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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

2022 MTV Video Music Awards Stan Mail

Finalist in Globalization


When #VMAStanMail debuted in 2021, the Video Music Awards made history as the first awards show to intentionally design a globally-inclusive experience on Twitter. Not only did the @VMAs account Tweet in multiple languages from Portuguese to Indonesian, but it sought to bridge the language barrier between music artists and their worldwide superfans - and in doing so meaningfully drive VMA conversation around the world.

In 2022, it was a no-brainer to bring back #VMAStanMail as an integral piece of the VMA Stan Cam live co-viewing experience! Examining previous insights, we determined we could find ways to expand the VMA global audience even MORE, engage a whole new segment of stans, and bring new people to the #VMA conversation.


Strategy and Execution

 #VMAStanMail is an experience for fans AND talent brought to life by asking the question: what if we could connect artists to their superfans backstage at the VMAs - in any language? In its execution, Stan Mail starts with multi-language call-to-action Tweets (“Tell us what you love about your favorite artist!”) and ends with celebs reading love letters from various parts of the world, translated in real-time to their preferred language.

To collect a wide range of Tweets from around the globe for dozens of artists, the @VMA account began posting calls to action weeks before the VMA show date. We strategically leveraged performer announcements to create momentum in conversation, and chose languages for each Tweet based on the top-spoken by each fan base. And to best capture fan conversation and responses from our truly global audience, we scheduled our post publishes to optimize the local hours when each region was most active on Twitter. 

As the Stan Mail team collected and translated hundreds of fan Tweets, we analyzed insights from 2021 to rethink video launch strategy for show day. Rather than livestreaming #VMAStanMail video clips in our feed as we had done in the past, we distributed clips as Twitter native in-feed video to play the algorithms in our favor and help amplify viewership - not to mention better contribute to #VMA Nielsen Social Content Ratings, a major metric of success for reaching our overall VMA goals. 

To create a more versatile Stan Mail production, a responsive app was developed to visualize custom curated Tweet displays for every artist. The app was capable of being used on any screen in any location; each user would open a custom profile to see original-language Tweets which would translate to their preferred language. 

On VMA night, the final videos were Tweeted as part of the official VMA Stan Cam Twitter co-viewing experience. Each clip was posted in two languages (taking into account each artists’ most active fandom languages) - and as an extra bonus, featured fan submissions were quote Tweeted by @VMAs with special delivery celeb responses for them to enjoy and share!


For the second straight year, #VMAStanMail Tweets were significantly more likely to be seen by new and/or international audiences.



Video for 2022 MTV Video Music Awards Stan Mail

Entrant Company / Organization Name

MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks


Entry Credits