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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Taco Bell #liVeMAs at the VMAs

Finalist in Hashtag, Live Streaming Video

Entered in Integrated Campaign, Multi-Platform Campaign


Taco Bell set forth to reinforce its presence in the QSR sector, proving that food is not just fuel but an experience that matters at the 2015 VMAs. With a goal of weaving in Live Màs messaging through a program grounded in social across multiple touchpoints, MTV was tasked to bring the campaign to life through a unified message that fed fans' lives with Màs. With a live event cluttered with pop culture commentary and messaging, Taco Bell needed to stand out as a brand that supports emerging artists. Together, MTV and Taco Bell were challenged to change the traditional awards show by engaging fans throughout the show and giving them control of voting. Finally, Taco Bell wanted to find alternative ways to reach fans through emerging social platforms, customizing creative strategies to engage.

Strategy and Execution

Through Taco Bell's mantra of Live Màs and the Feed the Beat initiative supporting emerging artists, Taco Bell and MTV aimed to emotionally connect with and relate to fans through the Artist to Watch Award at the 2015 VMAs with a vote, an event and a stunt on VMA night.

A co-created #liVeMAs hashtag creatively integrated the brand and was the motivation for asking Artist to Watch nominees how music inspires their lives. Branded content was pushed out across on air, social and digital to drive votes for the Artist to Watch category presented by Taco Bell using the cobranded hashtag.

A free, pre-VMA event featuring Feed the Beat artists further solidified Taco Bell's connection to emerging artists. Fans were invited to RSVP to the Taco Bell and MTV Present an Artist to Watch concert where artists HOLYCHILD, Robert DeLong, St. Lucia and headliner WALK THE MOON performed. The event served as a platform for MTV and Taco Bell to capture content under the #liVeMAs hashtag so fans at home could be a part of the experience. MTV News and Taco Bell covered the event through Snapchat stories and band interviews to recap the night. Prior to the event, we leveraged the headliner WALK THE MOON in the first-ever Periscope and Twitter Amplify partnership where we livestreamed exclusive content from the band. The Periscope livestream featured host Morgan Evans interviewing the band and then engaging them in a game of Talking Covers where the band sang covers of three random songs. We drove to the Periscope livestream via Twitter Amplify promotion that drove tune-in with WALK THE MOON poster art and final on-demand tweet of the livestream in case our fans missed it.

On VMA night, MTV surprised fans with a stunt that narrowed down the top two nominees, asking viewers to vote via custom Twitter hashtags for their favorite artist using #VoteFettyWap or #VoteVanceJoy. Host, Miley Cyrus, continued promoting hashtag voting through on air call outs and dynamic graphics showcasing real-time results across on air, digital and social. The Artist to Watch winner, Fetty Wap, was announced live, in-show and Taco Bell was a winner too.


Taco Bell was woven into the VMAs with the partnership driving 90% of the total #liVeMAs conversation during the campaign timeframe and AdWeek named Taco Bell the #2 Most Talked About Brand based on VMA related digital content engagement. For the first time ever, MTV reinvented the live event by introducing hashtag voting for the Artist to Watch nominee and fans engaged. In fact, hashtag voting accounted for 35% of the total category votes and both of the voting hashtags #VoteVanceJoy and #VoteFettyWap trended globally on Twitter. Taco Bell participated in two first to market opportunities – the first-ever Twitter amplified Periscope live stream and the VMA Snapchat Live Story ad – resulting in more impressions and engagements on native social platforms. Overall, MTV delivered branded content that integrated Taco Bell and the live màs spirit around a live event that was the most tweeted TV program EVER and generated over a half a billion social engagements. It was also viewed by almost 10MM people and ranked the #1 award show on cable this year across several demos.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

MTV/Viacom Velocity, Taco Bell


Entry Credits