LOWDOWN ON THE UPFRONT: MTVN Emphasizes MSE

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NEW YORK--Star power aside, MTVN’s upfront presentation to advertisers was about ROI and MSE.

MTVN chairman and CEO Judy McGrath led off the presentation, held Thursday afternoon at the Nokia Theater in Times Square, by talking about “return on innovation” the value for marketers in the content provider’s  reinvention of how audiences experience content and advertising on every screen.

“MTV Networks is a creative engine, and today there are literally no borders, no boundaries for creativity. We’re taking our content and our audience and moving with them freely across every screen,” said McGrath. “Our fans aren’t merely consuming our content – they’re more invested and engaged in our brands than ever. It all starts with hits, and we’ve seriously pumped up the creative and financial capital we’re putting into generating hit content.”

The presentation also stressed MTV’s efforts to establish innovative marketing partnerships on multiple platforms; the integration of MTVN brands with commercial messages; and its co-creation of ads to improve impact and relevance with its audiences.

The company’s Digital Fusion unit also affords marketing solutions on Web sites, online games and widgets.

In addition, MTVN president of U.S. ad sales Hank Close used the upfront as the forum to unveil the company’s "Multi-Screen Engagement Case Study,"which was conducted around MTV’s reality series, The Hills.

Among the MSE findings: 50% of viewers who watch only the TV show report a strong emotional connection to “The Hills,” while 76% of viewers who watch it on-air and also go online in search of additional Hills-related content report a strong emotional connection.

Moreover, nearly 90% of viewers who watch the show, go online for more information and who have an avatar in the Virtual Hills virtual world say they’re strongly connected to the franchise, while 96% of viewers who engage in all of the aforementioned pursuits and also create their own content online around the show report a strong connection.

“Advancing technologies are altering consumers’ relationships with brands, and we make it our business to focus on consumer behavior and input,” said Close. “Multi-screen measurement is a core competency at MTVN. In this landmark study, we found that television is still the biggest driver of brand awareness, and that multiplatform media campaigns perform at double to triple the effectiveness of a single media platform.”

MTVN’s presentation also featured its share of guest appearances from the likes of Justin Timberlake, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Rock, Ashanti, Taylor Swift, The Hills Lauren Conrad, Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, George Foreman and VH1’s Dr. Drew Pinsky.

There were performances by John Legend, Sarah Silverman, JabbaWockeeZ from MTV’s Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew and the cast of the hit Broadway musicalLegally Blonde.

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