MTV's VMAs Promo Creates a Blank Canvas for Artists to Fill

As Performers Are Announced, Spot Will Evolve With Their Customized Touches

Published On
Aug 09, 2016

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Director Anthony Mandler (who's helmed videos for the likes of Apple (with Taylor Swift), Rihanna and Jay-Z) helms a stylish creative campaign for MTV's VMA awards, the promo for which breaks today.

The spot pays homage to the VMAs being held Madison Square Garden for the first time in their history. The promo, shot in black and white, features a single figure in an astronaut's suit walking across the iconic arena, as a voiceover by hip hop artist Swizz Beatz explains that this "stage of stages" is a blank canvas on which each performer will express their own artistry.

The idea is that as MTV announces performers for the show (all still yet to com), each performer will select a signature Pantone color and message, and MTV will commission a visual artist or filmmaker to bring their words and creative idea via a new 60-second content piece up until the show on August 28. These pieces will run online, while the content will then be incorporated into the larger campaign, with a new color and creative piece added to the "blank canvas" for the final campaign.

Andrei Chahine, the VP-creative director for MTV, told Creativity: "This is our way of tonally repositioning the show from celebrity to artistry, truly celebrating the art of the music video and re-establishing the VMAs as a stage and platform for pure creative expression."

The campaign is being created in-house. MTV's 2015 VMAs campaign, "Green Screens," won a Cyber Gold Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.


Aug 09, 2016
Brand :
Client :
Director :
Anthony Mandler
Agency :
Voiceover :
Swizz Beatz
Editor :
Jarrett Fijal
Editor :
Colorist :
Tom Poole
Color :
Company 3
Sound Design :

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