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NEW YORK (Reuters) - MySpace plans to launch a contest on Tuesday to market the latest in Walt Disney Co's blockbuster franchise "High School Musical 3" in what the News Corp Internet social network called its biggest film campaign to date.
Disney is hoping to build interest in the third movie in its hit television films series, and the first to hit theaters, by tapping MySpace's estimated 76 million unique users as of July, according to comScore.
Some 40 percent of U.S. mothers are also members of MySpace, according to comScore, which a MySpace spokesman said was one reason why the family and kids entertainment-focused Disney selected MySpace to promote one of the studio's biggest hits.
Schools are pitted against each other as high school seniors compete by completing undisclosed online tasks involving uploading photos, filming and uploading videos, and decorating their profile pages to see which school has the most "school spirit," said Angela Courtin, MySpace's senior vice president of marketing.
Unlike sweepstakes where users do little more than sign up, the contest entails weeks of participation on the Internet, offline and using cellphones to send text messages. The contest ends on November 3.
Courtin called the so-called integrated marketing campaign a "continuation of a dialogue between the franchise, MySpace and the user."
Winners will receive a free trip for the entire class to a Disney theme park and a pep rally featuring U.K. pop star Natasha Bedingfield.
"High School Musical 3" opens in theaters in the United States on October 24.
Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Phil Berlowitz