MTV’s Reverb

9 Dec

MY final paper is on advertising in MTV—however, 1980’s pre-reality series MTV. What I wish I could consider despite narrowness of scope is MTV in its entirety. In researching, I’ve found a few interesting themes and elements of the relationship between consumer and network in terms of modern MTV, including MTV’s new advertising product, Reverb. These coincidentally coincide with topics brought up in the last few classes before presentations.

Reverb is a tool that allows potential advertisers to simultaneously advertise on both MTV’s website and airwaves; it debuted during the 2012 VMAs. It is meant to target the multi-tasker—Wall Street Journal article I looked at (ambiguously) claimed 76 million social media comments were made about TV shows in July 2012, up from 8.8 million in July 2011. This article also said 84% of smart-phone users used their device while watching TV in the last 30-day period. So, when a commercial pops up on the network for a company, ads for that company will simultaneously appear on MTV’s website. Companies like Pepsi, Verizon, and Kraft have already bought into this advertising tool.

This brings me to the question of the future of television, and the intended audience of MTV. MTV assumes most of their audience active in both social media and using mobile devices; this makes sense as the MTV audience is a young audience (the “Millennial” audience). However, the existence of Reverb is clear evidence for the convergence of social media and internet-use and television.

Earlier in November, there was apparently conference, to address “the future of television.” What was made evident was the awareness of TV executives to “develop content to ‘live on all [digital] platforms.’” The conclusions were basically the same ones examined in class last week—specific advertising to niche markets rather than the largest demographic (like point-casting), the importance of YouTube as a television medium, etc.

An interview with Kraft VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement, Bonin Bough, links up MTV with the Millennial customer and use of Reverb:

Adweek: How did this MTV deal come about?
As we looked across the partnership landscape, clearly MTV is one of those partners that provide a unique view into the Millennial consumer. They also provide a unique view into a multi-channel constant approach. That is one of the cornerstones of the partnership, which is “OK, how do we look at the Millennial consumer in a completely different way?” How do we continue to use and leverage the research around their behaviors? And then how do we develop multi-channel content engagement experiences?

The future of television is partly the ability to create new approaches in advertising, and the technology available to do so. Most recently this has hinged on the multi-media approach targeted towards internet and mobile device using Millenials. Advertising both helps to develop the future of television, while at the same time adapting to the changing audience and medium.

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One Response to “MTV’s Reverb”

  1. elisabethsanders December 9, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    This is a really interesting way for a network to acknowledge the idea that a modern audience might be engaging in a particular kind of distraction—consuming media from multiple sources at once—and try to combat this directly at the level at which it impacts their profits: the fact that this distraction is taking place during advertisements, and thus makes those advertisements less valuable to companies. I wonder what MTV, or other networks, might be doing to fight or compensate for this particular kind of distraction with their content, as well as ads. Are they going straight to where this distraction hurts their revenues, and ignoring how it impacts the viewing of their own product? Or are they trying to integrate an understanding of multi-media viewing into all aspects of programming?

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