The shift is part of the TV network’s “trial and error” approach to promotional campaigns as it tries to evolve its brand and content.
The new approach will be debuted in the campaign for new show Young & Married, a documentary-style show featuring young teenage couples who have decided to get married.
Promo ads, created by MTV’s Buenos Aires design studio, play on the conflicting “laugh cry” reactions the young couples receive when they tell friends and family they are getting married so young. Previously MTV’s show promos have taken a more traditional style using show footage and voiceover.
MTV creative director Sean Saylor told Marketing Week: “The TV ads are about a concept of laugh cry because its about selling the show and the meaning behind it. It’s easy to go on the drama side of the show but we wanted to go with the emotional and what people could relate to. It doesn’t necessarily explain the show [because it’s not footage based] but it connects the audience to the show.”
The digital aspect of the campaign features a series of online videos starring elderly US couple Stella and Zyke who have been married for 40 years, giving advice about what makes a marriage work to extend the experience audiences have with Young & Married.
Saylor says: “It’s trial and error, we want to just put things out there and see what sticks. The sense of honesty in this works. Sometimes [creative ideas] work and sometimes they don’t. People might love it or hate it but but I think when its honest, not vulgar or offensive, or trying to hard, they might hate it but it’s not damaging to the brand.
“We’re a company that believes in creativity and taking risks and being unconventional – that’s the only way you can evolve. If it doesn’t work then you learn from it.”
The global TV campaign launches in the UK this weekend ahead of the show starting on 12 March.