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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

2021 MTV EMAs

Finalist in Globalization, Television


The 2021 MTV EMAs in Budapest, Hungary was a celebration of the best in global music. 

From nightly MTV Music Week coverage  to exclusive backstage interviews, the 2021 digital MTV EMA campaign was an immersive endeavor for fans around the world.  We put our 2021 slogan “Music for All” into practice by connecting with artists and their global fanbase on social media. Artists from 22 regions showcased their talents in an impactful way for over 765 million social fans. 

The primary goal of the campaign was to offer a curated experience for our 22 regions that global followers would want to watch and share — without compromising quality. 

The awards, its social presence and its league of global influencers boosted the regional honorees and the work they’ve done this year.

Strategy and Execution

While each region is part of the MTV International brand, we also recognize the different needs of each market, which meant that no two MTV International pages were alike. In addition to cross-posted content through the flagship MTV EMA social pages, regional pages offered bespoke experiences with: 

 1) Pre-show/red carpet coverage.

 2) Main show coverage and backstage content.

 3) Post-show coverage.



>We announced the host, performers and presenters in 15 languages in 22 regions.

>Fans voted  for 16 Main Categories and 26 Best Local Act Categories through 20 regional MTV EMA websites (I.e. MTV Japan and MTV Poland).

>Fans also voted via Instagram Stories for Best Group and Biggest Fans.

>We honored global artists in 26 regions in our Best Local Acts Award Show which was streamed on Facebook.

>The host country’s social account, @MTVHungary, used Instagram Highlights to promote each day of MTV Music Week, which featured local and global artists. 

>On TikTok, @MTVAsia celebrated the Best Southeast Asia nominees by  utilizing the popular ‘song chain’ trend. Plus beatboxer Dharni remixed each song!  

>MTV Italia interviewed local talent, with full videos on YouTube and bite sized clips on Instagram.

>MTV Portugal posted mini docs on YouTube of their region’s nominees.

>We live streamed the red carpet on Facebook and

>Oculus and MTV partnered together to create a virtual red carpet watch party. 

>Regional social hosts lined the red carpet and backstage to interview stars in many languages such as Hebrew, German, Italian, and Portuguese

>Instagram Takeovers with pop star Kim Petras during rehearsals and influencer Montana Brown on the red carpet gave fans a deeper, more personalized view of the EMAs.   



>The main show was streamed live on

>We streamed the “Backstage Pass” Facebook Live Show with exclusive content from the main show talent as soon as they walked off stage. They played games, belly-flopped onto furniture, drank champagne, had foot races and chatted with host Harriet Rose about everything from Budapest bath parties to dream collabs to naughty secrets. 

>Regions posted localized acceptance speeches on TikTok, Instagram, (Stories, Reels, and videos) Twitter and Facebook.  

>Global influencers hit the ground running when we brought them to Hungary. Their on-site award coverage was consistently shared by our regional pages. 

>Plus, top influencers hosted viewing parties in Brazil, France and Mexico, giving their followers a taste of the Budapest experience.  

>On Snapchat, we published a real-time highlight show of the night’s biggest moments.

  1. POST-SHOW: 

>Curated video packages were localized for the regions and cross-posted to global social accounts, which highlighted the best moments of the night.

>Local YouTube accounts offered full main show performances, so fans could experience the excitement and jaw-dropping displays over and over again.



We channeled what we learned from the success of last year's COVID-necessitated fully digital show into this year's live and digital offerings and it garnered terrific results and #MTVEMA trended on TikTok and Twitter worldwide.

In 2021, Our YOY views grew substantially:

>Votes increased +22% 

>Instagram views increased +22%

>TikTok views increased +25443%

Our social strategy was effective since we gave regions the freedom to tailor content, while connecting to the campaign’s global message. By offering a blend of custom and complementary content, followers were drawn to our content and given a dynamic yet universal experience.


Our partnership with global influencers paid off by engaging our followers in multiple languages and demographics: 


By connecting our regional accounts with global influencers, this year’s MTV EMA campaign required all hands on deck both before and during the awards. Influencers gave their own view of the show and the city of Budapest by sharing content with their loyal followers, which was then shared on the MTV EMA regional pages. This expanded our reach before the show, so that once influencers hit the carpet, fans already had a front row experience on multiple global social channels. Our synchronized content resulted in a show that thrived when faced with COVID limitations. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

MTV International