As one of the most storied holding companies in media, Viacom's network of brands like MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon oversees, curates and even dictates youth culture—and has done so for decades. But being young and hip takes work, which is why New York-based Viacom recently renovated its 31st and 32nd floors into spaces where people—employees and guests—could meet, mingle, work, dine and relax. "Our new floors are a working prototype for the future of media," said marketing strategy and engagement evp Ross Martin, whose office is on the 32nd floor, "where creative talent, world-class data scientists and visionary thought leaders are engineering the future of our business." On the 31st floor, visitors will find the "pitch theater," meeting rooms, open lounges and gathering spaces. "As a result of its advanced design form and tech function, we have allowed numerous CEO and CMO partners to utilize the space for their top leadership teams," said Viacom marketing and partner solutions head Sean Moran. "It's become the TRL for C-suite partners." Like its media network, the new Viacom space aims to please staffers and visitors—regardless of generational gap.
In this dining room, Martin holds monthly dinner series on creativity and innovation where the exec hosts 10 interesting people. Past guests include Google’s head of trends, the chief curator of the Brooklyn Museum and a composer hot off his Lincoln Center debut.
The “pitch theater” is a state-of-the-art screening room and presentation space that was, according to Martin, “designed to bring great ideas to life.”
The moss garden lines the wall outside the small dining room.
Fans are everything
“When you work here, no matter what your job is, no matter what department or brand you work for—our job is to be first with fans,” said Martin. “For each and every one of our brands, our shows, our characters—the fans are everything.”
The Viacom design team, led by Yetta Banks, carefully curated items in the office that challenge and inspire employees.
This story first appeared in the September 26, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
Click here to subscribe.