Sympatico/MSN launches new music video site aims to keep youth coming back with prizing and weekly challenges, and brands like Volkswagen are blending into the scene.

Designed to attract and keep a larger portion of the 15- to 35-year-old youth demo, Sympatico/MSN has launched a new music video website featuring a points system geared to incent weekly visits.

Every Monday four new videos by popular artists are posted on the site, and members can vote for their favourite after signing up. Every vote earns points that visitors eventually can redeem for monthly prizes like concert tickets. Players can also add points to their scores by inviting friends to register for the challenge, introducing a viral community-building aspect, explains Daniel Guimond, project leader at Montreal-based Wasabi Communications, which designed the site.

Sponsors are provided with skinning opportunities that incorporates them into the homepage ambiance, the design of which is inspired by the futuristic architecture of the ’80s movie Tron, says Marc-Antoine Boily, VP creative at Wasabi. ‘The sponsor goes into this universe, telling the community, ‘I’m just like you.’ It’s interactive instead of just pasting [their] message over it.’ Recently Volkswagen ads appeared on billboards throughout the webpage, including a looping video and featuring palettes that matched the colour scheme of the site. was developed late last year, and Sympatico is now promoting the site with video and picture links throughout their homepage and music portals. In two weeks, radio ads will launch on Quebec’s Radio Energie music stations, and viral self-promotion is another key driver of new visitors.