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#MashCon: MTV announces live 24-hour bus tour show for OMAs

If you thought MTV was going to stop at the announcement of their new Teen Wolf social TV campaign, you were wrong. In Orlando at Mashable’s second annual #MashCon, Executive Vice President of Digital Media for MTV Networks Music and Logo Group Dermot McCormack just announced that the 3rd OMAs (Online Music Awards) will be coming back this summer for a 24-hour live streamed bus tour through the Mississippi Delta where 24 awards will be given.

Not to worry, we’ve already requested a seat on the bus to cover it live. They’ve chosen the region to pay tribute to musical greats like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Justin Timberlake. This historic awards show is set to both break records and redefine what it means to program content in the age of social TV. We sat down with McCormack a few hours before he took the stage to get the details.

Lost Remote: What’s in store for the OMAs?

Dermot McCormack: We said let’s come up with a new awards show and reinvent the concept of an awards show. Some of themes are – what can you not do on television, and what are you not supposed to do at awards shows.

We put a cube in the middle of old Vegas [for the first OMAs], you could only see in from digital. Best Kanye West tweet were one of the awards. We gave the award for fan army. We said what else can you not do on television. You probably can’t break the world’s freestyle rap record. People would tweet in and tell him what to say.We then said lets have another one in 6 months time. We put it in West Hollywood on Halloween. Robyn played. We said lets break another record. We broke the world dance party record. 15 kids danced live on the internet for 24 hours.

We got so much traffic and we learned that millennials, they’re used to such a prepackaged media world and that’s why [live] sports and awards and tent poles are selling well in social media [because they're unpredictable].

[For the new OMAs we said] it will take place on June 27 and June 28. in 2006, Jay-Z he broke the record for most concerts played in 24 hours. He did seven, private jets. Hip hop, baller style. Let’s break that record and break it in a truck in small towns. Then the truck turned into a bus. We’re going to from Memphis all the way to New Orleans and will stop at six destination. We’re going to go to small clubs and small venues. There’s a live feed in the bus, externally on the bus [and more]. There will be unexpected moments. There will be 24 awards in 24 hours.

LR: How will you pull of this production?

McCormack: It’s a very ambitious project, it’s never been done before. There’s a whole theme of “storytelling without borders”. We want to bring storytelling back to this whole conversation. We love technology and new platforms. We’re interested in stories. Technology changes every week and humans change every 1,000 years. Stories are the thing that humans want.

The OMAs work on several levels, it challenges the notion on how you produce an awards show and how you tell the story across iPads and social networks. Platform agnostic but platform aware. We’re going to customize to move forward. You may see a performance or two. There will be interactivity and there will be audience participation. We will be jumping into social networks and the audience will help us “drive the bus.”

LR: Will there be integrations with linear TV?

McCormack: You won’t be able to watch the whole show on television, but it will have integrations. We will have a reporter saying here’s what just happened, for example. In the second [OMAs] Robyn opened the show, she was on live on MTV, live on Logo.

Everything we do now, is really, let’s move into as many platforms as we can. We were one of the first media companies to understand something very key – that social is a programming platform, not just a communication platform or marketing platform. You can’t just say watch Jersey Shore at 10pm, you have to engage. Understand what the users are using it [social TV] for.

Because we own the script, the source code, let’s get it at the creation level. Instead of bolting on new platforms, let’s get on it at the beginning. This is a very emerging space. Can we take characters into digital spaces, evolve them, take them back in. If you’re a super fan you can go deeper and deeper and deeper. We probably have two core content philosophies – make our shows bigger on all platforms. Then for O Music Awards, create new content that you can only create on these platforms. Can we be the first company to reinvent an awards show.

LR: What partners are you working with?

McCormack: Happy Cog, they did last one and this one. Honda, SK Energy and Starbucks® Frappuccino® blended beverages are the confirmed sponsors.

LR: How are you going to integrate sponsors?

McCormack: The great advantage of the OMAs, we have 24 hours so we have a lot of time. You can think about how an automobile might be integrated or an energy drink about a band not sleeping for 24 hours and doing a performance. That’s a piece of the puzzle that we want to push. This false idea that humans hate advertising. They don’t. They hate irrelevant advertising. They don’t hate advertising. We can all think about a commercial we grew up with that we love. We can think of a commercial we saw last week that we love.

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