This year is transformative for MTV’s annual awards. The Movie Awards re-branding as the “MTV Movie & TV Awards” (airing tonight at 8pm, hosted by Adam Devine) is yet another example of the company’s dedication to evolving as the times do. With the addition of television into the mix, they are continuing to innovate on digital and social.
For years MTV’s awards shows have been an example for the rest of the industry to look at and this year is no different. Including a partnership with musical.ly, including a category for “Best Musical Moment” that lets fans upload through the platform, their dedication to reaching fans continues to evolve. Found Remote interviewed MTV EVP of Strategy, Revenue & Operations Kristin Frank about the big event and broadcast.
Found Remote: This is a big year for the awards with the addition of honoring TV, why the investment in TV categories?
Kristin Frank: Our audience embraces fluidity and uniformly rejects obsolete labels. They are radically reshaping how we see the world and how people consume great content. This year every change we made to the show was designed to reflect the current generation and focus on celebrating the actors, stories and moments that defined pop culture in the past year without categorization.
FR: How have the awards been promoted on digital and social leading up to the awards? Any big plans during it?
KF: We’ve worked hard to make content that speaks the language of each community. For example, we shot musical.ly videos with our host, Adam Devine, at our marketing campaign promo shoot. We utilized Facebook Live as a countdown tool for the week leading into show and revealed our talent seat cards on Snapchat. Additionally, we’ve created tons of short, shareable, social video on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Finally, we’ve been engaging celebrity attendees, nominees and fan armies with custom content to give them tools to get excited about the show.
On show day, we’re bringing fans closer to the celebrities they love with our backstage fan cam. Streaming on Facebook, this unique experience will allow fans to interact with their movie and television idols through real-time questions and polling.
FR: How does MTV make sure to continue to innovate on digital for their tent poles?
KF: When it comes to staying ahead of the curve, we always start out thinking fan first — what’s a new experience we can give them, how can they interact with this show and its talent in a way that doesn’t feel gimmicky, but adds to the holistic experience of the event. That can lead to ideas in video, live, social, VR, voting and everything in-between. Then we pour a lot of brainpower into making the creative sing, often trying to lean into a trending platform or format. Lastly, we put a plan in place to make sure fans see the work we’re proud of! That can include paid, influencer amplification and in-show call outs.
FR: If you had to pick one partnership that’s most exciting around the awards, which is it?
KF: All of our partnerships are important to us. We reach different communities in different ways on different platforms. Some examples from this year include a new social category for “Best Musical Moment” exclusively on musical.ly where fans can upload videos to vote for their favorite nominees along with a live.ly stream from the red carpet hosted by musers Kristen Hancher and AlliCattt. We have two Snapchat Our Stories that will curate snaps from the festival and red carpet pre-show up until the final winner is announced.
For our co-viewing experience, we will feature a Twitter live stream via our all access cameras from all points of interest, including the first ever “MTV Movie & TV Festival,” red carpet, backstage and audience.
FR: Anything else?
KF: We’re really excited to break the gender wall this year. Asia Kate Dillon will present the first award of the night – Best Actor in a Movie. Dillon, a series regular on Showtime’s “Billions,” is the first non-binary gender identifying actor ever to be cast in a major television series.
We also evolved one of the most popular categories in Movie Awards history, “Best Fight,” to “Best Fight the System,” to more genuinely convey what is happening in culture, television and film today and to reflect the activism amongst today’s youth culture. Tracee Ellis Ross and Congresswoman Maxine Waters present the award.