The Return of TRL

Get your pink, crystal-studded Razr phone out and text a friend: TRL is coming back.

The show originally ran from 1998 to 2008, and it was an MTV masterpiece. As well showcasing the 10 most requested music videos of the day, TRL featured a plethora of celebrity guest stars and aired from the network’s studio in Times Square. So news that TRL is coming back to MTV is a major cause for celebration.

According to Adweek, the show will be returning in June, rebranded as MTV Live (or at least that’s the tentative title). The resurrection is the brainchild of MTV’s newest president, Chris McCarthy, who told Adweek, “That ability to be live, in culture — not responding to it but driving it — is where we belong.” His passion for the magic of TRL is something ’90s kids will be able to relate to, especially if it means seeing all of our favorite stars on MTV on a daily basis, live from Manhattan.

Apparently, MTV’s Times Square studio space has also been renovated, so it is now double the size and could broadcast as much as “three or four hours live from the studio each day.”

As an MTV alum, this gives me all the feels. I’ll be watching!

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Destiny’s Child with Carson Daley at TRL

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MTV Wants You to #SeeHer

MTV and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) will kickoff Women’s History Month with the A Woman Did That programming initiative to help build awareness for the #SeeHer campaign and rally fans around the movement to accurately portray women and girls in media by the year 2020.

Beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET today and concluding at 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 5, #SeeHer and MTV will spotlight groundbreaking females and their achievements across business, culture, entertainment, music, science, sports and technology, with highlight packages and trivia segments illuminating interesting historical facts and issues that women have faced. The campaign will extend across MTV’s digital and social platforms including its Snapchat Discover channel with Women’s History Month editorial content highlighting powerful and pioneering women.

Featured women will include:

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh: Muslimgirl.com founder and author of Muslim Girl: Coming of Age
Keiana Cave: University of Michigan student, entrepreneur, creator of STEM start-up MARE, and multiple patent holder
Laurie Hernandez: Olympic Gold Medalist and New York Times best-selling author
Lucy Jones: Fashion designer, creator of the Seated Designs collection, exclusively developed for the disabled, and 2016 Forbes 30 under 30 honoree
Rihanna: Multiple Grammy Award winning musician, actress, and 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian Award recipient
Gina Rodriguez: Actress, anti-bullying advocate, member of the Hispanic College Fund Board of Directors, and #MovementMondays Instagram inspiration post

The #SeeHer movement is spearheaded by the ANA, the largest marketing and advertising association in the United States. The #SeeHer initiative was launched in 2016 by ANA subcommittee Alliance for Family Entertainment, the industry’s foremost advocate for sophisticated, realistic, family-themed content on traditional and digital platforms.

#SeeHer’s mission is to lead a movement to accurately portray all women and girls in media so that by 2020 they see themselves reflected as they truly are. 2020 is the 100thanniversary of women gaining the right to vote.

A Woman Did That is MTV parent company Viacom’s first campaign in support of the #SeeHer mission. Additional programs will roll out throughout the year across Viacom’s suite of brands.

Click below to view the vid:

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Tumblr Gets Into the Election Mix

Recently Tumblr launched a new social impact campaign designed to get more millennials to vote.

Tumblr, in partnership with MTV’s Elect This voting initiative, is hosting a series of virtual Q&As called IssueTime, a spin-off of Tumblr’s AnswerTime Q&As. Each IssueTime brings together a panel of experts to answer users’ questions about a different social issue, including gun violence prevention, immigration reform, women’s health and empowerment, mental health, LGBT equality, climate change and national security.

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The first panel was held on June 27 and focused on the history of the LGBT movement and featured experts from the Transgender Freedom Project and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Tumblr also will sponsor “Day of Action” takeovers with various advocacy and nonprofit organizations, posting content about these organizations and encouraging users to volunteer there.

The goals of the campaign are to drive more users to Tumblr and get more young people to vote.

I’m here for it; this election is an important one, guys.

@MTV and @catchafire Helps an NPO Tell its Tale

Years ago, I had the pleasure of working alongside of MTV’s very talented Public Affairs team as part of a strategic partnership I created between the infamous channel and the national, Americorps program, City Year. When I tell you, it was some of the most fun that I had in my career – I am being modest.

At the time, MTV was launching a new Facebook-like site in BETA called, “Think” and needed to test it out. City Year NY was having a huge brand awareness issue. It was a match made in heaven. The CYNY corps members ran the site through its paces and Think emerged bigger and better than ever. In turn, MTV allowed us to run our PSA on their jumbotron in Times Square for two consecutive days.  The activation increased brand awareness and return on recruitment. Further, it allowed for MTV to collaborate with the organization for future projects.

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CYNY Corps Members Take In The MTV Goodness.

Fast forward to 2013…

MTV and skilled volunteerism-match platform Catchafire partnered to find a nonprofit in need of a “makeover,” for which MTV would lend its expertise in marketing, branding and social media.

The idea originated with MTV President Stephen Friedman, who wanted to fully leverage MTV’s creative talent and storytelling capabilities to benefit an especially worthy nonprofit in a meaningful way. Catchafire issued a call for submissions and MTV chose to work with The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), a nonprofit that offers comprehensive job services to the previously incarcerated.

Nonprofits of varying missions and sizes applied for the opportunity to have MTV in house to revamp their marketing, communications and creative assets like videos and brochures. Catchafire helped identify and streamline interested nonprofits, and MTV ultimately had to choose one organization from the extensive candidate pool to work with.

Founded in 1996, CEO specializes in employment services for those released primarily from NY prisons / detention facilities – in the last decade CEO made more than 10,000 job placements. CEO’s mission and work really struck a cord with the MTV staff, as the brand’s pro-social strategy seeks to engage audiences and create conversations about critical issues like recidivism.

Inspired by the organizational vision and the staff’s commitment to create opportunities, MTV’s makeover team gained a lot from meetings, onsite visits, sitting in on job training classes and connecting with program participants.

This collaboration really inspired MTV and there is an appetite for more projects like this in the future. With skill matched volunteerism trending, employees at companies around the globe are looking for ways to give back and plug into organizations to make an impact.

Watch the video below:

The Power of Celebrity: Celebs Help Haiti

When the earthquake struck Haiti a week ago, celebrities were among the first to respond. Rapper/Producer Wyclef lead the charge, raising an average of two million dollars a day for his Yele Haiti Foundation (Yes, there was a great deal of controversy which followed, but we’ll save that discussion for another time). In addition, Clef will team up with CNN’s Anderson Cooper to co-host George Clooney’s MTV telethon this Friday which will also air on CBS, NBC, ABC and almost every other major network simultaneously. . Donations will go to Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele.

Sandra Bullock, Brangelina and Gisele have all pledged $1 million each. Madonna forked over a quarter of a mil.

Meanwhile, others are making their way to the ravished country. Joe Jonas from the Jonas Brothers plans to visit the country and help out and John Travolta has arranged for a plane to take down some volunteer ministers, supplies and medics.

Tennis star Roger Federer has organized a massive tennis event featuring stars such as Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams and Samantha Stosur to take place at the Australian Open. The entry fee is a minimum donation of $10.

Lady Gaga has also made use of Twitter to encourage fans to give to the cause – she announced that she will use her January 24th concert in New York as a fundraiser. 100% the money from all merchandise purchased will go to earthquake relief.

Finally, there are talks that Jay-Z, Swiss Beats and Bono are working on a song a la ‘We Are the World” which will benefit the cause.

Surely there will be more to this story as the week progresses. I’ll keep you posted

Get Schooled thanks to Bill Gates and Viacom

Today makes the first day of school for NYC public school kids. The first day of school for me was usually marked with excitement. Everything was new: shoes, book bag, clothes and plans to make it happen. Unfortunately, not all kids have the same zest for learning. Viacom and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wants to make sure that changes.

The two have partnered for “Get Schooled,” a national program that connects, inspires and mobilizes people — from policymakers and corporate leaders to communities and kids — to find effective solutions to the problems facing our education system. The goal is to engage students, families and community members in efforts to improve America’s public education system and encourage more young people to complete their education.

Jesse McCartney and Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Monica will perform in a live concert as part of the kick-off. Today’s block party and concert will include more than 400 Los Angeles-area public school students, parents, teachers and school administrators as well as various special guests and celebrities.

Stephen Colbert will serve as the event emcee andthere will also be presentations by Gates, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller, author and political columnist Arianna Huffington, New York City Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein and others.

The event will also include the world premiere of Get Schooled: You Have the Right, a special documentary which highlights the education stories of three successful professionals who work alongside President Barack Obama, along with Kelly Clarkson and LeBron James. The documentary special will be aired in the first programming “roadblock” of its kind across all Viacom networks, including BET, MTV, VH1, CMT, Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land and Nickelodeon.

Super dope, right?

Find out more here.