MTVN, Ford head for 'Hills'


MTV Networks, Ford Models and Elizabeth Arden said Thursday that they are launching a search for a supermodel avatar in the virtual world offshoot for MTV's "The Hills" series.

The search, which starts Monday, will let users of the Virtual Hills create model avatars and receive fashion advice from virtual Ford Models' experts. The winning avatar will be featured in a campaign for MTV's virtual worlds and a 30-second MTV/Arden spot.

Mariah Carey's new Arden fragrance also will have a large presence in the campaign, which is dubbed M by Mariah Carey's Ford Model Search, with users getting a virtual bottle of the perfume. The contest sites will have links to purchase the fragrance along with links to Ford Models' Web site.

In early January, the avatars will compete in virtual runway and dance contests to be judged by reps from the Viacom-owned MTV, Ford and Arden. Three finalists will then be chosen with viewers voting on a winner, to be announced Jan. 31.

The contest will be promoted on "The Hills" on Monday with MTV/Arden spots directing viewers to and Virtual Hills, which will then have links to the contest.