By Rachel Taylor
After more than three decades on the scene, MTV’s good just keeps getting better. From Marky Mark in his underwear to the first lady addressing education, here are MTV’s top pro-social moments of the past 32 years (with GIFs!)
1982: MTV tries out its first campaign, “I Want My MTV,” to get in more households and spread that social good!
1985: MTV puts on Live Aid, one of the biggest charity concerts of all time. Sixteen hours of music, 1.4 billion viewers, and over $200 million raised to fight the famine in Ethiopia? Yeah, we’d call it a success.
1989: MTV airs an environmental PSA about acid rain.
1993: MTV’s “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign airs its first TV promo.
1994: Season 3 of “The Real World” features Pedro Zamora, one of the first openly gay men living with HIV on television.
1995: MTV’s continues it’s “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign and another promo is broadcasted.
1996: The psychedelic MTV “Choose or Lose Bus” rolls through 48 states to promote voter registration.
1997: MTV launches It’s Your (Sex) Life, a public information campaign to support young people in making responsible decisions about their sexual health.
1998: MTV introduces Staying Alive, an initiative to fight HIV.
2001: MTV stops regular programming for 24 hours to raise awareness about hate crimes as part of the campaign Fight For Your Rights: Take a Stand Against Discrimination.
2002: MTV recognizes World AIDS Day with a Staying Alive concert broadcast from Cape Town, South Africa.
2003: MTV Europe launches EXIT, a campaign to end exploitation and trafficking.
2005: Twenty years after Live Aid, MTV follows up with Live 8, a string of charity concerts around the world raising awareness about famine in Africa. A major venue was in Philadelphia, and that means only one thing — the entire crowd coming together to recite “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme.
2008: mtvU dedicates its March programming to college students’ mental health.
2010: MTV, The Jed Foundation, and Brittany Snow join forces to create Love is Louder, a campaign to encourage young people to spread love not hate.
2012: MTV’s Power of 12 campaign is launched to encourage voting.
2013: MTV Base lets us hang out (on Google+, but still …) with none other than The First Lady! Mrs. Obama discussed one of MTV Act’s favorite topics, education.
Time flies when you’re having fun and doing good. Here’s to many more decades to come!
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