MTV International is evolving. Since its foundation in 1981 as a 24/7 music TV channel, MTV has somewhat lost the meaning of its letter “M” due to the cultural shift over the years, but now the “TV” part is about to undergo some major changes.
MTV is facing heavy competition with other music channels and online platforms where artist can more promptly share their work and interact with audiences directly. Keeping with the pace of the internet immediacy throughout a “massive rebranding” is certainly one way to move forward, so MTV launched a new on-air identity that consists of “deliberately ugly” visuals, inspired by popular content published by fans. It represents the playful nature and spirit of MTV and the do-it-yourself aesthetic of the internet.
According to Sean Saylor, VP of Creative and Marketing at MTV, the rebrand is triggered by their aspiration to keep in touch with the interests of the audience and their way of communication—consisting the visual language of the internet such as emojis, memes, and GIFs.
The new approach will also turn the focus onto the audience and emerging artists to change the tagline from “I want my MTV” to “I am my MTV.” This move signals more social involvement from the viewers. The aim is to reconnect with the audience, allowing them to send in their Instagram photos and Vine videos to create short-form content for potential inclusion within the broadcast and online. The material posted by viewers on Instagram and Twitter with the #MTVbump hashtag will be collected and filtered for topicality, popularity, and relevance. The footages will air on MTV channels within a couple of hours through a CMS designed in partnership with B-Reel Creative.
Ben Hughes, managing creative director at B-Reel Creative stated: “The ‘I want my MTV’ generation had to fight to have a voice. It was like a battle cry. Young people today have so many ways to get their voices out there with social media. MTV Bump can bring them onto the network, so they’re no longer a passive audience.”
Kerry Taylor, head of MTV International and chief marketing officer of Viacom International Media Networks UK, said that “I am my MTV” should evoke engagement and participation with the network’s audience. Taylor also emphasized that this rebranding project is an answer to the audience that expects MTV to take creative risks and push boundaries.
MTV Bump is now launching in the UK, France, Sweden, Brazil, Germany, and Australia for testing abroad before being implemented it into US program.