Monday, August 26

2013 VMAs


Last night I hosted a Twitter party during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).  These little parties are so much fun because it's such a better experience sharing what we are watching real time.  Of course our purpose is to talk about the marketing, but our dialogue rarely stays just on that thread!

I'd have to say that the big topic of the night had to have been ... Why are we even watching this?

The overriding sentiment was that the show was unwatchable.  I don't know that I agree, although we can thank Miley Cyrus for some cringe worthy moments.  But for me, paying attention to shows like these is as much about keeping a pulse on pop culture as it is on the entertainment value itself.  It was fun to see the music play out.

The other overriding question of the night ... Does MTV even play music anymore?

Well now that one is a valid in my book.  I've lost touch of the MTV brand, to be honest, which is another reason why I wanted to tune in.  I wanted to reconnect with an old friend.

But we are here to talk about the marketing, and that we will do.  There were really only a few call outs for the night, from a marketing perspective.

Lady Gaga.  With the fanfare we'd all expect, Gaga introduced her new single as an opener to the show.  She didn't disappoint, she never disappoints.  I could have done without the shell bikini she wore the rest of the night, but that's another story.  The best branding move of the night, however, belongs to Kia, who featured Gaga's new single in a new advertising campaign featuring the now infamous hamsters.  Good move.

Nokia.  I must disclose that Nokia is a client of mine, but I still have to say I was impressed by the relevance and timliness of the brand's advertising.  Best advertising of the night, hands down.  Zooming in on concert footage was well played my friends.

Justin Timberlake.  He handled his brand with ease, something that's become his signature.  And now he has a new tagline ... The President of Pop.  Made me think, "what's your tagline?"

Brooklyn.  I have to say, though, that THE brand of the night was the rising city of Brooklyn.  The place continues to shine and continues to place itself at the epicenter of pop culture.  The Barclay Center came alive last night, as did the borough itself ... with a really cool finale with Katy Perry at the Brooklyn Bridge (sponsored by Pepsi).  Whom ever is in charge of revitalizing the Brooklyn brand deserves a standing ovation.  Brooklyn has become a force and a destination.  Who knew?

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post

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