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The Internet Twerks!

  |  August 30, 2013   |  Comments

An examination into the shift behind why live and custom content is central to brand success in a digital world.

Sunday night, MTV, the station that used to play music videos, held its annual televised Video Music Awards (VMAs) show.

In between Gaga going Little Mermaid and Katy Perry co-headlining a boxing homage with her sports bra, there was Miley. The artist formerly playing Hannah Montana twerked down the house.

Let's accept the social commentary from Cap'n Lou Albano's music video daughter that "girls just want to have fun" and set aside the moralization of Miley's moves for a moment.

Because there's a shift taking place that bears an examination as close as Robin Thicke was privy to on stage with Cyrus.

It's the shift behind why live and custom content is central to brand success in a digital world.

In the beginning, the VMAs served the principal purpose of giving MTV a live event to sell TV inventory against - and at a premium, with the ability to air repeatedly and incessantly with further ad revenues realized.

Now, as best as one can tell, the VMAs exist to create a digital and social vault that forms the new-age water cooler, flowing with sponsored Red Bull and 5 Hour Energy. It also creates a vehicle whereby brands can engage with audiences on multiple screens with unified messages, sponsoring specific prepackaged components tailored in advance and brought to life on stage and on the TV screen.

And the data bears this out. Take a look at the Twitter data about the VMAs. Nearly 18.5 million tweets were sent out. How big was Miley's behind-shaking moment? It said Bye Bye Bye to the *NSync reunion with JT for top tweeted moment, averaging more than 300,000 TPM (tweets per minute). That's nearly as many tweets per minute as Miley's own TPM (twerks per minute) registered.

In fact, the VMAs had a bounce-back TV year with more than 10 million viewers. But the TV numbers only tell part of the story. Consider these data points provided by MTV parent, Viacom:

  • More than four million people visited VMA content on MTV.com, mobile web, and the MTV app, generating more than 15 million total streams.
  • The live stream portion ranked as the biggest in Viacom's history.
  • MTV mobile saw its biggest day ever with more than two million visitors, six million page views, and 1.8 million streams.

For brands, both producers of such content and brands that seek to associate and connect with target audiences, the VMAs is just the latest example of how TV and social continues to transform the potential reach possible with a target audience.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Copeland

Chris Copeland is chief executive officer of GroupM Next, the forward-looking media innovation unit of GroupM. Chris is responsible for curating and communicating insight-focused media solutions across established and emerging platforms. Leveraging his multi-year experience with emerging media companies, Chris is tasked with stewarding GroupM Next in partnership with agency leadership from GroupM's four media marketing and marketing service agencies (Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare). The focus is participating with those companies leading changes that most impact consumer media consumption, brand favorability, and purchase behavior.

Guiding the Predictive Insights, Technology, Research, and Communications teams at GroupM Next, Chris is responsible for overseeing the amplification of insights into opportunities that directly benefit the business of GroupM agencies and their clients. GroupM is the world's largest media investment management group and the media holding arm of WPP. Together, GroupM agencies represent almost $30 billion in overall North American billings (RECMA).

Chris helped guide the development of GroupM Next, which was established to deliver the best thinking and new insights from within the GroupM community. The unit also focuses on technology innovation connecting all media channels, but especially, online, social, mobile, and addressable.

Chris was selected to lead GroupM Next after nine years of leading the search marketing practice within GroupM. Among his accomplishments are the development and integration of the global search marketing offering for GroupM agencies, GroupM Search, which managed $1.3 billion in search billings globally and grew to more than 1,000 search marketing strategists serving 40 countries. In 2009, Chris created the research division of GroupM Search and developed research studies that deepened the understanding of consumer behavior across search and social media for leading brands and garnered global traction - most notably: The Influenced: Social Media, Search, and the Interplay of Consideration and Consumption; The Virtuous Circle: The Role of Social Media in the Purchase Pathway;and From Intent to In-Store: Search's Role in the New Retail Shopper Profile.

Chris entered the digital industry in 1996 when he joined search marketing agency WGI (later acquired by Tempus Group). He has been with the WPP and GroupM family of companies since 2000 when, recognizing search as an emerging media channel with incredible potential for brands, WPP acquired Tempus Group and CIA, and ultimately rebranded the search marketing agency as Outrider. As senior partner and managing director of Outrider, Chris delivered on GroupM's vision for the channel, leading the organization to 500 percent growth with global presence over five years, and establishing award-winning search marketing strategies that have become industry-wide best practices. In 2002, Chris successfully implemented the integration of search into the cross-channel media planning process at MEC, creating the first search marketing practice to sit within a media communications and planning company. In 2007, he guided the business expansion of search marketing practices into all GroupM agencies. In 2009, Chris was named CEO of GroupM Search, where he was responsible for driving global search strategy for the organization, while fostering the innovative application of search as an integrated channel. In his role, Chris also provided digital strategy counsel for clients, including AT&T, Dell, Audi, Volkswagen, and more.

Chris is an active member on advisory boards at the 4A's, Google, Yahoo, MSN, and I-COM. He is a frequent speaker in global forums discussing the digital marketplace and how the space is evolving, and serves as a regular resource to national and industry press. Chris contributes editorial commentary regularly to Advertising Age, ClickZ, MediaPost, and MediaBizBloggers.com. In fall 2013, Chris was honored as an inductee into the ClickZ Digital Hall of Fame.

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