The ME Tapes: Sonicnet.com campaign compilation, 2000 (from VHS)
MTV got Sonicnet in the middle of another transaction they thought would be more important. But as the internet heated up in the business world’s consciousness, Sonicnet.com became something they thought to pay attention to. Which meant that, as president of MTV Networks Online, I was trying to help make the thing successful.
MTV had also acquired a then-unique personalized radio application. Coupled with Sonicnet, we decided an ad campaign would supercharge the site, something large media folks like us thought was necessary. It wasn’t.
Over a few objections, I hired my brilliant, challenging mentor Dale Pon to create our campaign. Dale had done our the iconic “I Want My MTV” for me in the early 1980s and constantly proved himself to be the most creative and effective media ad man in America. The stunningly talented and perfectly musical director Tim Newman was already on our online staff (after turning his back on a career that included some of the greatest music videos of all time), so he was really the only person who we thought could direct the spots.
You can see for yourself that Dale knew how conceive big ideas to bring out the best from stars, and, he really knew how to reach for the stars (like Isaac Hayes, James Brown, Joshua Bell, Jewel, Pat Metheny, Sheryl Crow, Beenie Man, Gang Starr, Faith Hill, Lindsey Buckingham, Don Henley, Al Jarreau, Alice Cooper, Blink 182, Kenny Wayne Shephard, Bon Jovi, Buck Cherry, Charlotte Church, Christina Acquilera, Dwight Yoakam, The Ruff Ryders, Eve, Johnny Resnick (The Goo Goo Dolls), kd lang, Buck Cherry, Kelis, Lindsey Buckingham, Melissa Etheridge, Moby, Seal, Sisqo, Static X, SheDaisy, Hillary Hahn, Charlotte Church, Yo Yo Ma, and Sting.)
This campaign, like every other one I’d worked on with Dale over the decades, was a hoot. One of the best things to come out of my one year in the corporate internets.0 comments Tagged: MTV Networks, MTV Networks Online, Sonicnet.com, internet, mtv.com, nick.com,.
At the time, it seemed like a horrible mistake. And like mistakes sometimes can, it led to a new, uncharted, wonderful life.
It was the beginning of the peaking of “the Internet” 1.0, and honestly, I wanted nothing to do with “the Internet.” I liked email, I liked Amazon.com. But I also liked the career I had staked out producing cartoons and media consulting. I was 48 years old, gotten married again, had a couple of kids. And felt like I’d finally settled into to doing something pretty well. I didn’t really want to start over with something new, no matter how exciting. Really.
However, to make a long story short, I succumbed. In 1999, after seven years in Los Angeles, my family and I moved to New York, and I became the president of MTV Networks Online, which included MTV.com and Nick.com. Joining a constantly innovating media as part of an established media company —no matter how fresh they may have been back in the day— was exactly the wrong way to go. And “go” I did. Within a year I was back to producing and consulting. But, I’d never be the same again —the whole world wouldn’t be— and, at least I got a head start on all of my old media pals.
But, great things came out of the experience. For instance, the campaign for MTV’s website Sonicnet.com (which I’ll write about elsewhere). I got some new friendships, especially my partnership with engineer/thinker Emil Rensing (which eventually led to us founding Next New Networks). Most importantly, I gained a new perspective on everything media, right into the belly of the beast of the new I tried to avoid. My innate curiosity paid off once again.0 comments Tagged: MTV Networks, MTV Networks Online, mtv.com, nick.com, Nickelodeon, MTV, Sonicnet.com,.