For MTV, A Kiss Not Just a Kiss
Topic Introduction to Marketing
Key Words MTV, Madonna, Britney Spears, marketing
InfoTrac Reference CJ107021395
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News Story 

MTV is a brand-a very big brand. Teenage viewers choose between cable networks just as they choose between FUBU and DKNY. For MTV, the scandalous tongue-wrestling between pop divas Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at an annual MTV Music Awards gala was all part of promoting the network's reputation for sensationalistic, envelop-pushing television programming.

People watch the MTV Music Video Awards each year because people love a spectacle. When the big stars of rock 'n' roll gather together to get their freak on, you know weird stuff is going to happen.

For certain, sensationalism is nothing new to Madonna-she has made an entire career out of clever and controversial videos. From the "Papa Don't Preach" clip in which she portrays a pregnant teen, to her "Like a Prayer" video which featured religious iconography in an erotic light, the Material Girl never fails to reinforce MTV's brand image to young audiences.

Using star power to cultivate the interest of a target market is a perennially popular strategy. When Shaq or Carrot Top make appearances in high-profile brand campaigns you can be sure that NBA-lovers and college frat boys everywhere pay close attention. It is precisely that attention-grabbing power of celebrity that marketers expect to translate into big sales in the marketplace.


Do you think consumers are more inclined to use a product simply because a popular celebrity appears in marketing campaigns or claims to use the brand? Why or why not?

Source Richard Huff, "Star-studded crowd turns out for MTV Video Music Awards," Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, August 28, 2003, pK1825.
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