I Want My MTV
I remember when MTV first started out. I was in grade school and whenever I went to my grandparents house I would run to the television and put MTV on because we didn’t have cable at home. I would sit in the living room and watch video after video, entranced by seeing the music come to life. These were the days when MTV just played music videos, and videos by the likes of Devo, Rod Stewart, Men at Work and Pat Benatar ruled the day.
Cult of Personality
Between music videos we were introduced to the newest “jockeys” on the block – video jockeys – or VJs. When MTV debuted in 1981 there were 5 original VJs: Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, J.J. Jackson and Martha Quinn. As the years progressed, VJs became celebrities in their own right. My favorite of all time was Downtown Julie Brown (whom incidentally I stood right next to when I was on Club MTV – but that’s for another post!). Her mix of style, sass and her accent made her the “it girl” of the 80s – Wubba Wubba Wubba! Back then, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up the answer would have been an MTV VJ.
The Changing Media Landscape
Fast forward almost 30 years and the MTV landscape has changed. You’d be hard pressed to find a music video and thus, the role of the VJ had changed. You’re more likely find reality TV shows followed by more reality TV shows. Sure, there are people hosting shows but they aren’t VJs.
MTV isn’t the only thing that has changed. We are in the midst of a cultural revolution: The way people learn and communicate is in a state of upheaval. The growing influence of the interweb, texting and social media like Facebook and Twitter have changed the game. Now, in order to be relevant, a company must have a presence online – and a website is not enough. An entity must have a Facebook page and Twitter account at the very least.
The New Kid on the Block: MTV TJ
MTV was responsible for coining the term VJ and now they’ve coined a new term – TJ – also known as Twitter Jockey. Yes, you read correctly Twitter Jockey. MTV is looking for a TJ with personality who carries a lot of online influence. Their job description? Tweeting.
MTV is currently holding a contest to select the very first TJ. Twenty contestants are vying for the coveted title of TJ, relocation to NYC, $100,000 salary and a one-year contract with MTV, “exclusive access to events and celebrities, and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a new MTV personality”. Sounds like the cushiest job ever.
I Want My @MTV
It’s been interesting to see how marketing has adapted to changing media. The growing popularity of blogs and mobile, Facebook and Twitter campaigns is overwhelming. MTV’s search for a TJ is just one example of the possibilities for online marketing. From creating new jobs, new celebrities and new ways to spread your message, MTV is a prime example of how large companies can harness the power of the interweb.
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