VH1 Drumming Up Interest In Original Movie

VH1 is looking to turn up the noise on its new original movie Drumline: A New Beat by developing a social media campaign around the movie as well as teaming with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) to promote the film.

VH1 today (Sept. 29) will launch a social media campaign dubbed #PassTheBaton around the Nick Cannon-produced movie in which school bands around the country can upload their top drum routines to Youtube and “pass the baton” to a rival school to top their performance, said network officials. Viewers can also participate by uploading to Instagram, Twitter and Vine a photo or video of themselves “passing” a baton and using the #PassTheBaton hashtag. The top band and user submissions will be featured during an on-air “halftime show” as part of the movie’s Oct. 27 premiere on VH1.

For each #PassTheBaton upload, VH1 will donate $1 to the United Negro College Fund up to a maximum of $20,000. The campaign kicks off today (Sept. 29) and ends Oct. 28, said network officials.    

VH1 will also target several HBCU’s homecoming events and classic football games to drive awareness for the movie, based on the popular 2002 Drumline movie. The HBCU tour will feature cast member appearances, according the network.  Events include the Oct. 4 Atlanta Football Classic; the Oct. 15-18 Howard University homecoming Week; and the Oct. 25 Magic Classic Game between Alabama A&M and Alabama State.

"It's been more than 10 years since the original Drumline movie debuted and became a cult favorite," said Caralene Robinson, senior vice president of Creative Group + Consumer Marketing for MTV. "There's no better place to celebrate drumline culture than at HBCU's. Both fans and students can engage in fun competition while giving back to a great cause."

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.