On 1st August 1981 a new way of life way of life was brought into millions young viewers homes, MTV was born, and with it was its life essence, the pop video. Pop videos became a global phenomenon: it allowed artists to establish there image and genre, it gave the audience heroes, fuelling there desire to become like these stars and most importantly, it became an invaluable source for agents promoting there latest money spinners. And with the advent of video sharing sites, such as you tube, the music video is just as important and influential today, as it was 27 years ago.
Pop video have many different uses, but among these the most important is as an advertising tool. A good video can often rescue a terrible song, by implementing certain ideals into a video; it really can change an audience’s interpretation of the song. In terms of appearances music videos are a god-send, they allow artists to seemingly be in millions places at once, promoting themselves and there image to millions of potential audience.
Videos also influence people aesthetically as well as musically. Often by taking the certain artists image out of the genres stereotype, and adding certain fashion accessories, it can really capture the audience’s imagination. A good example of this would be the Adam Ant song ‘Prince charming’. The video was timed perfectly, by composing it in a very new romantic-esque way (an emerging fashion at the time) it appealed to the young new romantics, giving them role models, and creating desire within the audience. Adams image within the video gave him make up and an eye patch, something that went against the standard masculine stereotype. His odd fashion sense seemingly ignited the inner pirate of the Adam and the ants fan, and creating a stereotype all of its own. Literally having all these people looking like the band, as walking advertisements, for the band and the video.
Videos can be viewed at a number of locations; the most popular place to view videos is MTV, the best known distributor of music videos, known al around the world. MTV often acts as showing the charts and different compilations, allowing the potential audience of the artists, to gain a vibe of the artist. Allowing them to make there opinion wether the song. But often with videos it can be a video that acts as the persuader for the audience, putting across an image that will connect with the audience. Other methods of video distribution include buying the videos from online stores (such as itunes), doing this allows the video to gain unlimited exposure to the audience.
The second most popular way is via you tube (a video sharing website), often fans will put the videos up on the site, allowing those who don’t normally watch MTV to get a taste of the artists and there genre. The use of you tube has really improved the status of videos in the past few years. An example of the you tube phenomenon is the video for the Jimi Hendrix song ‘Red House’, now because the song is so old it doesn’t have a video to advertise and promote it. But an avid Jimi fan composed his very own video to go along with the song and posted it on the site. The dawn of fan made videos has really allowed filmmaking and music to work in tandem. Sometimes film makers will remake existing videos, portraying the artist in a more suitable image, and represent them differently to what they believe the audience will perceive the artist as.
A video can often be the saving grace of a not so great song, someone may hear a song on the radio and not necessarily enjoy the tone, or sound of the song. But when the same person watches the accompanying video, attitudes can change. The composition of the video may represent the band as friendly appealing people, giving them positive gesture codes. By seeing the band in a different light to what they visualized it can turn the song around, and really make it appeal to the listener. Sometimes videos use there artists as the USP of the video, often placing them in a linear basic plot and making the artist the central theme of the video, to appeal to the audience.
An example of this would be the Nelly Furtado’s ‘Maneater’ video. The video represents Nelly as a stereotypical female; she is attractive appealing to the masculine audience. But Nelly begins to take hold of the situation in the video, showing a very powerful intimidating side to her attitude. Throughout the video she exploits the female stereotype, and puts forth her sexy image for the audience to ogle. The additional partnership of the frantic camerawork and linear plot makes the video extremely effective in promoting Nelly, and appearing to her potential audience.