The general target audience for pop
videos is teenage girls…
The pop genre appeals to teenage girls because the artist is
usually somebody that they can consider a role model or feel
that they can relate to. The songs that they sing can be inspiring
to teenage girls…
For example, in Katy Perry – Firework, she sings lyrics such as
“you’re original, cannot be replaced,” and “maybe the reason
why all the doors are closed, so you can open one that leads you
to the perfect road.” These lyrics, and the narration of the video
inspires young people to overcome their fears and insecurities.
The song got to number 1 in the charts, possibly because of the
inspiring meaning of the lyrics which made the audience want
to download the song. This is an example of how Katy Perry has
used her role model status to ‘speak out’ to the teenage
audience and inspire them to feel good about themselves.
One reason why boy bands and male artists such as One
Direction and Justin Bieber are successful could because the
lyrics of their songs are what ‘teenage girls want to hear.’ For
example, in One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful, they
sing the lyrics, “you don’t know you’re beautiful, that’s what
makes you beautiful,” and “you’re insecure, don’t know what
for.” Teenage girls are stereotypically known to be insecure
about the way that they look, so when their favourite boy band
sings to them about being beautiful, it’s giving them a
confidence boost. The song got to number 1 worldwide, so the
lyrics obviously contributed to the success of the song, along
with their boy band image and the catchy tune.
Conventions of Pop Videos.
Pop videos generally have a link between lyrics and visuals. For example, in
JLS – Beat Again, the lyrics are, “they’re telling me that my heart won’t beat
again,” and the actions to these lyrics are the band doing a dance movement
of a beating heart. A reason for this could be to make the audience remember
the lyrics through the actions, but could also be to make the video relate to
the lyrics, and make more sense for the audience. Although some may see this
as ‘cheesy,’ a convention of pop videos is to be explicit, and this particular
movement does just that.
Another convention of pop videos is the element of love. Most pop songs are
about love or heartbreak, probably so the song and the artist can relate to the
teenage girl target audience. Most teenage girls have experienced love or
heartbreak in some way and it may be comforting for them to hear that their
favourite pop artist knows how they’re feeling because the lyrics of their songs
can relate to them. For example, the narrative of, Justin Bieber – As Long As
You Love Me video is a young couple trying to be together but are facing
complications in their relationship. The couple in the video are portraying an
average couple that audiences can relate to. They take photographs, go on bike
rides and sneak out to be together without the love interests dad finding out.
This can relate to teenage girls because it is either something that they have
been through in someway or is something that they can imagine happening to
them, especially with Justin Bieber.
A mixture of both performance and narrative elements is also a convention of
pop videos. An example of this is Demi Lovato – Made In The USA video. The
narrative of this video is that a couple meet and fall in love, however they
meet at a carnival where the artist is performing. This enhances both the
performance and the narrative because at this particular moment in the video,
both elements link in together. Pop videos show performance but they also
tend to have a narrative to go with the lyrics and I think that this video does
both effectively, as the artist’s talents are being showcased, but the narrative is
still being told.
Why should we do pop?
Pop music is generally a light hearted and fun
genre, and it will be enjoyable for us to do. As we
are teenage girls, (the demographic that pop is
predominately focused on appealing to,) we
already have opinions on what elements of pop
music videos we find effective and appeal to us, so
before we have even researched into our target
audience, we will already have basic understanding
of what needs to go into a pop music video,
because we are the target audience.
Pop music dominates the charts, it is the genre
that is most frequently listened to. There are pop
songs at the top of the charts, in the middle of the
charts and at the bottom of the charts. Therefore,
there are a lot of current examples and influences
that we can use for our own music video.
Filming a pop video will allow us to be creative
with the special effects that we use. An example of
a pop video where special effects were used is in
Rihanna – Rude Boy. The use of bright colours and
high key lighting, (which is another convention of
pop videos) in this music video is entertaining and
eye-catching for audiences. High key lighting
emphasises the light-heartedness of the video and
makes it look more fun – which is what pop music
How will we find a balance between
performance and narrative?
An issue of pop videos that I have discovered through my research is that they tend have explicit
meanings to them. This means that some elements of the videos are obvious and because of the
lyrics of the song, audiences know what to expect from the video. For example in One Direction –
What Makes You Beautiful, the lyrics are, “the way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed.”
As these lyrics are being sung, the actions to go with them is a girl flipping her hair. There is not
much depth to pop music videos, and there are no implicit meanings that will allow the audience
to think about the narrative, because they are watching the obvious…
• However, as we are making our own video, we can
challenge this typical convention, which can allow
us to be creative in the narrative. We can find a
balance between performance and narrative by
possibly taking influence from Demi Lovato – Made
In The USA where the two characters in the video
meet whilst the artist is performing.
• We can use the explicit lyrics in pop music to our
advantage because they can be a basis for our
video and we can develop our ideas from them,
creating implicit meanings that will hopefully
interest our audience through the balance of
narrative and performance, because it is important
that we include both in our video, as most pop
Suggestions for our own video.
Taylor Swift’s songs appeal to teenage girls as her lyrics
are truthful and girls feel like they can relate to them.
Some of her lyrics are also quite explicit, so we should be
able to find a basis for our video through them, sticking to
pop video conventions, however, the lyrics of her songs
can enable us to develop our ideas and create a video
that has both explicit and implicit meanings…
Love Story: “We were both young when I first saw you.”
This lyric can allow us to use a convention of using young
people in pop videos, however we can create implicit
meanings through thinking of original ways the young
characters can meet in the narrative of the video.
You Belong With Me: “She’s cheer captain and I’m on the
bleachers.” The lyrics to this song centers around a high
school romance. This can make it easier for the setting of
our video, because if we are struggling to find a venue,
then we could set some scenes in the school as this is
something that teenage girls can definitely relate to.
However, a majority of the scenes need to be shot
outside of a school setting to make our video creative and
less obvious. This again will allow us to think outside of
the box in creating implicit meanings in our video.
22: “We’re happy, free, confused and lonely at the same
time… Tonight’s the night when we forget about the
deadlines.” These lyrics clearly show that Taylor
understands how teenage girls feel. The narrative of this
video is a group of girlfriends having fun. This is
something that we could adapt and recreate. A ‘party’
setting will also give us an opportunity to incorporate
both narrative and performance elements together.