The moment was “shocking” as Kanye West came on stage to take the microphone from Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech for best female music video, but was this real??
Seconds after it occurred the twitter/Facebook world exploded with tweets and status updates about the incident and I’m sure tons more people turned to MTVas a result and more will soon watch the show and event as the VMAs are re-run over and over again for the next few weeks and on the internet.
You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect dramatic event to boost ratings and PR for Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Beyond and the VMAs. It happened early in the show and the action of Kanye West would leave a plot line running through the show…would Taylor Swift respond or would someone stand up for her? What would happened? You had to stay tuned to find out!
Then, with a perfect Hollywood ending, Beyonce wins best music video at the end of the show and brings out an awaiting Taylor Swift from backstage to finish her acceptance speech. The crowd goes wild, Beyonce looks great, Taylor Swift gets super amounts of sympathy and I’m sure additional record sales and ratings for all involved. Kanye plays the role of the bad guy, but does he really mind? He apologizes later and now has has days of a viral storyline with him in it sure to be discussed all week on news stations and gossip sites with new twists and turns sure to come…stay tuned!
Too perfect, no? And, MTV has shown a history of staging events in the past such as when Sacha Barron Cohen landed on Eminem’s face with his butt during another award show. During that show, Eminem walked out looking angry and it turned out just to be a publicity stunt. Besides, it’s MTV’s MO these days to stage things. Just look at there “reality” shows they run which are all scripted and staged.
There is too much money on the line to just let a show happen without ensuring there will be some drama or water-cooler viral stories that occur. Drama=ratings=money. The people doing these shows aren’t stupid and they have all the data and experience to know what kind of things will add to ratings. This is PR 101 these days and a great lesson for those looking to learn how to generate viral media.
A lot of what we see these days on TV is staged. Who knew that WWE wrestling was only the start of fake “real” TV?
Regardless, I enjoyed the drama staged or not, but its important that we look at this stuff with a critical eye as television continues to be such a strong manipulator of society and people’s lives. We certainly play right into their hands, I know I was quick to twitter and call my friend right afterwards. Either way, well played MTV.