Just over 5 million viewers watched the MTV Video Music Awards on the main network Sunday night—a new low that dates to 1994, when MTV began using Nielsen to track its audience levels, and down 3 million viewers from the 2014 show.
MTV has a TV problem. Its core demo of teens and young adults is watching less TV than ever before, which is why the Viacom-owned network has cooked up an elaborate social game for Sunday's Video Music Awards.
Ariana Grande is amplifying her album release with a Twitter campaign starting today. The singer and MTV, along with their sponsor Pepsi, are using Twitter's Amplify advertising to debut four songs. The album launch coincides with this week's Video Music Awards, where Grande will perform.
Fans of MTV's House of Style can catch up on the latest fashion trends thanks to a Unilever-sponsored relaunch of the series online and on-air.
As a brand that has long had event sponsorship at the heart of its marketing formula, Pepsi sought a more scientific way to study the correlation between TV viewing and second-screen usage during live programming.
November is an important month for Activision— on the fifth, Call of Duty: Ghosts lands with video gamers. But it's also the day Eminem's MMLP2 (short for The Marshall Mathers LP 2) comes out, and now that release is tied to the Call of Duty franchise.
So perhaps you are a bit on the mature side, and haven't hit a club in a while. But you heard about Miley and "twerking" and you didn't want to look dumb. And maybe you found yourself sheepishly Googling the term, and are still a bit confused.
"Will somebody please feed Miley Cyrus?" That's the request from one anthropomorphized Beats Pill speaker to another in the commercial below, which aired Sunday on MTV after the pop singer's controversial performance on the Video Music Awards. To which the other speaker opines: "Don't you need ass to twerk?" Actually, Beats, feeding Miley would be your job. First off, hat tip to sci-fi writer Tim Maughan for pointing out the Miley-mocking video on the Beats page. The brand is involved with plenty of pop and hip-hop stars at the moment, but the confluence of Miley and Robin Thicke at the VMAs was a branding bonanza for the electronics maker. Beats Electronics is, of course, the brainchild of rapper and producer Dre, whose Beats by Dre headphones have been a huge success. The company's next big thing is a wireless speaker called the Beats Pill, voiced in commercials by Eminem, Chris Rock and (it sounds like, at least) Tichina Arnold from Fox's late, lamented Everybody Hates Chris. The speakers have been prominently featured in music videos, notably Miley's, and Thicke starred in a full-blown RadioShack ad for them with his accessories—I'm sorry, backup dancers—using the speakers to do more or less everything except speak. Anyway, on Sunday, Miley and Robin got down and dirty on stage in a way that offended millions of people who were doubtless being forced at gunpoint to endure the spectacle. Beats, meanwhile, was ready—like, really, really ready (thanks to the digital wizards at Framestore)—to whip up a video showing two Pills asking where "all the thick girls" have gone while watching clips from Thicke's video and then suggesting Miley should have more material to twerk with. "Somewhere, Sir Mix-A-Lot is crying his eyes out," says one. This actually wasn't the only time Beats teed off on a pop star during the show. It also found time to make fun of Katy Perry (who doesn't appear to be sponsored by the company) in a video with Barclays Center seats visible behind the two big-mouthed little speaker dudes. And Dre protege Eminem announced a new album at the VMAs, which Beats immediately promoted with a 30-second clip from the rapper's new single. Check out all three videos below. It was a well-orchestrated campaign of pop-culture mockery—as well as pop-culture sponsorship, individual-artist sponsorship, cross-platform synergy, album promotion. So, y'know, don't confuse it with satire. Here's a question: When, during the VMAs, weren't you watching an ad? Yeah, we're going to go with "never," too.
Twitter has struck a video-based deal with the United States Tennis Association and Heineken for the U.S. Open, which began today.