MTV Builds Millennial Ad Unit From 'Scratch'


MTV is looking to cash in on its refurbished street cred, creating a new advertising unit designed to help sponsors more effectively connect with the core millennial demo.

Launched with an eye toward making the most of MTV’s in-house research, marketing, ad sales and programming properties, MTV Scratch will work alongside select clients to develop creative targeted to the 12-34 crowd. Depending on the objective of a particular campaign, the MTV Scratch creative could run across the Viacom cable networks, which include Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, VH1, Spike TV, TV Land and the flagship channel.

Beyond the linear TV realm, the MTV Scratch team will also look to extend its homegrown messaging into online, mobile, social media, print and the events space.

Early efforts already have borne fruit, including a customized series of integrations that coincided with the June 2009 launch of Microsoft’s Bing. The search engine garnered air time on such MTVN outlets as The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central), VH1’s Charm School and the Real World-Road Rules Challenge reunion special on MTV.  

Other clients that cooperated with the Scratch prototype include Pepsi-Cola and the Zeno Hot Spot. New Scratch partners will be announced in the coming weeks.

Former senior vp of MTV360 development & production Ross Martin will lead the new unit, having been elevated to executive vp of MTV Scratch. A six year MTVN veteran, Martin reports to MTV general manager Stephen Friedman.

Along with its client-facing efforts, Scratch also will enjoy a cozy working relationship with established MTV marketing teams, including those managed by Sean Moran, executive vp of MTVN music group ad sales & integrated marketing and Dan Lovinger, senior vp of MTV ad sales & integrated marketing.

While the name of the new unit evokes everything from the mix-n-match dynamics of hip-hop culture––just as the DJ produces new sounds by manipulating two records back and forth on a turntable, the Scratch team loops and crossfades a host of stimuli and data in order to produce its creative––Martin said the semantic roots of the name are ambiguous by design.

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