The original purpose of music videos, was to promote sales of music
recordings. They were also known as ‘promos.’
Some of the earliest music videos were filmed in the 1950’s.
Michael Jackson was the first to create a music video as a short film; with a
beginning, middle and end. His first video was ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get
Enough’ and was extremely popular.
Music videos are extremely popular and well known. They are used for
promotional and entertainment purposes. They are attractive to the
audience, and sometimes help boost songs into the charts because of the
audiences’ love of the video; not necessarily the song.
Music videos are a great way for record companies to promote their artists,
music and songs; and especially their star image. Artists can use their music
videos to make a statement to fans, about who they are, their style, attitude
etc. It is a way to self-promote publicly. Music videos are used to promote an
artists song to the audience, and to put a picture in the audiences mind,
using their video and lyrics.
Cheryl Cole is a pop artist; she promotes her style, fashion sense, hair
extensions and makeup styles to her fans. She does this by constantly
choreographing herself to be in the middle of the other dancers and
settings; as if to say she is the centre of attention or focus. This drawn the
audiences eyes to her as she stands out. Also, the lighting is usually brighter
on her, and we see ore shots of her than everything else which makes her
the constant focus and main icon in the videos.
Cheryl Cole – Call My Name
Extension of Income
Music videos are a convenient way for artists to be with their fans. They
cannot always travel to fans, and long distances – country to country, or
continent to continent; therefore making a music video which can be
broadcast through the media – over the internet, on the television etc, solves
this problem. Record companies and artists continue to make money even
after the song is out of the charts with the use and selling of music videos and
DVD’s. Often, artists are remembered long after the release of their music
video just for their video. Images and film are catchy, and can stick in the
audiences minds for a long time.
Justin Bieber – Boyfriend
Extension of Outlets
Music videos can be viewed and downloaded in many different ways. The
internet – YouTube for example, is the most popular and accessible way to
view content, however DVD’s and CD’s can also be purchased for video
Music videos can be viewed on many devices; mobile phones, iPads,
computers and even iPods. On iPhones for example, apps such as Vevo and
YouTube are available for instant access to music and videos, which is
excellent for extension of outlets.
Rihanna – Disturbia
Music videos and films can co-advertise for promotional purposes. For
example Adele sang ‘Skyfall’ for the latest James Bond movie – Skyfall. This
technique is effective because when fans of the either the artist or film are
attracted to the latest song/movie, it automatically draws them to the
song/movie which allows the producers to double their takings.
Adele – Skyfall
Lady Gaga/Beyoncé - Telephone
Another method of synergy is through the use of product placement.
This is when big companies place their products directs in music
videos or films, for promotional use. The artist is paid to do this by the
companies, and then incorporates the product into their video, as a
prop, which boosts the sales of the products. This could be because it
is subliminal messaging.
In my example on the other page, three products are placed in the
music video Telephone; a virgin mobile phone, the dating site Plenty
of Fish and a can of diet coke.
Uploading personal content online is a great way of self-promoting.
Unsigned and unknown artists can easily share their own music with the
world, and sometimes they are lucky enough, like Justin Bieber, to be
noticed and signed as an artist. Justin Bieber has had 39,800,652 hits on his
song Boyfriend. He was signed by artist Usher, in 2008.
Unsigned artists can make use of popular sites like YouTube, to self promote,
be noticed, and even signed.
Justin Bieber – Boyfriend
A parody is when artists mimic or make fun of other artists in their music videos.
This can be done to entertain the audience, and is supposed to be humorous.
In Eminem's video Just Lose It, he is doing a parody of Michael Jackson. We know
this because he is wearing Michael Jacksons’ signature white glove. His appearance;
the black hat, sunglasses and curly wig, mirror MJ’s appearance – we can tell he is
dressed to look like MJ.
We know the video is a parody, and not homage or reference to MJ, because of the
humorous elements used. Eminem uses the child abuse allegations in his video, as
he jumps on the bed with a group of children, while dressed as MJ. This is humorous
because we know he is making fun of these allegations.
He also shows MJ’s nose falling off, to portray his overuse of plastic surgery. In the
video he is looking for the nose, which seems funny as it is kicked around.
Pastiche is when artists copy whatever they are referencing in their video. This can
be the mise-en-scene, artists style, setting or costumes. The video usually mimics or
copies a scene from a film; in my example I am showing how pastiche is used to
mimic the restaurant scene in the film Goodfellas. It is used in the music video
Goodfellas – kitchen
Ashanti - kitchen
Goodfellas – restaurant
Ashanti - restaurant
In my images on the previous slide, you can see that the scene has been taken
from Goodfellas and used to create the Ashanti video – Foolish. Certain
aspects and actions of the scene are mimicked in the video; for example at
the beginning, we see the man holding the woman's waist as he guides her
through the kitchen and into the restaurant. This is copied in the video. We
also see that as they arrive, the waiters know them and bring a table over to
them, and set it up. Also, the man shakes the hands of many people; showing
us he is popular. This is pictured in both videos.
Referencing is when artists make direct references to other music artists or media
texts in their music videos; eg – films, TV programmes, genres, artists and music
videos. This can be done for entertainment purposes, and to appeal to the audience.
In my print screens below, you can see clearly that the first one is supposed to be
Justin Bieber. We know this because of the way he is dressed; the iconic hoodie and
trainers. This is typical of Justin Bieber and shows us straight away who it is. He is
also slouched which is typical of teenagers.
In the second print screen, you can see that Vin Diesel, star of Fast and Furious is
being used here. We see him on a film set, in a fake car filming an action part of the
movie. Also the car sound effects and speed of the traffic on screen show us
immediately who it is and that it is of the action genre.
Reference to Justin Bieber
Reference to Vin Diesel – Fast and Furious
Homage is when artists copy or mimic certain artists and their style, to show
respect. For example Chris Brown did a video in homage of Michael Jackson;
in which he copied MJ’s dance moves and dressed with similar style – white
suit, hat, etc. the artist of Blur pays homage to the film Clockwork Orange,
by dressing the stars in the video the same as the characters in the film.
Homage referencing appeals to a wider audience, because fans of one or the
other; fans of Blur are likely to have seen Clockwork Orange also.
Universal - Blur