MTV wanted to shine a light on the creators who are using music to create culture and rocketing trends from TikTok to social media, pop culture and beyond. With a goal to highlight creators who often don’t get the credit they deserve, MTV also celebrated the ways in which our demographic is experiencing and discovering music today in the pandemic era. The result was the Trending: VMA’s, a new award show with categories voted on by fans exclusively on TikTok that aim to celebrate the creators and artists driving music trends and culture.
Leveraging the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards, we tapped into our iconic IP to create an award show that put TikTok music culture and the creators that fuel it at the forefront of our perennial music event. Creatively, the goal was to create an award show for the TikTok audience that was produced and formatted specifically for the platform.
Launched voting on TikTok on September 7 where fans could vote in 5 categories, including Best Artist x Creator Collab, Best Comeback Song, Best Breakout Song, Best Music Mashup, and Best Viral Dance. Voting was promoted across MTVE social, received support from nominees and we aired linear TV spots driving to voting.
On Sept 10, the Trending: VMAs award show went live from @MTV on TikTok with host (and TikTok star!) Quen Blackwell and special presenters including Denzel Dion, Boys World, Makayla Culpepper, and Justina Valentine helping Quen award the winners. The stream also featured performances from TikTok favorite Nessa Barrett and TVMA nominee Claire Rosenkranz plus filters and inside jokes that the dedicated TikTok audience knew by heart.
On September 12, the final category was awarded live on the VMA red carpet by Tinashe and Bretman Rock airing on MTV, Youtube and Twitter.
Quen Blackwell was live from MTV’s TikTok covering the red carpet.
During the VMA broadcast, Quen Blackwell recapped the program and congratulated all the winners - this aired across MTV, MTVE simulcast nets and CW.
MTV’s posts and promos off-TikTik supporting the program had over 13M impressions and over 1M engagements
MTV’s VMA TikTok posts generated 33.8M total engagements, and over 500M streams as of 9/17
The launch received press coverage including Ad Week and People.
Nominated artists and creators including Lizzo, Jonas Brothers, Aly & AJ, and B52s shared and celebrated the award show and their nominations.
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