What Does MTV See When Gazing at their Navel?

What Does MTV See When Gazing at their Navel?


This ad no doubt started to go wrong at the design stage when its creators decided that the ad needed to define MTV.   There is no need to define MTV for the viewer. That’s an old, informational, view of advertising.  Give viewers an enjoyable sample of the MTV experience. Advertising is experiential, not informational.

The ad should give viewers an exciting sample of the MTV experience in hopes that they will come back for more. If, after watching the ad, viewers expect that time spent with MTV will be a little more enjoyable, the ad works. Otherwise, the ad is a waste.

Unfortunately, rather than focusing on the experience MTV viewers want, most of the ad seems to be an exercise in navel gazing, a series of obscure descriptions of what MTV is. Viewers don’t care. They are only interested in how MTV will make them feel.

“MTV makes me want to dance,” and “The perfect combination of sound waves, particles, and lust,” begin get at how viewers want to feel. But the rest of the ad is about how MTV likes to think of themselves.

Viewers know from the beginning that the ad isn’t working. The ad opens by saying out loud and in type on the screen, “This is a brand advertisement for MTV.” You insult your audience when you say explicitly what they can figure out for themselves. Viewers know this is an ad for MTV. It’s just not a good one.

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