Every year, the MTV VMAs (Video Music Awards) stake a claim as the ultimate anti-academy awards, with a colourful night of jaw-dropping performances watched by a vast global audience. From Britney’s serpentine co-star to Gaga’s meat dress, headline-grabbing moments play a key role in VMAs folklore. The branding follows suit, with MTV’s archetypal, in-your-face attitude shouting louder than other awards. For 2022, MTV invited Studio Dumbar/DEPT® to create a campaign identity encompassing motion design and social media visuals.
Like all modern broadcasters, MTV communicates with its audience across a myriad of platforms: from TV spots and print ads to digital billboards, social media, online video sites, and more. With numerous channels, artists, categories and awards to promote across so many different platforms, confidence and consistency were key. MTV’s theme for the 2022 VMAs encouraged engagement, inviting fans at home to party with us.
Our concept placed video clips of nominated artists within the letters of the VMA logo, transforming each letterform into a room-like 3D environment – like a personal stage. The animated letters shift back and forth, tilting and rotating in sequence with the soundtrack. Combined with bold typography and vivid colours, the animations are confident and immersive, expressing MTV’s party with us line to a tee. For the type, we chose Signs (by Swiss foundry, Maxitype) – a chunky, spirited typeface that communicates with clarity whether static or in motion. While the colours remained consistent with the previous year, we turned up the volume to create arresting visuals with genuine impact. A noteworthy touchpoint was a Nicki Minaj VMAs Video Vanguard spot, displayed on two huge screens overlooking Penn Plaza in Manhattan.
The assets we delivered contributed to a vibrant and effective campaign – from early promos, to the awards ceremony and beyond. The VMAs audience rose 3% on the previous year, with fans watching 1.59 billion minutes of content across TV, streaming and social platforms. With 40 million social media interactions during the live broadcast alone, the 2022 awards trumped both the Super Bowl and the Oscars. MTV has called it the “most social VMAs of all time”. The verdict: an all-singing, all-dancing success story.