Music videos have always been quite essential parts of the music industry. Sometimes they help define an artist and show a part of them they want to share with the fans.
Sometimes they help visualize the lyrics of a song, making them come alive and be all the more relatable and memorable, and sometimes they are simply used as promotional means, to give a single more views and publicity.
As of late, a new trend has been surfacing and taking over the industry. Many artists today are seeking their fans and involving them in one way or another in their music videos; a process some would refer to as a form of “crowdsourcing.”
This strategy is quite simple yet unbelievably effective: It makes the music all about the listeners and so they cannot help but want more and more.
Take for example, Maroon 5’s latest music video “Sugar”, which was released a few days ago. In the quite endearing music video, the band members literally crash a bunch of weddings and perform for the newlyweds and their guests, making all the viewers wish it was their wedding that Adam Levine graced with his addictive vocals.
The innovative music video almost makes up for the unbearable cheesiness of the lyrics.
Alternative rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars employed the same tactic in the making of their “Do Or Die” music video, whereby they recruited and filmed a handful of their fans from all over the world explaining what music means to them.
In addition to their fans’ emotional statements, footage of the exhilarating crowds at some of the band’s concerts also added to the contagious energy and drama of the music video.
OneRepublic gave their song “I Lived” a whole other meaning with its music video, which features one of their fans who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, a terminal respiratory disease.
In the clip, we get to hear 15-year-old Bryan explain what living with the disease is like as we watch videos of him growing up. The music video truly is inexplicably touching and does a great job raising awareness about the deadly disease.
The ever-loved Justin Timberlake is no stranger to the fan incorporation technique. He asked his loyal fan base to submit personal pictures and videos of their love stories and loved ones using the #NotABadLoveStory hashtag for his “Not A Bad Thing” music video.
The result? A heart-warming compilation of parents, sons, daughters, couples, best friends and siblings expressing the love they have for one another.
Incorporating some psychology into her music video for “Afterlife”, Ingrid Michaelson literally used immersion therapy in order to help some of her fans face and get over their fears.
The fans’ fears, which range from “birds” and “needles” to “meeting Ingrid Michaelson” and “coming out”, are all faced by her brave fans in the goosebumps-inducing music video. But whether this whole music video is staged or not remains a mystery…
British pop band Neon Jungle featured footage submitted by their fans of them lip-dubbing or holding up signs with the song’s lyrics in their “Can’t Stop The Love” music video.
The footage is quite genuine and manages to elevate the whole meaning of the song, as it highlights the band’s diverse fan-base.
Indie rock band The Vaccines incorporated photos taken by their fans at music festivals into a music video for their song “Wetsuit”.
The song, which captures the breeziness of youth, did admittedly match with the music video well in the sense that it showcased the young crowds always present at music festivals.
For the “Anything Could Happen” lyric video, British artist Ellie Goulding asked her fans to submit pictures that include any of the song’s words. 1,200 of those pictures were then compiled into a very Tumblr-esque lyric video.
All in all, we’re definitely not complaining about this new turn music video production has taken. It is a definite win-win route; the music videos are all the more relatable to the fans who now feel closer than ever to the artists, and they are less expensive and easier to make for the artists and the record labels as well.
Of course, we cannot help but feel a bit sceptical that some of them are staged or scripted, but we’d take even those over another meaningless music video featuring scantily clad dancers and unnecessarily luxurious cars and yachts any day.
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