The appeal of sex in a video is probably the strongest of all three of the video elements we've discussed:
I received a number of e-mails inquiring what makes a video sexy and for clarification. So this entry we will take a look at some recent sexy music videos and see what it is that makes them sexy.
Here (above) Enrique Iglesias performs Tonight I'm Loving You. This video has sex, a classic car (not a convertible though, but a vintage Cadillac so it scores just about as many cool points) and only misses out on Choreography. As a substitute, here in 2011 we now have the "strip club" element where girls are dancing as if in a strip club. Sure that's more cheap than sexy, but in a short video they will use whatever gimmick holds the shorter attention span of today's jaded video viewers.
Here (above) we see McFly performing in Party Girl and the strip club element is combined with yet another theme sadomasochism and death/sex imagery which is what the video makers feel is appealing to a sub segment of more degenerate web surfers who spend their time looking at gore and other brain-killing stuff and can't get aroused normally anymore. McFly's fans remember a totally different group when they emerged and many have rebelled against the new "sellout" approach which, basically, insults them as a bunch of degenerates addicted to Twilight or something.
And that's one of the things these new videos significantly differ from old school sex usage in videos. Since MTV began SEX was used primarily to appeal to males. The videos above were designed for females.
The story-telling video has always been a grab at the female market and on youtube, unlike MTV or early cable video - females make up an increasing share of the viewership. So if we look at these two videos there are almost as many male bodies as female bodies with screen time and the story gimmick tries to arouse the female imagination which can fill in the blanks not supplied. What's really going on in that house and whats the background story with all of Enrique's interludes?
Enrique's video should've ended at the stairwell climb and left it at that. It lost a lot of sex appeal turning it into some sort of lesbian orgy at the end. And McFly's video was just too disjointed to really deliver the goods and I'm sure the record label is unhappy with its performance.
This one's scored a lot of views - not that it includes any real talent. Katy Perry's Extraterrestrial. The video is not a good example of a good video because it violates the video cardinal rule and only uses sex as the appeal (No convertibles, no choreography and no raw talent) and this video people either like or they hate. More designed with shock value in mind, it's more disturbing than sexy. But that's what videomakers feel is a new target group created by the internet - those who enjoy disturbing imagery.
I include it here merely as an example, certainly not as an endorsement of the video approach used. Katy Perry and Kanye West basically are perfectly matched here in the no-talent zone. Crude lyrics and double entendre's will only go so far and are pandering to an even less-imaginative group than McFly's Party Girl is designed to appeal to - which is saying a lot. That's why they mish-mash Katy with Kanye - because each is designed to hit a different market. The "Rap" interludes randomly appearing in a song will be looked back as the pop-40 meets ghetto approach of the 2007-2011 period. It gets old real quick and the gimmick has already worn out its welcome with most viewers and listeners. People who like rap will like rap and people who like pop will like pop - unlike an SUV merging with a minivan in music there is no such thing as "Crossover" musical tastes. And since I've given Kanye air-time on this blog it seems only appropriate to include something from Taylor Swift that uses sex to sell the video:
This Back to December is all about sex, but it's entirely designed for a female audience therefore there is almost no skin shown and it's all about the female viewers imagination. A romance gone bad, a boy with a broken heart, a lonely girl - and a possible happy ending. If your market is females, this approach will work. (though it would have worked better with the guy driving a classic convertible!)
There you have it. Just another look at how to make a sexy youtube video and climb the charts.