Skip to content

2017 MTV Video Music Awards

Commissioned by

MTV

Made by

Empirical Studios, Elastic

What

MTV has always held a special place for us - from being the mecca of music videos we grew up with, to being our first network redesign branding project in 2010 - so it was especially meaningful to take on the bigness of the audio design for the 2017 Video Music Awards (VMAs).

From the title cards to the bumpers and nominee videos, we created a package designed to be an ethereal reflection of youth culture and pop music cooked altogether in an acid-infused electric soup. Exciting, cutting edge and attracting fresh audiences, we helped capture the essence of what MTV is known for, creating a show that the New York Times called “by far its most enjoyable installment in years.” The 2017 MTV VMAs increased their youth share and dominated social media, "...trending globally for 13 hours, beating out Game of Thrones as the top trending topic” (Billboard). Working with Elastic and Empirical Studios’ fluid and stunning visuals, we used original elements as well as recognizable songs to engulf the iconic MTV Moon Person in a psychedelic liquid throughout the show.

For Katy Perry’s epic entrance, in which she floated as an astronaut into the cosmic arena, we performed a fresh orchestral rendition of “Also sprach Zarathustra” (famously used in 2001: A Space Odyssey), and then remixed the iconic piece into a trap, future-bass, house space-jam.