We are just hours away from the MTV Awards. I may tune in to see what Hostess Miley Cyrus has up her sleeve. Or I may not. If I choose the latter, I won’t be alone. The core demo of teens and young adults is watching less TV than ever before, which is why the Viacom-owned network has cooked up an elaborate social game for the show. The goal is to steer the bulk of the chatter onto platforms like Twitter and Snapchat.
Twenty-four brands have signed on to sponsor what MTV calls the “millennial Super Bowl.” Eight of those marketers—including Taco Bell, CoverGirl, Verizon, Pepsi and Trojan—are working with Twitter’s Amplify program to work real-time tweets, ads and, for the first time, branded Periscopes, into the chatter about the show.
On Periscope, MTV will push out a livestream from a Taco Bell-sponsored pre-show concert Saturday night. The teams will film backstage interviews and Q&A sessions with bands like Walk the Moon. The livestream will be wrapped with six-second pre-roll ads and sponsored messaging from Taco Bell. It will also be boosted with Promoted Tweets on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Verizon has actress Vanessa Hudgens hosting its livestream, which will include the actress walking the red carpet and backstage happenings. Similar to Taco Bell, Verizon will also buy Twitter ads to get people to tune in.
Like most live events, the goal of co-creating content is to cut through the clutter with creative and targeted social posts crafted on the fly.
In addition to Twitter, Viacom also has a partnership with Snapchat for Sunday’s event. A VMA-themed Live Story will run with four brands—CoverGirl, Verizon, Taco Bell and American Legacy—and be woven into the stream of user-generated photos and videos.
I am curious to see how this will all play out. More than seeing what Nicki Minaj will cook up as the opening act….