With artist-driven viral “campaign” videos, multi-platform fan voting, TV tie-ins, exclusive online promotions, and special concerts and events leading up to the big night, country’s biggest stars and the ACM have truly gone all out in promoting the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, airing live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this Sunday (4/18) at 7:00 p.m. CT on the CBS Television Network.
Top New Artist nominees Luke Bryan, Joey + Rory and Gloriana took to the Internet with inspired and hilarious videos, encouraging fans to send votes their way. From Bryan’s star-studded “Don’t Vote for Luke” clips to Gloriana’s Kellie Pickler-hosted pillow fight to Joey + Rory’s whimsical, three-episode campaign (featuring a “sexy” cameo from their bus driver!), the elaborate videos made industry insiders chuckle, but they were aimed directly and effectively at listeners in the fan-voted category. Fan voting also opened up to new platforms, adding texting to the online-voted category and giving fans more ways than ever to participate.
Dedicated daytime TV viewers tuned in to The Price is Right saw country stars Blake Shelton and Bomshell “come on down” to join host Drew Carey, promoting the ACM Awards to millions of TV viewers. Primetime shows like Celebrity Apprentice and American Idol also got in on the act, featuring Trace Adkins, Bryan and Idol alum Bucky Covington.
Meanwhile in Vegas, live performances in clubs and outdoor venues like Tremont Street Experience (featuring Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert) will be generating fan excitement right up until show time.
But all the promotion and anticipation doesn’t obscure the fact that the ACM Awards are all about great country music and great big stars. Today’s (4/16) “final talent announcement” of the addition of Hollywood stars Eddie Cibrian and Josh Duhamel and country superstar Faith Hill as presenters put the final icing on “country music’s party of the year.”
Even when the party’s over, it ain’t over. The following night (4/19), the ACM will present a star-studded concert event, Brooks & Dunn: The Last Rodeo. Today it was announced that, added to an already-impressive lineup will be performers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw and presenters Matthew McConaughey and Miranda Cosgrove.
One thing’s for sure; if the 45th Annual ACM Awards turns out to be anywhere near as exciting as the buildup to the big night has been, it’s sure to be an unforgettable event.