333 Million Twitter Votes for MTV Hottest: How it Worked

When you look back at summer, there are plenty of good memories: that fun trip, your favorite frozen treat, and that song you listened to on repeat for months. One song can define a music lover’s summer, and for the second year in a row, MTV UK saw that millions of fans felt the same way. Through their “Hottest Summer Superstar” vote, MTV UK once again gave fans the power to decide which artist won them over this season.

The vote revealed two very important takeaways, 1) [SPOILER ALERT] A lot of people like One Direction, and 2) The combination of TV and digital platforms equals big social engagement...huge. The network designed a strategy that spoke to their target audience with a clear and actionable message, resulting in a record-breaking 333 million Twitter votes.

Keep it Simple

They listed the nominees, they displayed the hashtag-based voting instructions—on both broadcast and their website—and they let fans take it from there. Over the course of several weeks, MTV UK posted real-time updates so fans could track and vote for their favorite artists. Aside from their calls to action, the network relied on fans to turn the vote into a competition, and boy did they ever!

Millions of votes poured in leading up to the live top 20 special where One Direction was crowned the winner with over 56 million votes. Digital followers became broadcast viewers and tuned in to watch the final ranking of artists.    

The Twitter voting figures doubled from last year’s 166 million votes as excitement grew from fans who were eager to shape the results of the contest as it developed in real-time. The straightforward process and immediate updates showed fans their direct effect on the competition.   

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

MTV UK’s goal was to create a social voting experience that would supercharge their social output, much like their “Hottest Summer Superstar” activation from the year before. They knew their target demographic included fans—dedicated fans—who belonged to active social fanbases. Bearing this in mind, MTV UK created an online and on-air social experience that connected fans both to the network and their favorite artists. MTV UK focused on the core demographic of the channel and spoke to them in a tone and language that their audience understood and wanted to engage with—making the campaign hugely viral.

Keep Going

From this experience we see the payoff of committing to a social TV campaign with a multitude of on air and digital content. MTV UK kept people interested and saw a consistent repeat of engagement across the entirety of the campaign. The broadcast channel has become a true ambassador for Social TV in general, pushing the envelope of customer engagement and activating passionate audiences.


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Samantha is a PR Manager at Spredfast where she showcases the customers and thought leaders behind the world's best social software platform. Texas born and raised, Samantha is also a Longhorn lover, wilderness explorer, and cupcake connoisseur. Follow her for the latest on Spredfast and, of course, food.