MTV Revs Up Social Efforts Around Annual Movie Awards

Introduces Voting by Twitter Hashtag Before and Through the Event

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Continuing its effort to engage viewers with social media, MTV is taking votes for an annual movie award via Twitter for the first time.

The revamped Twitter Tracker for the upcoming MTV Movie Awards
The revamped Twitter Tracker for the upcoming MTV Movie Awards

The voting, which opens today and continues into the live show this Sunday, is part of MTV 's plan to emphasize social media before and after the telecast as much as, or maybe even more than, during the show itself. MTV dubbed its digital strategy "storytelling without borders" at its most recent upfront pitch.

"We are thinking beyond the linear broadcast," said Colin Helms, senior VP of MTV digital. "Our audience doesn't think about it in such a narrow way. It's about the lead-up, during, and more importantly, what happens after, when content turns to currency that viewers share. How do we keep the audience connected beyond the linear event?"

Annual franchises such as the MTV Movie Awards are particularly fertile for social TV, according to MTV President Stephen Friedman. "Our audience is always looking for opportunities to connect and tent-poles provide a good opportunity for them to engage with something bigger," he said.

The network is taking Twitter votes for the "Best Hero" category, whose (fictional) nominees are Harry Potter, Captain America, Katniss Everdeen from "The Hunger Games" and Jenk from "21 Jump Street ." The voting is sponsored by Sprint.

To compliment live viewing, there will be an All Access Livestream that includes six camera feeds and a celebrity GIF flipbook, which will be sponsored by Revlon and incorporate Emma Stone, the brand's spokesperson. MTV is also revamping its Twitter Tracker visualization of tweets related to the show and testing a similar tool for Facebook.

The network will follow the show on Sunday with the first epsiode of the second season of "Teen Wolf," so it will also use its multiscreen initiatives around the movie awards to promote , what else, a social effort around "Teen Wolf" on Facebook and other platforms.

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