Tag Archives: MTV

The Art of the Music Video: Part I, 1980s

6 Dec

When I was home over Thanksgiving, my awesome stepdad shared with me some of his favorite music videos from a different time…from when music videos actually played on Music Video Television…from where there was no Internet to virally spread them around…oh, the 1980s.

These videos really resonated with me, and I’ve been trying to figure out why.

Besides the great songs, it’s how they look.

Like Chevy Chase lip syncing to Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al.” Knowing that the song’s about a man during a mid-life crisis, and the unbelievable bass solo is palindromic–the second half is the first half played backwards–conveys irony on so many levels. Tall and short, being funny about a serious emotional breakdown, Chevy stealing musical duties while Paul steals the comedy…it’s about opposites. I love it.

Next up is Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing”. Awarded the Music Video of the Year in 1986 for MTV’s 3rd Annual Video Music Awards, it was the second computer-generated video ever on the channel. It introduced a now classic riff, “I want my MTV.” There are men that look like Legos. There’s neon. There are videos within the video. It’s meta. It works.

Finally, a double header from Robert Palmer, whose identical pale-faced, red lipsticked-women in color blocked dresses could walk down the runways today in “Addicted to Love.”

And the ladies can sure shred in “Simply Irresistible.”

What are other favorite 1980s videos I should highlight in Part II? I have some personal favorites, but interested to see what people like…

Who Watches Jersey Shore?

2 Feb

This is a serious question. I’m a pop culture geek and I haven’t been on the Jersey Shore bandwagon, so I thought I would give it a try. I watched the first two episodes on MTV.com. With Hulu and the availability of full episodes on network sites (like LOST on abc.com), I have been watching more shows online. While I will keep (for now) my cable subscription and my DVR, which has hugely impacted my viewing habits, I like the online option of catching up on shows I’ve missed. It’s like free on demand (which I also use, love, and will keep for the time being).

Besides the obvious entertainment value of drunk 20-somethings trying to hook up while donning Ed Hardy, hair gel and fake tans, what was intriguing to me were the online ads. Specifically, ads for tdameritrade.com, an online stock trading and investing service. When these ads kept repeating during the 30-second commercial “breaks,” I couldn’t help but chuckle. If tdameritrade is spending ad dollars on MTV.com during Jersey Shore episodes, who really IS watching Jersey Shore? These ads are clearly geared towards adults with some degree of disposable income. Also, Sam Waterston (of LAW & ORDER fame) is tdameritrade’s spokesperson. Surely, many visitors to MTV.com don’t recognize or care who Sam Waterston is. I was prompted to go on tdameritrade’s website because of these ads, so yes, it did drive consumer traffic (though I won’t sign up for the service). I would be interested in understanding the social marketing research metrics and true demographics of Jersey Shore, because these ads definitely surprised me.

I wonder if they thought about doing some product placement integration – instead of working at at t-shirt shop, the group would have to use tdameritrade to manage their new influx of cash (at the tune of $10K per episode). And Sam Waterston could be a guest star! And stay in Snookie’s room! I would watch that in a heartbeat.

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