The Minimart creates viral for climate charity album

LONDON - Universal Music has appointed hotshop The Minimart to develop a viral campaign to promote an album produced for Artists' Project Earth, which helps victims of natural disasters and raises awareness of climate change through music and the arts.

The Rhythm Del Mundo album features collaborations between Cuban musicians, including the late Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo of The Buena Vista Social Club, and UK and US acts such as U2, Coldplay, Sting, Jack Johnson and Maroon 5.

The Minimart has created a viral campaign to raise awareness of the album and generate sales. The online game features animated versions of the musicians from The Buena Vista Social Club. It starts with each of the six musicians asleep by their instruments in a polluted environment. By clicking on each musician, users can control each band-member and their instruments. As each sound is added, the surrounding environment recovers -- the sun rises, the sky clears and trees and bushes grow.

Once users have managed to get the band playing in time, they will be invited to enter a competition to win prizes, such as: a stay at an idyllic country cottage; an exclusive "Catch and Cook" day trip at celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's River Cottage; or a Coldplay-branded solar-powered iPod charger.

Ed Chilcott, The Minimart's co-founder, said: "We were pleased to support this project. It may be a drop in the ocean, but when massive companies like Universal invest in trying to make a difference, it sets a good example to others. We wanted to come up with a unique and cost-efficient way to promote the album and, based on past experience, a viral game was the perfect tool to create a buzz in a fun and interactive way. The game encourages people to think about the environment in a non-condescending way."

For each copy of The Rhythm Del Mundo album sold, a minimum of £2 will be donated to APE. The album's packaging is carbon neutral, avoiding the use of plastic where possible and using vegetable-based, instead of petroleum-based materials.

The Minimart was formed in July 2003 by Tim Clyde, ex of M&C Saatchi, and Chilcott, formerly of Leagas Delaney.

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