Monday, March 26, 2007

MTV 2.0 - Embedding Brands

MTV has had it's heyday.

Founded in 1981 by Bob Pittman, MTV now days is an old tired Viacom asset. It's target audience, is consuming digital media rather than siting in front of a programmed TV channel - which was noted on Guy Kawasaki's young person panels "Young Generation Innovation 2006" video.

In Wired's article; "A Second Life for MTV", Matt Bostwick, Senior Vice President of MTV's Leapfrog initiative - an experimental skunk works for MTV - is trying to reinvent the MTV brand for it's young consumers - by leapfrogging the current NetGen online behaviour, therefore re-positioning the MTV brand as leader in the near future.

Traditionally, MTV has earned it's keep by owning a hard-to-reach young demographic audience by supplying cool video clips hosted by cool and sexy VJ's coupled with original youth orientated programming - then selling premium Ad airtime to it's advertisers.

Now day's MTV's programming is full of cheap reality shows as NetGens are browsing online on MySpace for music and undiscovered bands/dj's/artists in a self discovery way.

The Leapfrog initiative has imagined a future beyond the MySpace's or other Social Networking sites that youths pimp-up with customised profiles.

The future that Leapfrog sees is a 3D virtual world; similar to Second Life - where NetGen's have a funky Avatar and interact with other NetGens in a 3D world, forging friendships with peers that can be across the globe and share music, trends and fashion ideas all online in a virtual world.

In this 3D world, Net Gen's would hang out at a Coca-Cola theatre where the latest bands/DJ's would perform in exclusive screenings or they would chill out at the Gillette Virtual extreme sports challenge among many other sponsored events.

Some of the scenes may well then be aired on MTV; engaging users with it's brands and sponsors as they are real participants in the freshly created shows - embedding brands into the target community.

The first initiative has been aired on MTV and has been based on the Laguna Beach (the real OC) MTV show - and it is available for NetGen's to sign up now at Viritual Laguna Beach - taking Web 2.0 Marketing way beyond the 30 second spot or a Flash driven sub site.

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