Apr 24, 2019

As a power-duo for the ages, the network and global pop star continue to partner in the era of mobile-first content and next-generation platforms.

This week, Madonna is putting the “M” in MTV.  After weeks of teasing fans with cryptic tweets and video clips, Madonna will release new music today with a globally televised exclusive event on MTV.

The event marks her first live premiere in several years, but she has a long history of collaboration with the network. From her famous “Like A Virgin” performance at the very first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984 to the infamous Aretha Franklin tribute on the same awards show last year—The Material Girl and MTV have been partners in cultural history. In the last three and a half decades, the artist debuted multiple videos exclusively on the network, was the face of major MTV-sponsored campaigns, performed at several of the brand’s major tentpoles, and accepted 24 MTV awards, including MTV Video Music Awards and MTV EMAs.

And now Madonna will debut her latest single and video, “Medellín” at a 30-minute live premiere event hosted by British DJ Trevor Nelson, which will take place in London. The team is also expanding the reach of the live premiere event with additional MTV-hosted events via satellite with Sway Calloway and fans in New York City, Riccanza star Tommaso Zorzi in Milan, and Brazilian entertainer and influencer Hugo Gloss in São Paulo.

It’s the first promotional event around her upcoming 14th studio album, Madame X, and will feature a conversation with MTV’s Sway Calloway, a Q&A session with fans, along with the exclusive release of the first single off the new project, “Medellín,” with Colombian performer Maluma (whom she met backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards last year).

“Madonna and MTV have been intrinsically tied since their respective youths,” said Bruce Gillmer, Viacom’s global head of music and talent, in a statement. “As Madonna continues to rule the world, we’re thrilled to be with her once again live from our Camden studios to world premiere her incredible collaboration with Maluma, ‘Medellín.’”

The origin of the union.

Nearly two years after the network’s launch in 1981, the song "Borderline" off Madonna’s debut album received attention on the network, followed by the single "Lucky Star.” As the first network to exclusively showcase music videos, MTV helped Madonna build her name and popularized her unique style, music, and creative aesthetic, particularly among teen girls.

In her "Like a Virgin" VMAs performance, she posed as a life-sized bride on a 17-foot cake, danced, and rolled around on stage for the cameras. The collaboration and iconic moments continued through the years:

Building collective hype for the connected generation.

When it came to the promotion of Madonna’s new single “Medellín” and her upcoming studio album, MTV served as collaborator again, offering the reach and engagement the singer wanted.

“The marketing, social, digital, and press campaign was a huge collaboration between U.S. and international teams around the world, making sure this iconic ‘M’ was front and center, hinting to fans that something big was coming,” explains VP of MTV’s Digital Content and Production at Viacom International, Karmelina Parouka. “It sparked a massive wave of conversation around the world.”

The promotional effort included, according to Parouka, teasing cryptic ‘M’ videos across international social platforms. MTV also placed giant ‘M’s in high-traffic areas of major cities including New York and London, each with a Snap code that revealed a hint to the meaning behind the ‘M.’  A comprehensive street marketing campaign canvassed cities from Milan to Mexico City with hordes of ‘Ms’ before unveiling the news of the collaboration.

“We really want to make sure that everybody gets to see it,” says Parouka. “So we'll ensure we'll reach our audience wherever they are.”

**Timeline designed by Paloma CampoAll photos from Getty Images.**

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