NEW YORK Perhaps determined to make a big splash for its first show in Brooklyn (or maybe a reaction to last year's more than 50 percent drop in the ratings), MTV hit the city with more than half a dozen events leading up to the live telecast of the Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on Sunday. It was a prime opportunity for sponsors such as State Farm, Windows Phone, and Taco Bell to get in front of the legions of music fans before the show aired and align themselves with popular talent, as well as a way for the network itself to increase the scope of the award show.
Aside from the ceremony, the biggest physical exposure for brands attached to the V.M.A.s was during the preshow event that saw MTV close an entire city block for a one-hour affair that combined the red carpet entrances of stars with live musical acts and social media prompts. State Farm, which sponsored the performances, was present on stage, with its name on a backdrop of white plastic cups embedded in a chain-link fence, while CoverGirl's integration came via DJ duo Nervo, the cosmetic company's spokesmodels, who spun from a booth on the arrivals carpet.
There was even more opportunity for sponsors digitally. In addition to the telecast that was live streamed, MTV's extensive social media program encouraged viewers to vote, post commentary, and pose questions via Twitter, Instagram, and Vine. Pepsi's effort was particularly strategic, offering clues that allowed fans to listen to snippets of two unreleased tracks from Katy Perry's new album and then vote for their favorite, all via the hashtag #KatyNow. And before Perry closed out the award show, the singer announced the winning song and when it would be available on iTunes.
Here's a look at the events surrounding the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.