The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!
From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

MTV's 2020 Video Music Awards Virtual Photo Booth

Entered in Online Event/Activation


In lieu of a traditional red carpet for the MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Brand social team partnered with production company Good Co. and creative director, Alexandre Moors (the team behind Beyonce’s Lemonade) to create an entirely remote, red carpet virtual photo booth. We wanted to give our social audiences a unique spin on attending celebrities and performers’ first looks. Our team’s goal for awards show coverage has always been to produce social first, exclusive content to serve as a complimentary accessory to the linear show and this year was no different. While success in engaging our audience is measured by surpassing quantitative benchmarks, innovation has always been the goal we strive for. Because of Covid-19 this year, however, our biggest challenge in meeting our goals was not being physically on the ground with talent and serving our fans, engaging content that they’re used to seeing from the MTV handles. Our innovative solution led to a first of it’s kind red carpet virtual activation that has since been replicated across our sister networks at ViacomCBS.                                   



Strategy and Execution

Our strategy behind the virtual photo booth was creating a digital first experience from multiple global locations that felt connected to one another visually and also the main show itself. Our partners at Good Co. were able to bring our vision to life through executing entirely remote camera set ups on blue screens, interacting with and directing talent solely through video chat. The talent captured from each remote shoot was then placed into their very own custom designed virtual worlds that served as short :15 social videos and portraits that were rolled out on night of show. Despite limited talent availability windows and ever changing circumstances, we were able to secure a dozen of the show’s leading talent and performers including Host Keke Palmer, BTS, Maluma, Jaden Smith and Chloe x Halle among others. The virtual activation seamlessly complemented the main shows’ themes and aesthetic serving as a successful digital extension. 


The end result of our innovative virtual activation was a collective 9M views across our Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok accounts and over 1.2M engagements. We found success not only in the incredible engagement from our fans, but from the celebrities themselves. A number of participating talent shared the content on their own social handles, further expanding the activations reach- including Madison Beer who updated her profile photo with one of the photos on her IG account of over 21M followers.


Entrant Company / Organization Name



Entry Credits