MTV Networks is to overhaul the website for its VH1 brand and has
put the digital task out to pitch in the UK.
MTV is planning to appoint an agency in the next three weeks, ahead of a
relaunch of the new VH1 website in October. The seven agencies pitching
for the account are Digit, Icon MediaLab, Black ID, Proxicom. Navy Blue,
Channel A and NMD.
Following the success of its integration of new media with programming
on MTV, MTV Networks plans to make the VH1 website a fully integrated
part of the channel rather than just a promotional tool. The site,
originally designed by the Manchester-based agency NMD and launched in
September 1999, has a slightly older target audience than MTV. It
currently carries listings for the channel but has no other interactive
Chris Sice, the managing director of MTVi, said: "VH1 is one of those
sites that was built a while ago and serves a purpose, but doesn't make
the most of the web at all. We want to start producing more interactive
features, like Video Clash and Daily Chart Live on MTV, which allow
users to interact using mobile phones and the internet.
"It's really exciting because it won't be just a website - it will be
part of a totally integrated service.
"Digital is really starting to work for MTV - we focused on that channel
first because it is the daddy of the brands. We have some valuable
lessons we have learnt from the brand's development that we can apply to
the VH1 site," Sice added.
Digit is already an incumbent agency of MTV Networks, and created the
website for MTV2, which was nominated for a D&AD this year. The site has
won a number of creative accolades for the new-media design agency,
including Best Interface Design at BAFTA 2000 and Best TV/Film/ Video
Graphics and Best of Show in the Design Week Awards 2001.