CHICAGO — In an unusual marketing move, Discover Financial Corp. threw a free rock concert in a rented nightclub recently, featuring a band called Danger Kitty that it has created for its commercials.

The subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. of New York has been featuring the group of four heavy metal musicians in national television advertisements that are meant to appeal to young people.

One commercial says Danger Kitty had one hit record and foolishly squandered the income on women’s lingerie and limousines equipped with hot tubs. At the end of the 60-second story of their lives, they have sunk to playing their hit song, “Love Rocket,” to an apathetic audience at a backyard bar mitzvah.

Discover advertised the March 21 concert this month on radio and posters and offered fans of the fictional group a chance to see them perform live in a Wicker Park nightclub.

The company said that if American Express Co. can wow the 20-something generation with a 1999 Central Park concert featuring Sheryl Crow it would make its own musical offering featuring its newly developed “slightly smarter,” tagline.

The show boasted an obscene yet humorous takeoff on a rock band not quite good enough to make it. Though the crowd of 300 seemed at times not to know what to make of it, the music was passable, and a few lines drew exactly the kind of response Discover bosses must have hoped for.

When Danger Kitty’s lead singer, Michael Diamond, thanked Discover for “discovering” the band, he vowed: “Someday we will get a Discover card to finance our personal stuff.”

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