Today, MTV and ZYNC from American Express announce the creation of a nationwide search to fill a new, innovative and pioneering job opportunity to serve as the first-ever MTV TJ ‘Twitter Jockey.’ One lucky candidate will be hired to become a brand-new face and voice for MTV across social media platforms, including MTV.com, to expand the two-way dialog between MTV and its global audience. MTV and ZYNC from American Express will launch “Follow Me: The Search for the first MTV TJ,” www.zync.mtv.com, in which 20 social media enthusiasts compete head-to-head in Twitter challenges. The search will culminate with a live televised finale on August 8, when the MTV viewing audience will choose the winning candidate from the final five who will land his or her dream job.
This newly created position expands upon MTV’s history of giving its audience a global platform to express themselves. MTV uses social media to make it easier for its fans to engage around loud programming moments — everything from Twitter visualizations for award shows and chat widgets for popular series like The Jersey Shore, to an active Twitter and Facebook following.
The MTV TJ position is a modern-day re-imagining of the pioneering MTV VJ. While the MTV VJ had a one-way dialog in reporting music and pop culture-related news to the audience, the MTV TJ will actively engage MTV’s hyper-social audience — answering their questions, amplifying their interests, doling out behind-the-scenes information, cool links and exclusive media across MTV.com, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and in 30-second sponsored on-air interstitials. The MTV TJ will be based at MTV’s global headquarters in New York City.
MTV is mining social media networks, including posting the job via MTV’s Twitter and Facebook pages, to identify and select 18 candidates that are active in social media and have a unique voice and passion for music and pop culture. Starting Wednesday, June 16, MTV will begin announcing the 18 candidates at www.zync.mtv.com. The public will also have an opportunity to nominate their choices via the ZYNC Card Facebook page (www.facebook.com/zync), for the two remaining candidate slots.
“Whether it’s letting viewers take the mic to ask the President of the United States a question or turning the camera on themselves, MTV pioneered the idea that our audience has an important role to play in our programming and deserves a global platform,” said Stephen Friedman, General Manager of MTV. “The newly created MTV TJ role and search with ZYNC from American Express is a natural next step and one that will help amplify the voice of our audience as part of the global conversation.”
“ZYNC from American Express is all about empowering people to express themselves through their passions,” said Mary Hines, vice president, ZYNC Product Management, American Express. “And with the MTV Twitter Jockey program, we have an opportunity to introduce the ZYNC Card and American Express brand to people who seek to put their own stamp on the world through both their experiences and their choice of products.”
“Follow Me: The Search for the first MTV TJ” comes on the heels of the official launch of the ZYNC Card, American Express’ newest Charge Card designed for people who want a Card to fit their lifestyle. The ZYNC Card allows Cardmembers to customize their Card by adding optional bundles of benefits called Packs, which offer additional rewards and benefits in specific passion areas, such as music, fashion, giving back and many more.
The Hunt for Two Final MTV TJ Job Candidates (June 14-July 6)
Starting today, aspiring candidates can nominate themselves and other Twitter users via www.zync.mtv.com or the ZYNC Card Facebook page (www.facebook.com/zync). Nominations will close on June 27. MTV will select two of these candidates and add them to the 18 candidates already selected, bringing the total to 20 candidates.
The Competition (July 7- August 7)
The competition officially kicks off on MTV.com on July 7 with the wanna-be MTV TJ’s competing in a series of Twitter challenges that range from discovering a local band
to interviewing MTV talent. Judging will be done by an internal committee and TweetLevel, http://tweetlevel.edelman.com/, a specialized tweet-scoring service developed by Edelman that will measure a range of factors, including influence, popularity, engagement and trust. After five challenges, four candidates will advance to the finals, with one remaining slot to be voted on by fans via the ZYNC Card Facebook community and announced on July 21. The five finalists will leave their hometowns and descend on the Big Apple for the final round of face-to-face challenges.
Live Finale on MTV (August 8)
After weeks of grueling challenges, the competition will jump to television for the finale on August 8 from 10 – 11 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, where the final five candidates will square off live on the air in a series of elimination rounds. Only two candidates will move on and then make one last plea to the MTV audience, who will then text vote for a winner. After the nationwide votes are tallied, the first MTV TJ will be announced. The MTV TJ will begin work immediately, reporting for the first high-profile assignment at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on September 12.
— Contest rules and additional info can be found on:
— ZYNC Card Facebook page: www.facebook.com/zync
— Nomination page : www.zync.mtv.com