The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards aired this past Sunday. If you watched them, you probably noticed that some of the artists and acts were completely bizarre.Lady Gaga’s outfit was so heavy she couldn’t walk to the stage without two body guards lifting her out of her chair.
There is a method for the madness– it generates buzz.
While your company doesn’t have to be as extreme as the VMAs, events and their attendees are important marketing/PR for any business.
A meat dress? Yeah, she wore that amongst other odd, weird, and crazy outfits throughout the night.
But her crazy outfits do one big thing: they get people talking. And not only about her, but about the VMAs where she wore it. MTV loves this because every media outlet buzzed about her, and consequently them, the next day.
By continuously putting herself out there for scrutiny, Lady Gaga has produced 100x more buzz for her music. MTV's embraces this because it gets them attention, not to mention all the other artists who wear odd, crazy outfits to their awards show.
Know that in your business pushing things to the edge and making yourself a little uncomfortable will go a long way in learning your audience and defining your brand.
Last year at the VMAs, Kanye West caused a commotion by interrupting Taylor Swift's award acceptance speech. He stole the mic and said another celebrity should have won instead.
This year, both Swift and West performed, and both referenced the previous year's drama. MTV's goal for getting both performers had to be in part because of the controversy. It wouldn't surprise us if next year the pair performed together!
Know that controversy in your business can be a good thing. Don't shy away, instead address it and even applaud it. Your fans will love it and your critics will respect it.
What was the Jersey Shore nominated for? Nothing! But the cast was there, and they were a big part oft he show, making appearances in the pre-show, skits throughout the VMAs and as hosts.
The hit show is one of MTV's most buzzed about shows, so they integrated the cast into the VMAs even though they have nothing to do with music. People want to see them and hear about them, so MTV used the VMAs as an outlet.
Think about what is already buzzing in your industry. Your audience wants to hear about that so find a way to tie that into your company.
The VMA's created a giant Twitter board exclusively for the event. It tracked the hottest trending topics around the show and still is being updated today. It was mentioned numerous times during the VMAs and people were encouraged to participate.
What value did it add to the actual awards? Probably not much. But it was another outlet to get viewers involved and buzzing the program.
Find fun things to do that piggy back on hot social trends to stay relevant and encourage people's participation.
The most important event strategy is to get people hooked immediately and then keep their interest. People shouldn't want to forgo the event and tune in for just one, small portion.
The VMAs brought in one of the biggest hip-hop artists of all time to do hook viewers at the beginning of their two-hour program and keep them entertained until the final award. They framed Eminem's performance as his 'comeback to the music scene.'
A hook is extremely important for any company to retain interest and grow loyal users.
Think about how you get people to your site, store, event, etc. What is that hook that gets people excited for your venture?
To top it all off, MTV brought out Cher, out one of the most controversial and well known figures in the music industry to announce an award.
Cher is both legendary and outlandish-- just look at her outfit (right)). Also, the VMAs had a dream match in 2010 by having the award go to Lady Gaga. As you can tell from the picture, it gave media, bloggers and viewers a thousand things to talk about.
Think about who you can use in your industry that would create buzz because they are well known. If you associate your brand with someone well respected, your company will be positively reflected.
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