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Adidas Spreads Ultraviolet Sound with 'New School of Thought'

Adidas' new playmates

"The New School of Thought," Adidas Originals' back-to-school campaign, goes live this week with the Ultraviolet Sound widget, which gives users access to free Ultraviolet Sound music and a 30 percent discount on Adidas Originals items.

The incentives are expected to encourage fans to put the widget on their websites or social networking profiles, thereby driving the campaign viral:

Ultraviolet Sound TrueAnthem Music

The Ultraviolet Sound widget was put together by trueAnthem, a social music label that, like online service RCRD LBL, lets users stream and download tracks for free. Based in San Francisco, the company drew $2 million in angel funding last month.

"Ultraviolet Sound's fan base is … a perfect demographic match for Adidas Originals," said TrueAnthem CEO Brad Barnes, citing the latter's "strong musical DNA."

11 tracks are available on the unit (dubbed a "trueWidget" by trueAnthem), including a DJ Larry Tee remix of "Ooh I Like It." Songs are preceded by "trueAds" — jingles, frankly — composed by Ultraviolet Sound for the Adidas Originals brand.

"TrueAnthem is like the NASCAR of the social networking age," Barnes pontificated. "Brands sponsor the vehicle and tap into fan loyalty."

Other brands that have disseminated free music to draw social media attention include Cartier, Converse and Gap.

Overseas, Adidas rival Nike is running a new media campaign where fans use camera phones to photograph a patterned wall or graffiti design, then send the shot to Nike. The company responds with an image of a customized shoe inspired by their pictures. Users can buy the footwear or share the image with friends.


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