Term Paper: Music Videos Promotional Devices

Pages: 14 (3887 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Even though studies into these types of issues do not look at whether a music video is promotional and persuasive they do look at the perceptions of the viewers of the videos and how they comprehend what the artist in the video is trying to get across. Individuals who have participated in these types of studies and been asked open-ended questions about a particular video and the message that it portrayed have been noted by researchers to have differences related to gender, race, and whether someone was a fan of the particular artist whose video he or she watched. Some of this information has also related sexual activity and violence to the viewing of various music videos. This shows that there is definitely a correlation between music videos and the influences that they have on various audiences.

This relates to their promotional abilities, but this does not mean that everyone who views a particular music video will be interested in following along with or portraying much of what is seen in that video, but only that videos have the power to make certain individuals react this way. Because of this they can be used as promotion not only for the artist but for a particular lifestyle or idea that the artist either wants to get across or inadvertently gets across to the audience based on the message that the artist gives in the video. However, studies done in which sexual themes and violence were added to videos indicated that the regard that the audience had for this particular video was not enhanced by those types of activities.

Other studies have followed along in the footsteps of previous studies and looked at the effects that violence and sexual activity have when the audience is judging a video based on the visual appeal, the emotional response, and the musical appeal. Individuals in these studies were shown a music video that had already been categorized by researchers as having high, moderate, the low levels of both visual violence and sexual themes. After the test subjects watched this video they were then asked to rate the music, the video, and the lyrics on the various scales that related to emotional response and visual content. Even though it contrasted with research that was done previously, this study indicated that sexual themes ad a positive effect on the appeal that one had for a music video and violence had the opposite effect.

Another study in this same area looked at music videos and the violence that they often portray against women. This study indicated that men viewing videos depicting violence toward women can create an antagonistic attitude toward women in reality although it does not necessarily promote men to be more violent toward women in the real world and there was no evidence that music videos actually caused this. It is also important when studying music videos to distinguish between the lyrical content and the visual content of the video. The lyrical content is often the same that an individual would get on a CD when listening to music but the visual content is what makes the words on the CD come to life and have more meaning. It seems that audiences that listen to popular music participate in that by the various processing of information and framing of perceptions that is undertaken while the music is being listened to. Studies also indicate that this same type of cognitive processing goes on in music video watching as well as listening to music.

The visual content and the lyrical content in music videos are often distinguished between and there is an indication that the use of persuasive themes in various music videos can be identified by audience members. A study was conducted where an individual was allowed to hear only the music from a particular video or allowed to watch the video instead of hearing only the soundtrack. Individuals then completed questionnaires about perceptions and feelings related to this information. The study indicated that there were many differences in meaning between the group that only heard the music and the group who saw the video. In other words, individuals feel differently about something based on the images that they see portrayed when they listen to the music.

This is a significant finding due to the fact that simply listening to the CD of a particular artist may not promote a lifestyle or an attitude in the same way that a music video would be able to. Whether music videos are considered as arguments and therefore persuasive or promotional material is still debated but is highly important not only to those who create music videos but to many researchers in the field. There are several key questions that must be asked when it comes to whether music videos are seen as a promotional tool. These questions are asked by many researchers in different ways, based on what they are trying to specifically find out, and they include:

Do viewers perceived music videos as argumentative or persuasive material, and to what extent?

How are dominant claims or messages seen in music videos?

Are audience members influenced by the messages that they see in music videos?

Are music videos regarded by audience members as political or social messages?

Is an audience member's like or dislike for a particular music video associated with the influence that it has over that person?

Do audience members who view a music video judge this video as to whether it attempts to influence their behavior or their attitude toward something?

Do audience members see music videos as being influential in their lives and to what extent?

Do audience members believe that those who create music videos seek to have audience agreement with their main promotional message?

These questions and others are all very important because they will work to show the correlation between the music videos that are created by specific artists and producers and the audience members who view these videos and have opinions about them. It is possible that some artists may create something that they have a specific feeling about but when others view it they may see something entirely different in the message. When this happens the wrong message can sometimes be given to an audience and most artists are not trying to send any kind of dangerous or upsetting message to various individuals. Because of this, it is extremely important that the messages that are sent to individuals when they see music videos are the ones that the artist intended.

Music videos must be handled very delicately so that the proper message is sent and dangerous and incorrect information about actions and behaviors is not transmitted. It is clear that there is social influence in many music videos and many studies have indicated that this is the case. However, there are some concerns that there are various limitations to many of the studies. For example, many of them watch these videos in classroom settings on large projection screens and this is much different from what most individuals will typically utilize when they would view a music video. The video is also shown to individuals in these studies usually only once and it is quite possible that someone may come to feel differently about a video if they have seen its multiple times.

This is similar to radio stations that play a particular new song over and over again. A person hearing the new song for the first time may hate it but after they have heard it enough times they will decide that it is enjoyable. Nothing about the song, the artist, or the radio station has changed, but the perception of the individual listing to the music has changed. The same can be true for music videos that are viewed multiple times. Where somewhat is when they see a music video, who they are with, and how they are feeling can also have a great deal of influence on how individuals feel about music videos. For example, someone who has recently broken up with a cherished companion may not wish to hear love songs or see videos depicting romantic involvement and happy individuals. Given other circumstances this video may have been watched and enjoyed as the individual may have felt that it spoke to the relationship that he or she had with his or her significant other.

The way that individuals in most studies self-report how they feel about music videos is also called into question as multiple methods and different forms of data analysis might be more important in the future to ensure that these individuals are not having difficulty understanding the questions and discussing them correctly so that the responses that they reveal are truly accurate. Despite some of the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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