MTV rebrands for a new generation
With its new European rebranding that captures some of the bizarre neon-splattered, Lisa Frank sticker-adorned aesthetic of the 1980s and a new slogan to boot, MTV has managed to retain some aspect of its roots while updating its image for a new generation and could be introduced to the American sector next. The “I Want My MTV” transition to “I am my MTV” should serve as a lesson to similar evolutions in branding.
Generation X decried MTV because the brand that once stood for “Music Television” has become something else even as they themselves have grown and become parent to the new generation now watching the network’s shows. The teens and young adults of today consume their media on mobile devices and clips on demand, which often last less than a minute; today’s youth don’t sit for a several hour block weekly to catch a music video. The new MTV website and production plans, however, brilliantly capture some of that original flavor with more contemporary trappings.
MTV has long led the way
MTV has actually always been a user-interactive brand through its VJ hosted shows such as “Dial MTV” or “Total Request Live,” and giving users the ability to see their own images and videos on air by using the hashtag #MTVBump continues this tradition. MTV’s overall theme for most of the new production will be “louder, shorter and hyper-visual,” which should feel right at home with the Vines, Snapchats and other bite-sized media preferred today.
Alongside the user-submitted content will be curated videos and music that continue the tradition of introducing viewers to video-art, much as the network did with Andy Warhol or Spike Jonze. The redesign of MTV’s website using responsive web design (RWD) has already proved to be a massive success in increasing social media engagement. Rebranding MTV to incorporate more user-produced content and shift away from passive media will undoubtedly garner even more participation.