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6 Creative music video ideas

Power of a music video: added value

Back in the ‘80-ties and ‘90-ties music videos were without a doubt the most important creative content to support a new release. Pre-internet era music releases involved videos to stand out in the crowd, be noticed. Channels like MTV nowadays hardly play a role in promoting music videos. 

So what exactly is the power of a music video and what is the added value of creating one? Let’s dive in deeper.

Why even create a music video?

Music videos offer artists the opportunity to showcase their creativity, a visual aid for creating a brand. MTV is long gone but a much more powerful medium has emerged: YouTube. 

Fans can watch music videos whenever they want, making videos easier to consume. A music video is a useful tool to work on an artists’ branding. Making artists recognizable brands in all their media, on- and offline. 

So what makes a video successful? What makes a video something to remember? Let’s discover a few important elements of a good music video:

Creative elements

The binding factor in popular videos is, without a doubt, the ability to stand out in the crowd. The creative elements from videos are the key to success. All successful music videos have one thing in common: people can’t stop watching them.  

A good way to make it compelling is to include elements that either shock, compel or involve the viewers. Lady Gaga’s music videos are good examples of creating a shock effect, or the very popular Miley Cirus video ‘Wrecking Ball. Videos that actually tell a story are compelling videos, much alike The Prodigy’s ‘Smack my b*tch up’ video. 

We’ve made a top 6 music videos that include these successful elements:

Top 6

6: The Johnny Cash Project

The Johnny Cash Estate developed an interactive website and completely crowd-sourced music video celebrating “American VI: Ain’t No Grave”, Johnny Cash’s final studio recording. It allows visitors to create and share their creative vision for any take in the video.

The video is a compilation of user-generated content, completely crowd-sourced.

The Johnny Cash Project

Click the image to watch the video.

5: The ‘One take video’

A ‘one-take’ video is very difficult to make but very powerful and compelling. It entices to keep watching, it tells a story. Viewers are taken on a 3-minute trip and the video has a nice flow to it due to its consistency. A one-take video takes a lot of practice and preparation but when done perfectly it is a very powerful marketing tool.

One of the best examples of a ‘one-take’ video is Kiesza - Hideaway (2014). The video is basically a 3-minute long dance on the streets of a city, involving the artist and dancers. Easy storyline, compelling images and very strong choreography. Over 700 million views on a single video on YouTube.

Kiesza - Hideaway

Click the image to watch the video.

4: Michael Jackson - Thriller

When this iconic video was released it created a shock throughout the music industry. Its disruptive approach was groundbreaking; the first video to be shot as an actual movie. 13 stunning minutes of great music and a creative storyline. Unarguably the first music video to do actual storytelling. Over 30 years later this still counts as one of the most iconic music videos of all time. A cinematic masterpiece.

Michael Jackson - Thriller

Click the image to watch the video.

3: Cartoon video

Another great example of creative content is the use of cartoons. It opens up a wide range of possibilities as the only boundary here is basically imagination. Not easy and absolutely expensive to make but when done correctly, very powerful. Cartoons (digital or old school) can easily be understood by any culture. Creating a good storyline and recognizable images is a challenge, making a cartoon video that is easily recognized enhances the brand image. 

One of the most successful cartoon videos is the ‘80-ties A-Ha video ‘Take on Me’ The Danish pop band was already an established name but this special video was unlike any other seen music videos in the eighties. 

Made in a time where music videos were still the no. 1 visual item for a band and of course no internet so people would have to check MTV regularly to see the video. And still, everybody was talking about it.

a-ha - Take On Me

Click the image to watch the video.

Another great example of a cartoon video is Pearl Jam - Do the Evolution. Manga-like images depict the history of the world and mankind's role in it. Shocking, brutal, original; a perfect addition to the song by Pearl Jam, a great visual aid:

Pearl Jam - Do the Evolution

Click the image to watch the video.

2: Major Lazer - Know No Better

One of the best examples of interactive videos is Major Lazer - Know No Better.

It is a video in which the viewer determines what he sees by clicking the screen; a video that could not have been made a few decades ago.

The interactive element is amazing: two scenarios were shot. One is the dream world of a high school boy, the other one is his reality. By clicking the screen you switch between dream and reality. 

A next step in creating videos, one to watch:

Major Lazer - Know No Better

Click the image to watch the video.

1: Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone

This video really takes it a step further than any other interactive video. A classic tune from Bob Dylan was taken to create a ‘TV-channel’ like environment, in which you can actually zap through channels. The funny thing about this is that on each channel, the song is playing and the people are performing it. Interactive, countless ways of watching the video make this the most compelling video of the moment:

Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone

Click the image to watch the video.

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