MTV, the pop culture icon that "killed the radio star," has influenced music, video, and lifestyle culture with signature edginess and bold irreverence for almost four decades. While the brand continually and successfully reinvents itself, evoking deep nostalgia for Baby Boomers and Gen X, it needed a boost in awareness and connection with Gen Z.
VidCon, the world’s largest celebration of online video, provided the perfect setting for MTV to delight crowds as a lifestyle insider to all while promoting the launch of its latest co-branded fashion partnership with Puma.
But how can a cult icon stand out IRL among a swarm of video influencers?
Playing a new retro tune
By creating a truly immersive experience that wows this engaged and social-media-savvy community, the design would play to this generation’s motivations around authenticity, embracing imperfection, and jumping at any opportunity to be part of the action and own the experience.
We worked closely with MTV to blend digital with analogue and produce an old school/modernistic mash-up of two experience zones that would inspire attendees to connect, engage, and get creative with the brand…and broadcast it across the social sphere!
Imperfect perfection — welcome to #MTVHouseofStyle
Guided by MTV’s future-retro spirit, we designed an interactive pop-cultural playscape with two opposing yet complementary immersive zones – each focused on the participant, his or her originality, imperfections, and desire for human connection.
The “glitch” area featured an infinity-mirrored space that enveloped visitors in a stunning light show. Programmed to respond to music, the wall of fluorescent lighting created in- and out-of-sync, glitchy movement to convey the digital yet imperfect MTV aesthetic. This edgy DJ effect created the perfect setting for video selfies.
The analogue “Patch Me Up” fashion creation space encouraged attendees to get creative with classic MTV-branded patches. Specifically designed to tie back to the Puma collaboration, the retro patches could be customised with presses, stamps, and eco-friendly materials.
cross-platform social reach
in social noise
of attendees visited the space
Social amplified the video star
With a cross-platform social reach of 80 million (Facebook 29.3M, Instagram 26.4M, YouTube 19.9M, and Twitter 3.15M) and a 2400% increase (294 unique mentions and over 78M social reach) in social noise within one week post-event, the MTV experience rocked VidCon! The two zones attracted a whopping 40% (c.3k) of VidCon attendees, inspired thousands of shared selfies, and depleted MTV’s 3,000 patches within a few hours. These incredible results gave MTV instant clout with online influencers across the world.
Tom Gunn, Vice President, Global Franchise Planning at Viacom International Media Networks, said, “This activation had high expectations as well as limited time and budget. But working with Freeman was incredibly easy. The delivery was not only seamless but exceeded expectations. Our activation was the talk of the show and represented MTV in the way we envisioned.”