How do you get Gen Z to pay attention to an awards show that’s as old as an Elder Millennial? You invite them to #PartyWithVMAs, and bring MTV’s iconic Moonperson trophy to life on TikTok. Combined with a Hashtag Challenge and creator partnerships, MTV aimed to take over TikTok to drive awareness, social buzz and ratings for the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards.
We knew our TikTok hashtag challenge would get us plenty of eyeballs on its own, but to really drive engagement and get fans sharing our message, we needed a hook that was simple to understand and gave users flexibility to express themselves authentically. We zeroed in on the Moonperson trophy – the symbol of the VMAs – as our muse.
Taking inspiration from organic TikTok trends like Horace and Shrek, we gave our mascot some playful dance moves and some subtle branding in its chrome reflections, then added an up-and-coming track from Charli XCX to create a fun, funny and interactive AR experience.
To seed out the Branded Effect, we partnered with 11 content creators to join the hashtag challenge and share their excitement for this year’s VMAs with the help of the Moonperson. They brought the effect to life everywhere, from house parties to backyard BBQs to the NYC subway, driving VMAs awareness among their fans and followers. For extra emphasis, we boosted the partnered creator videos to ensure the Moonperson was front and center on TikTok feeds, and encouraged users to create and share their own Moonperson videos before the show’s air date.
In a fitting result for an astronaut, the results of the MTV Moonperson effect were out of this world, crushing TikTok’s U.S. benchmarks for video creators by 110% and video creations by 114%. This fan-created content drove over 20.7M earned video views of our dancing Moonperson in action over VMAs weekend.
The boosted content drove above-norm lifts in ad recall, favorability and – most importantly – watch intent, bucking the downward ratings trend for awards shows with a 3% gain in viewers year-over-year. The 2022 VMAs was also the most social telecast of the 2022 to date, topping both the Super Bowl and Oscars, and set a new show record for social interactions, proving that fans on TikTok couldn’t resist the opportunity to #PartyWithVMAs.