"We are really beefing up the infrastructure," Stephen K. Friedman, president of MTV, told the New York Times, with a team of up to 40 people working on this area during the show. "Our advertiser partners and sponsors want to be part of the conversation," he added
In particular, he said, they were looking to "capitalise on combustible moments", such as the furore that erupted following the performance of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke at last year's show.
"We used to talk a lot about 'share of voice,' how much we're spending on advertising versus others in our space, but now the way to think about it is winning the share of conversation," explained Adam Harter, vice president for partnership engagement of the Pepsi-Cola North American Beverages division of PepsiCo.
Pepsi is among the brands that have already lined up content for Sunday's event with the aim of starting a conversation through its tie up with the artist known as Usher. His performance will be promoted with a hashtag in social media and then followed up with a commercial pointing directing viewers to unlock that particular song from a yet-to-be-released album and extra material about the creation of the performance.
"We do a lot of work measuring the value of real-time, contextually relevant moments," said Harter. "Our creative is more relevant and effective when it's delivered that way."
He added that this was especially so with the MTV target audience of millennials. This group, he said, "finds it important to get social currency, something valuable in the moment, that they can share while watching live shows on a TV set with a tablet or mobile phone next to them."
MTV is also working on on real-time marketing initiatives with Verizon Wireless, three Unilever brands and CoverGirl, a Procter & Gamble brand
Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by Warc staff