MTV rebrands as it aims to become television’s Instagram

MTV International is rebranding, changing its slogan from ‘I Want My MTV” to “I Am My MTV” as it introduces a raft of new features allowing social media influencers and fans to create short-form content that regularly appears on its television channels.

From today (June 25) the youth brand will be able to air any video content produced via Instagram or Vine under the hashtag #MTVbump on its channels in under two hours through a CMS designed by B-Reel Creative.

Subsequently, the social media content – which could include Gogglebox style reaction videos to shows such as Geordie Shore or artistic Vine clips – will appear during MTV advertising breaks and also on a new TV segment called ‘MTV Breaks’ which will host a selection of the best clips.

MTV International’s VP of marketing Tanya Leedekerken said Bump could also tie into events.

She told Marketing Week: “MTV Bump means we can host user content on the channel from festivals such as Glastonbury or get video messages up on Valentine’s Day – we’re really just scratching the surface.

“Although the hashtag will launch with Vine and Instagram, in the future we want to work with more social networks and get advertisers on board for sponsored content too as there’s lots of interest. However at this stage it’s all about sitting back and seeing how Bump usage varies market to market.”

A separate website MTVbump.com will allow people to see what viral video content has made it onto the air across MTV’s various international channels.

Later this summer MTV will also launch MTV Canvas, which will offer fans a chance to submit non-video content for possible broadcast. The online sticker book toolbox will allow fans to design their own take on the established MTV ident logo and, if aired, the art will carry information on the creator.

The rebrand will initially see a new design for the iconic MTV ident appear with a”‘90s inspired backdrop of pop culture art” (pictured). However this will change over time based on ‘MTV Canvas’ entrees.

Championing viewer’s Vines

Kerry Taylor, head of MTV International and CMO of Viacom International Media Networks, believes the MTV brand needed a fresh creative direction.

“We weren’t individual or unique enough from other broadcasters,” she said. “This will allow us to make the most of user generated content and use the MTV brand for what its best known for – creativity and disruption.”

Taylor says that #MTVbump will potentially allow MTV to discover new talent such as artists and presenters while making it more relevant to the Instagram generation. However she insisted the brand is already in a good place despite the changes.

“MTV has 304 million social fans globally and our worldwide viewing figures were up 5% year on year; the brand has never been in a better place. But although our content is hyper social, our identity hasn’t been and needs to catch up. Hopefully this will achieve that.”

A user created ident created through MTV Canvas
A user created ident created through MTV Canvas

Through the #MTVbump hashtag, there will be opportunities for bands and brands alike to post unique paid-for content to appear on its channels. Early adopters include The Grumpy Cat and LMFAO pop singer Redfoo.

Taylor added: “We are open to branded content but we want to find brands with similar ethos and brands not afraid to have some fun – they need to really get this.”

Replicating the spontaneity of Instagram

A recent study of 1,000 individuals – who identify themselves as part of Generation Z – aged between 12-19, found that 86% use their smartphones multiple times a day while 70% watch more than two hours of YouTube and short form video content daily.

Taylor says these changing consumption habits are what forced MTV into action.

“I think TV brands are realising that whether it’s a 45 minute show or a 10 second vine the audience is engaging and finding relevance in both,” she explained.

“We want MTV to replicate that spontaneity of an Instagram but on TV. This is all about utilising influencers but also championing our audience’s creativity.

“Unemployment was the biggest issue for young people last year. I think with MTV Bump we aren’t just introducing personalisation features but giving young people a break and a real opportunity to shine.”

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