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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

2014 MTV Video Music Awards Nominations

Finalist in Snapchat


Objective: MTV has been working to redefine tent pole events with a social first philosophy that engages fans across all platforms. For the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, MTV announced all nominees via Snapchat for its first time ever.

Strategy: MTV's audiences crave social content and are always looking for new ways to interact with their favorite shows, artists, and characters socially. Keeping this audience top of mind, MTV continues to integrate social into tent pole and live events.

The eight Snapchats MTV created announced all eight categories with nominees via artists and stars of MTV original series. The VMAs also featured an entire new social category – Best Lyric Video – which was determined by fan social voting and also announced via Snapchat.

Outcome: An hour prior to VMA voting polls open to the public on the VMA site, the eight Snapchats were made available exclusively to MTV's Snapchat followers. Once voting was opened, the nominee reveal was also expanded more broadly via MTV's news site and MTV's Twitter accounts. MTV's Snapchat follower population grew by 40 percent in the 24 hours following the Snapchat announcement.

Strategy and Execution

MTV unveiled eight Snapchats approximately one month in advance of the Video Music Awards show as the exclusive vehicle to announce the nominees and categories for the 2014 show—the first time the network ever used Snapchat to reveal any sort of nominee information around an awards show.

Staying true to its social-first philosophy, MTV wanted to reward its early followers on a new platform with early access to assets, but also wanted to take advantage of the natural Snapchat behaviour including users taking screenshots and sharing the images to other social networks. By using talent with highly socially active fan bases to expand MTVs reach to other artist platforms and fansites, MTV was able to spur conversation among the music and television community and beyond its standard following.

The nominations were revealed in eight 10-second Snapchat videos starting at 9 a.m ET on Thursday, July 17, 2014. The Snapchat videos featured music artists like Austin Mahone, Fifth Harmony and Becky G, as well as MTV talent from the network's original shows to leverage each hit show's fan bases. The strategy's built-in notion that fans would take screenshots of these Snaps and share on their social channels to spur a viral conversation proved true as the Snapchat announcements were available for 24 hours on MTV's Snapchat story and the videos were streamed over 400,000. Fan engagement on the @MTV Twitter handle resulted in over 1,000 Retweets and over 2,000 Favorites of the Snapchat announcement; as well as 75 notes on Tumblr and 22,000 likes on Instagram.

In addition to a variety of other multiscreen activations around the VMAs, the event was crowned the most social event of the summer across all television, according to Nielsen Social data. In only 24 hours after posting the full show online, the on-demand version drew in over 7 million streams. The 2014 VMA's had 12.6 million tweets and garnered 259 trending topics across Vine, Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. MTV saw nearly 63 million social interactions during the night of the show, and MTV Editorial had its best day with nearly 3 million visitors and 4 million page views. On the mobile front, the MTV App saw its largest day of visitors and installs to date.

MTV will continue to develop ambitious multiscreen approaches for the VMA's, and utilize innovative ways to engage fans, reach new audiences and stir up social conversations in unexpected places before, during, and after the show to create an extended feeling around the awards show rather than a one-night TV viewing experience.


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