TOGETHER WE BUY

Just a bit of a moan about product placement, really.

Some time ago while performing a rendition of Queen’s I Want to Break Free with a Dyson, I was distracted by an MTV documentary about an ego-driven Irish band (no, not U2) and the making of their new music video. As with most of the mainstream music videos that are ‘manufactured’ these days, product placement is skilfully knitted into every frame.

‘…The Nokia N96 rests seductively in his palm; the winter sunlight gleaming off the slick ,black contours of the smooth, defined finish. He caresses the slide-down keys, invitingly stroking the soft, hugging lapels of his Alexander McQueen coat. This is no ordinary music video… this is a corporate S&M video…’

The Script and their little green marketing gurus have taken one giant marketing leap by using the power of the Internet in a new and radical way: ‘click-and-buy’. Click-and-buy is not a new thing, but the little green marketing gurus have cleverly approached it from a different angle.

The Scripts new music video can be streamed on their website where fans are able to point and click-purchase over two hundred items as they appear in the video. Products range from a lamp, shoes, jeans, hair products, tickets to Ireland – and probably an acre on the moon.

Since the internet ‘began’, artists have been selling band related merchandise like t-shirts, programs, box sets, books and DVD’s, which have always been fair-game ways of raking in some extra cash. But a fucking Mercedes? That’s right: through watching the Script’s music video you can click-purchase a Merc.

Maybe it’s a Script branded Merc with song lyrics engraved in the leather interior; hand-stitched by Dublin virgins (all two of them). Autographed airbags, perhaps; or the mp3 stereo pre-loaded with their one and, hopefully, only album.

When watching music channels these days you don’t have to wait for the commercials to view a commercial. Music videos are being skilfully crafted into fast moving, almost subliminal sales catalogs; playing on the minds of the young and trendy generation with ‘must-have’ needs.

Music videos are supposed to augment and complement the music not entice an online shopping experience. Is the reputable ‘arty’ video director discarding his creative integrity to aid the advancing market forces? Is product killing the video star?

At the relentless pace that technology is advancing it won’t be long before music channel viewers are able to purchase anything at all by simply ‘pressing red’ on their Sky remotes.

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