men. The project is also designed to retain MySpace's existing user base.

“We want to show people a different side of MySpace,” he said. “People assume MySpace is just a social network and that it is just for teenagers. But a show like this shows that it's about more than social networking and it's for people getting married, not just teenagers.”

The social network targeted advertisers first with the new venture to raise interest in using the series for product placement opportunities. Media targets include advertising, business, and entertainment industry publications. As the series moves closer to its debut, it will focus mostly on consumer and wedding publications.

“This idea really marries the intersection between reality TV and digital entertainment platform,” Kirk said.

MySpace is partnering with En-demol, an entertainment programming agency, for the effort. PR is being handled in-house.

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