Celebrating Our 2016 Viacommunity Award Winners

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Each year, the Viacommunity Award recognizes two Viacom employees who have gone above and beyond to make an impact in their communities with a $10,000 donation to the organizations of their choice. With more than a hundred submissions from colleagues across the company, it was truly a difficult decision to pick just two winners.

This year, Viacom is proud to present the coveted Viacommunity Awards to Kevin Chalk and Hasani Henderson for their incredible efforts with two amazing organizations, Back on My Feet and #TheTakeBack.

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Viacom Lands Six GLAAD Nominations Through Unifying Storytelling

From Comedy Central’s drunken reenactment of the Stonewall riots, to Nickelodeon’s normalizing portrayal of gay parents on kids’ television, to Logo’s feature of oppressed love in war-torn Iraq, Viacom was recently pinned with six GLAAD award nominations for the 28th annual ceremony.

The annual awards strive to, “recognize and honor various branches of the media for their outstanding representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues that affect their lives.”

Viacom’s core values of diversity and inclusion align well with GLAAD’s mission, as our networks advocate for LGBT equality both through their programming and via initiatives such as MTV’s Transgender Awareness Week campaign and Logo’s Trailblazer Honors. Several brands united behind the LGBT community in the immediate aftermath of last year’s Orlando nightclub massacre and beyond.

Check out Viacom’s nominees below and click here for a full 2017 GLAAD Media Awards nomination list.

Outstanding Documentary

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In an effort to expel stigma and keep LGBT people from discriminating against one another, The Same Difference tells personal stories of the hypocrisy and division that exist in lesbian communities due to expectations and gender roles.

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16 out of ’16: The Viacom Blog’s Most Popular Posts From Last Year, According to You Guys

What makes our readers click?

According to our Google Analytics stats, it’s innovative marketing, brilliant shows and movies, political coverage, LGBT initiatives, A$AP Rocky, tacos, and Mediterranean music festivals.

2016 was monumental for Viacom, along with the rest of the world. We witnessed one of the most tectonic presidential elections in history. The way we consume media continued to evolve with advanced streaming services and virtual reality engagement. We lost beloved celebrities such as Prince and David Bowie, and sadly, many more. But we saw others rise to stardom, like Rita Ora, who now hosts VH1’s America’s Next Top Model, and Bebe Rhexa, who hosted the 2016 EMAs.

This list is by no means comprehensive of what Viacom accomplished in 2016—that would require far more than 16 posts to cover. But we’ve gathered those that made the largest impact, according what you, our readers, have clicked on the most.

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Viacom Just Premiered the Trippiest Virtual Reality Music Video Ever at the Sundance Film Festival

Pretend you’re a robot god in a mountain liquid dreamscape, dancing to infectious electronic beats while sparkly purple kittens float around you.

Oh, and there’s champagne too.

Enter the psychedelic world of Chocolatean animated virtual reality (VR) music experience created for the song of the same name by San Francisco based musician Giraffage. Born from the wildly imaginative mind of 3D animator Tyler Hurd and executive produced by Viacom NEXT – the company’s emerging technology group – Chocolate was selected to premiere today at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in the New Frontier showcase of VR productions. It runs until Jan. 29.

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Critics Are Calling TV Land’s Teachers One of 2016’s Best Programs: Here’s Why You Should Watch It

The first season of Teachers, TV Land’s hilarious comedy series, earned an A with The Hollywood Reporter’s chief TV critic Tim Goodman, who ranked it among the best television of 2016. It made LA Weekly‘s Best TV of 2016 list as well.

Why the high grade? Let’s hear more from the critics.

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Open Your Eyes: MTV’s Elect This Virtual Reality Experience Lets Fans Step Inside the Art of Change

On Nov. 8, 2016, Viacom employees got the chance to open their eyes to the most important issues of this election season—through an incandescent virtual reality (VR) art show at Viacom Headquarters.

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One of the VR works presented on Nov. 8 2016 about gender equality. Photo courtesy of MTV Elect This and Gumshoe

MTV’s Elect This campaign promised its audience substance over scandal. It succeeded in highlighting issues that matter most to their millennial audience such as climate change, social justice, national security, immigration, and health care— in a stunning marriage of innovation and artistry.

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Art at Viacom Workshop: Behind the Blades of Tahiti Pehrson’s Artistic Process

I remember arriving for orientation on my first day at Viacom back in February. I was thrilled to know I’d be working at the company responsible for some of the most iconic moments in entertainment history, a company with brands that defined my adolescence. Walking through the lobby of 1515 Broadway amidst a hypnotic waterfall of yarn was an otherworldly experience. It made me realize that Viacom would become my home.

Art at Viacom’s artist-in-residence at the time, instillation guru HOTTEA, was responsible for the tinted tendrils. Art at Viacom regularly partners with distinct, often emerging artists by giving them an unconventional canvass—Viacom headquarters. The results are enthralling installations, as vibrant and creative as the company spirit.

In April, I’d witness the building’s evolution from kaleidoscopic yarn factory to a pop-art-deco landscape, courtesy of Australian artist duo, Dabs Myla. In September, I entered the paper galaxy of Tahiti Pehrson.

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A cycle of light and life, created by Tahiti Pehrson for Viacom Headquarters. Photos courtesy of Art at Viacom.

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A Cyclical Journey: An Interview With Art at Viacom’s Artist-in-Residence, Tahiti Pehrson

If you were to walk past Viacom Headquarters in Times Square, you would likely notice three massive turrets of mandalas glazed upon the building’s towering windows. This is the work of our latest artist-in-residence, Tahiti Pehrson from his Art at Viacom exhibit, The Journey of Light.

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Photo courtesy of Art at Viacom.

The work is laborious—Pehrson evokes the intricate behavior of light and dimension by using exact-o knifes to carve designs into 100 percent-cotton paper, overlapping stencil upon stencil of geometric origami. From a distance, the art looks like it was laser-printed upon the building. The fact that it is the result of human handicraft makes it all the more stunning.

I spoke with the artist behind the imperial exhibit to learn more about his own journey of light.

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Pehrson’s peacful stencils are a perfect balance to the hectic construction outside of Viacom Headquarters. Photo courtesy of Art at Viacom.

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Seven Things You Need to Know About A$AP Rocky and His Partnership With MTV Labs and Viacom Velocity

1. A$AP Rocky was rapping by the time he was 8 years old. Now, he’s one of Viacom Velocity’s “Creative Incubators.”

Viacom Velocity and MTV Labs have named A$AP Rocky as creative director. This is just the latest big move for someone who has done a lot in 28 years, a stretch that some might consider the essence of the American Dream. Homeless as a teenager, moving from shelter to shelter, he sold drugs to survive. Rapping was just a hobby.

By 23, the Harlem native refocused his energies and began to take rapping seriously. In August 2011 his first single, Peso, leaked online. Peso’s retro-inspired video broke the proverbial internet, and led to a $3 million contract with Polo Grounds Music/ RCA Records.

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Short-Form Feelings, Gen X Today, Success in India, and Kids’ TV Discovery – Viacom International Insights Digest

Christian Kurz by Christian Kurz, Global Consumer Insights, Viacom

Viacom’s International Insights team gathers the latest consumer insights from around the world. You can click through below to read about our Gen X project that launches next week, a study revealing that audiences want to feel their short-form videos, Indian youth’s views on money and success, and an info-graphic on how global kids find new TV content.

Please check out our insights blog, where you can find many more stories like these, and click here to be added to our mailing list.

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