Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Friday, 16 December 2016

Xmas campaigns and social media engagement

Metallica fan's festive treat.

This is a key time of year for acts to engage with their audiences, and you'll see all sorts of examples of this. Social media is primarily used by acts to create the sense of enagement and interaction with fans - even though, for bigger artists at least, most of this 'personal' interaction is actually produced by hired help.
Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie is given an annual Xmas makeover

Back in the 1960s paid-up members of The Beatles' fan club would receive a 7" (vinyl or flexidisc) Xmas record - these wouldn't be available for radio, or included on any albums, so it did create a sense of special treatment and close engagement. Today we see major acts like Iron Maiden tweak their iconic album covers to render their fearsome mascot Eddie Christmassy - and even create family friendly Flash animations with a simple Xmas story. Recording Xmas greetings, making available downloadable wallpapers, card designs ... there are many ways in which artists extend their branding and marketing at Xmas time.
Beatles Xmas records feature - there is also a Wiki.

There are also UGC/fan-made videos...

In the UK a lot of cultural cachet is given to the Xmas number one in the Top 40 charts, with a backlash against a run of bland X Factor number ones leading to Rage Against the Machine becoming unlikely sweaty, sweary chart-toppers in 2009, and a campaign a year later to put John Cage's infamous avant garde 'composition' 4:33 at number one - use the tag to find out more. Serious newspapers were discussing the issue from November!
The 2009 campaign.
Videos are often used for charitable or political campaigning too (Greenslade article).
UK Labour MPs have released a 2016 campaigning Xmas video,/single one of many (article)

Your artist (simulacra) should engage in this... is another accessible means of swiftly creating a silly Xmas-themed video (or greenscreening and lipsynching a classic song, as with the 2015 StG Slade.

Above: shot from a jibjab video I received as an e-card from a stateside old schoolfriend. You upload and reposition up to 5 face shots which are then auto-edited into a camp, daft video.

As well as the official, there are many forms of UGC/fan-made videos...

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