MTV Lines Up Sponsors, Social Play for Movie Awards

The 2010 MTV Movie Awards promises to get a little “Raaaaaaaandy,” as returning sponsor Orbit will be called upon to clean up a few dirty mouths during the June 6 telecast. Reprising its role as the official sponsor of the Best WTF Moment––a nod to the texting acronym, the award honors the most jaw-dropping scene from a recent theatrical––the Wrigley gum brand will be incorporated into banter between presenters Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick.

In keeping with Orbit’s tag (“Dirty mouth? Clean it up!”), the actresses will present the WTF hardware with a requisite smattering of bleeped-out profanities. As the bit plays out, both network and sponsor hope viewers will take it to the tweets, providing a real-time metacommentary on the event, the brand and the WTF honoree. (The smart money is on Ken Jeong for his naked crowbar assault in The Hangover .)

Hosted by Aziz Ansari––the comedian stole Judd Apatow’s 2009 flick Funny People with his portrayal of potty-mouth standup Raaaaaaaandy––this year’s MMAs are pumping up the volume on social media. First rolled out for last September’s Video Music Awards, version 2.0 of MTV’s Twitter Visualization platform will allow viewers to monitor tweet activity related to the telecast and the individual performers. For example, should singing pin-up girl Katy Perry choose to engage in some particularly outrageous on-screen behavior with her oversexed Brit BF Russell Brand, the site’s graphic interface would reflect the concomitant surge in Perry/Brand-targeted discourse.

While memorable moments aren’t always planned (see Kanye West’s ill-advised cameo during last year’s VMAs), fans generally don’t have to wait long for the first OMFG moment.
“A quick strike is critical,” said Stephen Friedman, general manager, MTV. “Last year we saw an immediate uptick in Twitter activity after the Brüno moment, and that informed the rest of the night. Our audience is always looking for that galvanizing moment.”

As viewers LOL’d over the seemingly unrehearsed meeting between Sacha Baron Cohen’s unswaddled rump and Eminem’s scowling mug, ratings soared. Viewers 12-34 were up 92 percent versus the 2008 show and total viewers improved 78 percent to 5.28 million.

“Social media is the telephone, and we’re the conversation,” said Dan Lovinger, svp, MTV sales and integrated marketing. “Not only do we translate the conversation for our clients, but we’re also finding new ways to leverage these social media tools to further engage with our viewers.”

Take for instance the long reach of Coca-Cola’s MMAs commitment. In the spring, Coke partnered with MTV to find an on-air correspondent to act as a liaison between the stars and the audience. The Coca-Cola Movie Awards Insider will prowl the red carpet in search of celeb scoop, posing queries culled from viewer tweets.

“This partnership allows us to integrate ‘big event’ TV with social media and event marketing to provide young people access to compelling content they wouldn’t otherwise have,” said Linda Cronin, director, media and interactive, Coca-Cola North America. “Social media helps shape the experience.”

Other integrated marketing partners include T-Mobile, Starbucks, Nikon, Kia and Unilever’s Dove. Among those buying :30s are Procter & Gamble, Taco Bell and studios Paramount and Universal.

Publish date: May 30, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT