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Posts Tagged ‘MTV’

Can a New Programming Chief Save MTV?

We told you earlier this week why music videos are no longer MTV‘s cup of tea (reality shows are king, iTunes and Pandora rule the music world, you’re old, etc.), but now it seems the network that once supplied a generation with its soundtrack is struggling against falling ratings. So far this season, ratings are down roughly 30%, causing some concern for parent company Viacom. To make matters worse, MTV is about to lose its grossly (emphasis on the gross) popular series Jersey Shore.

While Viacom’s earnings were up 13%, revenue was down 17% for the July-September period–and domestic ad revenue declined 6%. During a conference call with analysts to discuss the issue, Wells Fargo media analyst Marci Ryvicker said, “There is a fear out there that MTV is broken.” Philippe Dauman, Viacom’s chief executive, immediately came to the network’s defense: “It is not broken…MTV is very healthy. Indeed, we have a great development pipeline and we have just added one of the major talents in our business in addressing young audience in Susanne Daniels.”

Daniels, who was hired this week as the network’s programming chief, earned her stripes at the WB network over a decade ago by championing shows like Dawson’s Creek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It seems MTV hopes she’s still got an eye for what appeals to America’s youth–and that she can breathe new life into the slumping network’s programming lineup. “She will bring with her some additional talent who will bring to bear more development in the reality and scripted area. We have a good pipeline and this will turbo-charge it”, Dauman said of his new hire.

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Lessons from the No Doubt Video Scandal?

Gwen Stefani of No Doubt via Interscope RecordsYou may have heard that late-90’s “ska” kings No Doubt recently jumped on the comeback train. You may have also heard that the band immediately ran into controversy over the video for their single “Looking Hot.”

For some reason, the video’s director thought it would be a great idea to dress the band members in stereotypical Western/Native American gear: feathered headdresses, leather leggings, teepees, cute cowboy outfits…you get it.

We like to play dress-up as much as the next guy (which is to say not at all), but we’re a little surprised that the creative team responsible for the video couldn’t see the “scandal” coming.

Anyway, the band predictably pulled the spot after too many people complained about it being insensitive to the traditions and concerns of the Native American community; they even shut down their own website’s online forum after discussion of the video overwhelmed fans’ comments.

Today Zimbio asks whether this controversy served any discernible purpose, and it’s a good question. Arguments on both sides popped up over the past week, with some decrying the proliferation of political correctness while others lamented the public’s general ignorance of American Indian history and the perpetuation of long-discredited stereotypes.

Can we take any lessons from the band’s screw-up other than the fact that big-name pop stars should choose their video themes very carefully? Did the band make the right decisions to control the damage? And how could they have avoided the controversy (besides making an entirely different video)? Here’s the offending spot in case you missed it: Read more

Why Doesn’t MTV Play Videos Anymore? Because You’re Old.

Why did MTV replace our beloved music videos with trashy reality shows? It’s a pretty common complaint among people in their twenties and thirties–but is it really the music videos we miss, or is it our collective youth? Is this our way to behave like crotchety old people, waving our fingers in the faces of children and saying, “back in my day…”?

The makers of this video think so–and they led us to believe in the quarter-life crisis phenomenon until we realized that it’s already a few years too late for that! Oh, merciful Lord…In the video, a fictional MTV exec proceeds to “Break it down for everyone born before 1995 — aka not our F***ing demographic anymore.” Ouch! And the hits just keep on coming.

Below are our responses to key quotes from the video: Read more

Will Instagram Profiles Change the Visual Branding Game?

You may not have noticed, but Instagram (undisputed king of online “food porn“) made a big announcement this week: the service has begun moving away from its status as a purely mobile application to establish a major web presence with Instagram “profiles.”

These new web pages very closely resemble Facebook profiles, which should surprise no one considering Mark Zuckerberg‘s recent acquisition of the nascent imaging service. In place of the Facebook “cover photo”, visitors will see a rotating lineup of recent images posted by the Instagram user in question.

Instagram on the web is, for all intents and purposes, a purely visual version of Facebook.

One potential problem has emerged, and it will be familiar to many Facebook users: Within a week or so, everyone with an Instagram account will also have a page with a default “public” setting, which means that anyone online can visit a given user’s profile and view his or her images. Does this amount to an invasion of privacy? The service will almost certainly need to address the issue in the days ahead.

But we expected Instagram to encounter a few bumps in the road as it expands. The big question: what does this new feature mean for brands?

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Dwight from ‘The Office’: Make Election Day a National Holiday

News of celebrities making entertaining, attention-grabbing pleas to the public (especially the younger demographic) to get out and vote is nothing new. Wh0 could forget previous star-backed campaigns like MTV’s Rock the Vote, P. Diddy‘s mildly threatening Vote or Die or Leonardo DiCaprio‘s “whatever, man” Vote 4 Stuff? Now, Rainn Wilson (that’s “Dwight” to fans of The Office), has offered his services to a campaign that isn’t striving to make voting cool (or pitch it as an alternative to death), but hopes to get more Americans to cast ballots by making the whole process into less of a “pain in the ass.”

How, you ask? By turning Election Day into a national holiday so that people who spend their days slaving away for, say, a paper company wouldn’t have to cram voting into an already-busy day packed with workplace priorities. In the clip, sponsored by SoulPancake and GOOD Magazine, Wilson plays a poll worker who turns away a prospective voter.

So what do you think, readers? A compelling argument, or just a funny ad? Would making Election Day a national holiday inspire the country to give this landscape-changing occasion the reverence it deserves, or would it just inspire people to crack a beer a bit earlier in the day? Would it help busy people get out and vote, or would it still leave many (like lower income workers who may not actually get the day off) behind? Lots to consider here, and we’d love to hear from you.

Is MTV Still Relevant?

Throughout its more than three-decade history, MTV has gone from showcasing the latest and greatest meetings of pop music and short film to being a platform in which the stars of reality TV find new ways to behave badly–again and again.

The question has been asked repeatedly over the past few years, but after a somewhat lackluster Video Music Awards and the cancellation of the network’s most valuable property, “Jersey Shore“, we have to repeat it: is MTV still relevant? And where does the brand go from here?

With all the talk of Snooki and “Teen Mom”, it’s easy to forget that last year’s VMAs, starring Alicia Keys and a pregnant Beyonce, earned the highest ratings in MTV history. Still, an awards show that only involves six actual awards is very different from the VMAs we knew as kids. And the fact that the biggest moment of last night’s ceremony was a hug exchanged between Rihanna and Chris Brown reveals something about its relevance.

In a telling interview with Forbes, MTV’s executive vice president of music and talent Amy Doyle emphasizes the network’s continued focus on, well, music.

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Beyoncé Brings the World to Attention for Humanitarian Day

How do you get 1.13 billion people to “do something good, somewhere, for someone else”? Why, you show them a Beyoncé video, of course! Throw in some impressive CGI and inspiring imagery from around the globe and you’re golden, baby!

For this year’s World Humanitarian Day, which took place on August 19, the United Nations partnered with digital ad agency Droga5 to reach hundreds of millions of people with that very simple, universal message. The campaign, titled “I Was Here” (Twitter hashtags #WHD2012 and #IWASHERE), drew its inspiration from a Beyoncé song of the same name, so of course she was a natural choice to take part in a campaign that will also help burnish her humanitarian cred (the video already has well  over 4 million views):

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Snooki: The Next Generation (and Its PR Implications)

As we celebrate the Sunday evening birth of little Lorenzo Domenic LaValle, we’d like to take a moment to ponder the implications of our entertainment choices and their influence on the PR business–and our culture at large.

MTV’s “The Real World” began way back in 1992: Kurt and Tupac were still around, The Rachael wasn’t yet a thing and the reality TV landscape’s occupants were, on average, a little older and better behaved. What the hell happened?

Would anyone have ever guessed that a woman like Snooki would require the (considerable) skills of a publicist, much less develop into what we must call an enduring brand? The PR pros who’ve watched this multimillion dollar wreck* in action must have some questions about what it means for the future of their industry.

So: How has reality TV changed your business?

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Roll Call: PepsiCo, MXM, News Corp, and More

PepsiCo, Inc. announced that Jon Banner has been named senior vice president, global strategy and planning. Banner will be a senior member of PepsiCo’s global communications team responsible for synchronizing, coordinating and planning the company’s communications efforts worldwide and partnering with PepsiCo’s business units to support key business priorities. Banner joins PepsiCo from ABC News. (Release)

Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM) has named Steve Kerho senior vice president/chief strategy officer. Kerho most recently served as senior vice president of strategy, media and analytics at Organic, inc. Also at MXM, Doug Rozen has been named senior vice president/general manager of MXM’s mobile unit, The Hyperfactory. Rozen most recently served as senior vice president, global lead at Aimia Inc. Kerho will be based in Los Angeles, Rozen in New York. (FishbowlNY)

Nathaniel Brown has been named vice president of corporate affairs and communications at News Corp. Brown most recently worked as MTV’s senior vice president of corporate communications and had been with the network since 2010. Prior to his time at MTV, Brown held the same position at XM Satellite Radio from 2005 to 2008. (FishbowlNY)

Marc Grabowski has been named COO at Nanigans. He had been VP of media sales for North America at Yahoo!. At Nanigans, Grabowski will lead the sales, marketing, business development, and operations teams. Highlights of his tenure at Yahoo include driving its acquisition of Interclick and leading Genome sales, mid-market sales, and reseller relationships. (AllFacebook)

Music PR News: Radio Still Rules the Roost

Some recent Nielsen findings will be relevant to anyone with more than a passing interest in playing and/or promoting music. In short: The more things change, the more they stay the same. A newly released study reveals that old, reliable, traditional radio is still the way to go when it comes to getting your material heard–and making some money in the process (perish the thought!).

Now that digital music officially brings in more revenue than physical recordings (nearly $9 billion in 2012 alone), how can musicians and their representatives make the most of the “new” business model? Two answers: old-school broadcasting and YouTube.

Despite all the torrenting and streaming that’s supposedly going on, radio still dominates the industry: 48% of respondents told Nielsen that they discover new music most often on the air; “friends/relatives” ranked a distant second at 10%. This statistic didn’t even include services like Spotify, Pandora or Last.fm, so if your tunes don’t appear on the AM or FM dial then you’re going nowhere fast.

A more surprising number comes from the all-important teenage demographic: Read more

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