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MTV Breaks engages young people to create content at EMA awards


By Haley Velasco, Freelance journalist

November 11, 2016 | 3 min read

For the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA), the network empowered fans, including 12 Rotterdam locals, to create a 48-hour MTV EMA Snapchat Creative Factory. The day before the event, the group of 12 worked to create and produce content to take over the MTV International Snapchat Discover feed for an entire day before the EMAs.

MTV Breaks engages young people to create content at EMA awards

MTV Breaks engages young people to create content at EMA awards / Courtesy of MTV

“The content that the creatives produced blew us all away - it was of such high, professional caliber and suited the brand perfectly,” said Julie Allen, vice president of creative for social responsibility, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN). “They produced all of it from scratch too - from brainstorming ideas, to plotting the 12 stories, to designing, animating, writing and editing. The edition went live on the Friday before the EMAs with stories, shareables and interactive pieces including ‘Guess the celeb body part’ and ‘TGIF, Dutch style.”

The creation aired on MTV’s international Snapchat Discover channel. The MTV Breaks team at the EMAs this year featured a costume designer from South Africa, a DJ from Australia, a Snapchat producer from Indonesia and a photographer from Spain. Each one was integral to create content for online and for social.

“Since MTV Breaks launched in 2014, we have always looked to engage local young people around our tent-pole events, the biggest being the MTV EMAs,” Allen said. “In the previous two years we have taken over spaces in the host cities and held skills-building workshops and TED-style talks — covering photography, design, DJing, presenting, and more. The response is always overwhelmingly positive and so we continue to build on them, ensuring that young creatives have the skills needed for the rapidly changing world in which we live. Equipping young people with the skills needed to build content for our MTV International Snapchat Discover channel was a natural evolution.”

MTV Breaks is an on-going program for global content and initiatives from MTV to address youth employment in creative industries, including a variety of apprenticeships and paid internships in markets around the world. The initiative was created at the 2014 EMAs.

“Fans are always excited to touch the MTV brand in such an authentic way. Our total activation this year included the MTV Snapchat Creative Factory, the four work opportunities and also a series of talks that we held in a busy gallery space in the center of Rotterdam. … Everything we do at MTV Breaks is to enlighten, educate and inspire a new generation of creative talent. We’re excited about the future and the creativity that we see in our audience, all around the world,” Allen said.

According to Allen, MTV is looking to extend the program with more partnerships in 2017 and explore more areas of focus including fashion, design, photography, music and STEM fields in the future.

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