MIPCOM, CANNES: MTV recently launched their green campaign in May 2007 and rolled it out across their vast network – the biggest in the world with 57 networks – with a core aim of changing behaviour.
This will be their second social responsibility campaign that will empower their viewers, the youth of today and the youth of tomorrow. Since the 80s MTV have continued to keep the spotlight on the HIV & Aids condition with the Staying Alive campaign, as with each year their viewers come of age and susceptible to infection. As such they are proud to be recognised as the largest mass media campaigners on the matter and allocate over $50-million worth of airtime to the cause annually.
The path to treading this “seemingly trendy fad’ was a conscious one built on “altruistic values’ and as a result of a worldwide independent research paper conducted to examine the youth of today. The research brief was centred on “Youth Wellbeing – and how they feel about the world.’ The research was comprehensive and provided insight into a misunderstood social demographic, their 16-24 audience, and ascertained who they are, what their fears are and how they fit into the global village, but also presented some controversial findings.
The three major points that stimulated MTV into action was that the youth do care about the world, with the climate and environment providing the most concern, but are removed from the issue as they do not know how to make a difference (they have no “voice’); they feel more stressed in today’s smaller technological world and feel less safe consequently; and lastly that they relax by watching entertainment media.
Armed with this knowledge as an entertainment media network, and with today’s media spotlight resolutely on the matter, it made sense to engage in this long-term initiative as their consumers had just told them what concerned them.
This was made possible by forging strategic partnerships with six advertising agencies (which delivered 45-slots on a pro bono basis), The Carbon Trust and government agencies in US and UK. The campaign is universally relevant and has been localised in various territories. All Switched content is available on a “Rights Free’ basis to any broadcaster to air around the world.
Georgia Arnold, VP Public Relations, at MTV made clear that their organisation was “practising what they preach’ and throughout their network various energy-saving initiatives and recycling were being implemented – as well as promoting that the “Switch’ they advocate is followed at home with their thousands of employees. Arnold said that they will not solve the problem but they will empower and inform their viewers with the facts and quick and easy measures into how their small behavioural change can make a huge difference if everyone does it. Carbon off-setting will be a last resort.
MTV is determined to make a difference by empowering the adults of tomorrow to lower their carbon footprint and, Arnold says, to “Turn people ON’ which will subsequently allow MTV networks to “facilitate citizenship.’