An Inside Look at How MTV is Continuing to Push Boundaries for the 2015 VMAs

Written by: Team Telescope

Industry News


An Inside Look at How MTV is Continuing to Push Boundaries for the 2015 VMAs


The MTV VMAs are upon us and will air this Sunday at 9pm Eastern. For years these awards have proven that social TV innovation is still possible. The team that produces the show has found countless ways to impress audiences and the industry by leveraging new platforms, social talent and behind the scenes digital integrations. 

Miley Cyrus will host the show, a smart move by the network after her twerking two years ago and her memorable win when she had a homeless teen accept on her behalf. The parade of smart marketing stunts have grabbed the attention of the industry since the beginning of the month when MTV asked artists around the world to complete ads with Miley on a green screen.

Today, MTV is announcing plans for the biggest, most fan-enabled red carpet they've ever produced. Found Remote interviewed Colin Helms, Senior Vice President for MTV Connected Content about the announcement and their plans for the VMAs. Here are details from today's announcement and the interview.

  • In partnership with the IM360 app (available as a free download for iOS and Android), MTV will become one of the first networks to fully integrate a live 360° virtual reality viewing experience into its red carpet pre-show, adding to MTV’s award-winning All Access Live platform. 

  • This year’s VMAs will also feature more multi-platform experiences by leveraging digital activations and social influencers so fans can experience the VMAs across Snapchat, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, and other MTV platforms.

  • The social talent included will be - everyone’s favorite grandma Baddie Winkle, YouTube vlogger Connor Franta, teenage social personality Lohanthony, and star of MTV’s Braless Laci Green.

  • MTV Style will hand over its Periscope account to the ladies of Shop Jeen, currently the hottest online clothing and accessories store, to provide real-time commentary on the best looks from the red carpet.

  • MTV and leading online content platform Playbuzz continue to collaborate on innovative, interactive digital media formats and have launched a new voting tool, called Swiper, on an exclusive basis ahead of the 2015 VMAs.

Found Remote: What are the big social/digital activations for this year's VMAs? Which is your favorite and why?
Colin Helms: Every year the goal is to innovate and build on the activations and lessons we’ve learned from VMAs past. This year, we are upping the ante as MTV becomes one of the first networks to fully integrate a live 360° virtual reality viewing experience into its 2015 “MTV Video Music Awards” red carpet pre-show. We worked with IM360, a full-service virtual reality studio and technology company, along with the VMA pre-show producers and scenic designers, to create an experience that will allow fans at home to feel like they are on the carpet and part of the action like never before. At MTV, we’re always seeking ways to continue our legacy of innovative story-telling and we’re excited to pioneer with this new technology. Fans can access the experience on their desktops or via the IM360 app – available as a free download for iOS and Android.
FR: With Miley hosting, is there a lot of pressure to break the internet as intensely as she did with her twerking?
CH: Miley has an extremely passionate fan base and she’s been a VMA favorite as her award for last year’s Video of the Year demonstrates. We’re thrilled to have her host this year’s show and bring her unique perspective and independent voice. We’re working with Miley to make sure this is one of the biggest, most unforgettable VMAs yet.  
FR: How are you uniquely working with Twitter this year?
CH: On Monday, MTV became the first TV network to launch an award show Twitter emoji. In the week leading up to the show, when fans Tweet using either #VMA or #VMAs they’ll unlock an emoji version of the new 2015 “MTV Video Music Award” Moonman designed by world-renowned fashion designer Jeremy Scott, created exclusively for this year’s show. We wanted to give fans a fun, playful way to interact with the iconic Moonman like never before, and Twitter helped us accomplish that.
FR: How is MTV continuing to innovate social TV with awards shows this year?
CH: This year, MTV is pulling out all the stops to engage with fans throughout the show. As I mentioned, we’re excited to partner with IM360 to bring live 360° virtual reality viewing experience into its 2015 “MTV Video Music Awards” red carpet pre-show as part of our award-winning All Access Live platform. Aside from that, All Access Live will continue to give fans even more of an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the show through 16 different cameras, optimized for web, mobile and tablets – meaning they’ll never miss a moment. MTV will also continue to push the limits of its social legacy by leveraging social influencers – including fan favorites like Lohanthony, Rickey Thompson, Baddie Winkle, and Danababy – before, during and after the show to interact with fans across all social channels.
FR: How will the MTV app play a role?
CH: The MTV app, along with and mobile web, will be home to All Access Live and all of the behind-the-scenes exclusive looks.

So far Shazam rankings show Ed Sheeran in the lead among the nominees for Video of the Year but to participate in MTV's biggest event of the year to find out all the winners and big moments make sure to tune in Sunday night.

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