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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

2017 MTV Video Music Awards

Gold Honor in Live Event Coverage


For the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, we strived to provide innovative, fan-first and platform-native content to:

- Generate revenue and sponsorship

- Engage with the show in real-time

- Leverage partnerships to execute first-to-market opportunities

- Work closely with talent to create premium, exclusive content

- Increase year-over-year digital engagement and video views

...all while keeping things cool and quirky through MTV sunglasses. 😎

Strategy and Execution

MTV consistently reimagines and re-strategizes how we cover our biggest and most culturally-relevant night of the year, ensuring that we are actively present on platforms native to our audience, creating compelling and interactive opportunities for fans to engage with us, and routinely innovating in an ever-changing digital & social world.

In 2017 we leveraged our partnerships with social platforms to debut exciting, first-to-market product features and roll out fan-centric content while maximizing reach. On Snapchat, we launched the first-ever Our Story award show votable category, featured an unprecedented five VMA-centric global Our Stories, generated MTV Discover's best-day-ever results, and launched a national 3-D 'World Lens.' On Instagram, Bretman Rock (9.1M followers) went live from the red carpet to offer his hot takes, while Fifth Harmony took over @Instagram's official Story (226M followers). As part of Facebook's Lens beta program, our immersive moonperson lens featured a countdown clock driving tune-in awareness. Giphy provided real-time gif content, the Holo app featured an AR dancing Moonperson, and our Facebook Fan Cam Live interactive livestream allowed our audience to directly speak and interact with the top-tier musicians they love on.

For the first time, our digital team worked in tandem with on-air production to execute a two-hour Digital-Exclusive Red Carpet show for Twitter Go Live, which simulcasted to's 'All Access' co-viewing multicam page (both sponsored by Pepsi). Users who visited the 'All Access' experience were offered four camera angles to choose from varying points of view, some of which showcased top viral moments of the night (remember P!nk's daughter jamming to her Mom's Vanguard performance?). The All Access page also offered exclusive, non-televised performances from Best New Artist nominees KYLE, Julia Michaels and Alessia Cara.

While we're on the subject of Best New Artist (presented by Taco Bell), the top two vote-getters Khalid and Julia Michaels faced off in a live hashtag battle, which was promoted on air and generated one of the top trending hashtags of the night (#votekhalid).

Through strategic distribution methods & smart content planning, total engagement was up 76% YOY across all platforms. And as always, our talented & savvy social and editorial teams worked tirelessly to represent MTV authentically, create custom, platform-specific content across all channels, cover the VMAs from all angles, and give fans insider access to the biggest night in pop culture as only MTV can.


The numbers speak for themselves. Total social engagement was up 76% YOY across all platforms, with the #VMAs trending globally for a whopping 13 hours. Our Snapchat Discover channel broke records with 27.6M+ views on show day. Snapchat Song of Summer Our Story voting drove 1.4M+ votes, and our Snapchat Lens garnered 27M+ views. Fifth Harmony's superfans super-liked their takeover of the flagship @Instagram account, which reached 226M+ viewers. And our All Access Livestream VMA Weekend streams pre-promoted the big show with nightly events that captured 3.1M+ streams across Facebook, Twitter & Our first-ever Twitter voting bot resulted in nearly 250k votes over 8 days, a 98% increase over last year's Facebook voting bot. MTV's first two-hour digital Red Carpet show generated 3.5M+ uniques & 5.6M+ views on its first live airing. The Pepsi sponsored stream included mid-roll ads in addition to sponsor integrations. All Access on adds an additional 1.5M+ streams. The VMA channel on Giphy surpassed 1 BILLION all-time views night of show. 'Nuff said.

But that's just night-of -- our social accounts grew with users hungry for more MTV. Our MTV YouTube channel reached the 2M subscriber milestone night of show. @VMAs social accounts reached a cumulative 1.15M+ followers, a 23% increase since beginning of campaign. Instagram gained 100K new followers in the week leading up to broadcast. And the Snapchat Discover VMA Post Show edition brought in record-high viewership, becoming the top-performing edition to date.


Video for 2017 MTV Video Music Awards

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