The 10 Seconds

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by Mr Brand

What Pop Videos Taught Us

As Music is the food of the soul – then any video to that music is some special icing on the cake.

Music resonates our inner being – it strikes a chord in the heart – makes us happy – makes us blue – a powerful medium – It will always grab you by the hand and stay with you.

Back in early days of popular music and rock ‘n’ roll – the audience was largely one that listened by radio or record player – with perhaps an image of the performer on a record sleeve or just in the mind as a recollection from newspapers, magazines and the cinema.

As a student in Hull, North East England in the mid 1980’s I found myself living in a house where we had MTV on the TV. Yes indeed MTV – Music Television…and – at no cost – just there on the box being trialled and tested in the flat region that is Hull. “Take on me” by AHA, “Money for nothing” by Dire Straits with Sting and “Rio” from Duran Duran are landmarks from those days. Suddenly we had the Sound and Vision in our front rooms. Pop videos were not brand new at this time – the late 1960’s onward saw some level of promotional videos – 1967’s Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane by the Beatles stands out. But by 1975 the smash hit ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen complete with the standout video showed that things were really moving and the older style promotional shoot was now really evolving into the Pop video. Thus it was that Buggles proclaimed in 1980 that ‘Video killed the radio star’. But did it really………?

In August 1981 ‘Video killed the radio star’ was the first pop video broadcast by MTV in the USA. The radio star was far from dead but rather now evolved into a total all in-one star of sound and screen. Now when a record was released it was as much about the video as it was the song. A new generation of audience was watching their Artists perform, acting out or simply the name to a deeper themed storyboard that took this medium to the end users. The now epic status of the Pop video underlined the continuous gift of mankind to utilise the very latest technology to advance and promote, push and sell. The video to ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson was as global a smash as the song itself….you couldn’t have one without the other. As technology continually develops further – so the pop video continues – not now as anything new – but a mainstream medium here to stay. When I think of my Mum playing her 45rpm 7” singles on her record player back in the late 1950’s to where we are now with ‘’Gangnam style” by Psy – with One billion views on YouTube by 21/12/12 and a number 1 Hit in thirty countries……with UN Secretary General – Ban Ki Moon referring to the songs global smash as a ‘’force for world peace’’ then the proof really is in the pudding.

About the author

About the author

Mr Brand is the ambassador for 10 Seconds. He’s on a mission to give marketing professionals a competitive advantage in the Age of Attention Economics. He believes that to gain such advantage you need crystal clear communication. It’s all about the initial moment. Win people’s attention in the first 10 Seconds and you’ve opened the gateway to the final 10 Seconds, that all important conversion. He also likes to challenge conventional wisdom and push the boundaries of what’s possible.

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