Styles, Conventions and Techniques (2023)

Every music video is different but a lot of them follow similar conventions. Before an artist can begin creating and designing a music video, they need to choose a suitable style that fits well with the song.


Animation is a growing new form of music videos. Some genres tend to use more animation in their music videos. It is more common in Indie Rock and sometimes Dance. There are three types of animation style music videos: traditional hand-drawn, stop motion and digital. Animation videos tend to be more quirky and unusual because they can be as impossible and outrageous as they can.

"Move Your Feet" is a single by Junior Senior, that was released in May 2003. The style of music generally fits into the pop/hip-hop genre of music. So to portray that same style in the music video, they had to create something original and upbeat.
This music video is the band's most notable video because of its Shynola Animation Art theme that involves a pixel art figure of Junior Senior and a squirrel. Throughout most of the video, we see the figures dancing as well as a lot of colours and lyrics.
This video appeals to younger audiences of 10 - 30 year olds because of the fun and animated content that will interest everybody.
I personally, really like this video because its something different, original and fun, but quite simple. Some might say it's ridiculous, but it grabs people's attention and they'll always remember it.

In Concert

In Concert music videos have a sense of realism and they appeal to viewers who perhaps cannot go and see them in concert all the time, so they can see what it looks like for a change. It also might give viewers an incentive to go and see the band live. Sometimes they can be staged to look like they are live.

"Feel This Moment" is a song by Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera that was released in January 2013. The song is about stopping to take a moment and appreciate life. Set to a thumping club beat, the rapper spits "Lets stop time and enjoy this moment."
So I would guess that he tried to think of something that would be a great 'moment' in his life; watching a crowd of people screaming his name to his music. Throughout the music video, we see some shots of him wearing casual clothes, rapping alone in a small room , before (in an expensive suit) he jumps/walks/elevates into a huge arena filled with thousands of screaming fans. It gives a kind of realism to the video and shows how he is living his dream right now.
The video has got a black and white effect throughout which I think is a good way of showing his life; its almost as if its a flashback. I think Pitbull was trying to show his viewers that he is really grateful for the opportunities he has had.
I really like this video because it uses a nice personal style into Pitbull's life. The crowd is immense and the song works really well with it. It almost gives the viewers a 'concert experience' so it will make them want to actually see them live.


Narrative music videos tell a story that normally relates to the song.Sometimes the story is fictional and sometimes it's non-fictional.These videos are popularbecause they keep the viewers interested and they normally remember the story and the song because of the video.

"Same Love" is a single by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis that was released in July 2012. It was written in support of same-sex marriage specifically referenced to Washington Referendum 74 (which is a Washington state referendum to approve or reject the February 2012 bill that would legalise same-sex marriage in the state).
The video goes through stages in a man's life when he loved his other half, and how he deals with it and becomes as happy as anyone would in a relationship.
I really like the idea of this narrative music video because, not only does it have a good story to follow, but there is a clear obvious moral to the story that links to the song.
The ideas that the director (Ryan Lewis) put forward were cleverly thought out to cause debate among the viewers.

Styles, Conventions and Techniques (1)

As you can see by the list of comments on the Youtube video, there was a lot of controversy about what everybody thought. Most of them were agreeing with the song lyrics and the messages that were put forward.
I like narrative music videos because it keeps the viewer interested in the video and normally makes them watch it until the end because they want to know how it will end or what will happen.
Most narrative music videos win a lot of awards because of the ideas and messages that are portrayed. They deserve it because directors and writers have to think well about how they want the viewers to watch it.
"Same Love" won 'Best Video with a Social Message' at the MTV VMA's in 2013.


Pastiche music videos represent a small imitation that is used respectfully from another form of media i.e. film or TV show. This idea is a good way to get a bigger audience because fans of the artist will know about the imitation and the fans of the other form of media will find out about the artist.

"Material Girl" is a single by Madonna that was released in November 1984. The song is about a girl who loves diamonds and jewellery and material gifts.
The music video shows Madonna wearing a rich expensive pink dress and showered in diamonds and jewellery. She is surrounded by a lot of men dancing with her.
The music video is referenced to the 1953 film, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" starring Marilyn Monroe, and mimicked the performance of "Diamond's are a Girl's Best Friend".
I like the idea of referencing films or other music videos into an artists video because it gives an opportunity for the fans of the artist to appreciate other work. So in this example, the fans of Madonna might want to watch "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" because they know it is one of Madonna's inspirations. And also, fans of Marilyn Monroe or the film, (or the song), will be aware of Madonna's work.


Impressionist means "an artists take/impression on something". So music videos that have a particular theme or style that is portrayed in a unique way by the artist means that it is an impressionist music video.

"Get Away" is a single by Snoop Lion featuring Angela Hunte and was released in January 2014.
The music video fits into the style of both animation, homage and impressionist. It pays homage to the '90s themed Pokemon Games. Nostalgia will flow for fans of the classic Game Boy release as they watch an 8-bit version of Snoop Lion patrolling the reconstructed world reminiscent of the original games.
He even battles a trainer, Major Lazer, who co-produced the track.
I like this idea because it is almost a form of referencing and this video will appeal to Snoop Lion's fans as well as fans of the Pokemon games.
From this video, we can easily guess the target audience, which would be young teenage boys who love game consoles such as Game Boy, Nintendo DS, Playstation Vita etc.


Parody music videos are designed to mock or tease an original piece of work, normally in a bad way. It is very similar to pastiche, except it generally has a bad and funny way of representing it. Parodies have got a lot more popular in recent years and some Youtube Artists have become famous because of their parodies.

"22" Parody is a single by Bart Baker that was released in April 2013. It is a parody of the single "22" by Taylor Swift.
In the original music video by Swift, she goes through a day in life when she is 22 years old and shows how most people at her age are at the point in their lives when they can have so much fun.
But in this parody version, Baker uses the same tune but doesn't mock the original meaning of the song. In this video, we see Bart dressed as Taylor and talks about how she wants revenge on her boyfriends that dumped her. I think that Bart got the idea from one of the first lines in the original video that he does reference in the beginning:

Taylor swift's version"It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes uh oh uh oh"
Bart Baker's version "It feels like a perfect day to torture my exes..."

So Bart must have created an idea based on that first line.
Even though the story isn't exactly the same, Bart does copy a lot of memorable parts of the original "22" music video, such as:

  • Outfits - the first scene in the same location and the same outfit - the outdoor scene with the white background, the white shirt with words, the black shorts, the black hat, and the red heart sunglasses - the beach scene with the beanie hat - the party scene with the sequinned outfit
  • Pool - when Taylor jumps into the pool, Bart mocks it as if she was pushed
  • Ex-boyfriends - Bart kidnapped 5 guys Taylor actually used to date (Joe Jonas, Jake GyllenHaal, John Mayer, Connor Kennedy and Harry Styles)

Parodies normally mock certain songs and generally have a very obvious comedic theme to them. The purpose of parodies are to make people laugh and also promote the original music video.


Surrealist music videos are videos that contain a style that are so strange and unreal that it's almost impossible that the situation would ever happen. Surrealist videos sometimes contain a lot of animation. They are sometimes fun and exciting which does appeal to younger children. But some music artists take an impression of a certain artist or sculptor and use their style in the music video.

Busted - Year 3000 on MUZU.TV.

"Year 3000" is a single by Busted that was released in January 2003. The song describes how the band thinks the world will be like in almost 1000 years. As you could imagine before even listening to the song or watching the video, this idea has endless possibilities for imagination. So surrealism in this video is almost vital.
The story follows Busted getting into a "flux-capacitor" which travels into time to the Year 3000. To make the story more interesting they used animation as well. This video is full of colour and excitement which draws the viewers in.
I think this video will appeal to younger audiences because of the colour, animation and excitement. The scenarios are absolutely ludicrous which makes it more fun and entertaining to watch. The creators must have thought that it has to be totally out there because surrealism means that it isn't real or would never happen. So they can be as imaginative as they want to.


Interpretation is a form of music video that means a literal style of video. This means that whatever you hear in the song, is exactly presented in the video. Sometimes it can be word for word in the lyrics, or sometimes it could be an overall story in the theme of the song.

"Get Lucky" is a song that is performed by Daft Punk, however it was covered by Skylar Grey. She re-creates her own version of the song and music video. Throughout the entire video she shows how she is literally very lucky. In the 4 minutes of this video, she wins a car in a game show, she passes every green light when she drives home, her single goes straight to number one in the charts, she scores hole in one in golf and wins a big cheque for $10,000, she wins 4 awards, she wins a giant fish at a carnival game, and she comes home to an attractive fireman who proposes to her. The entire video is entertaining to watch because of the amount of lucky things that happened to her. As anyone can imagine, the budget was probably quite huge.
I think this video appeals to kids and teenagers because of the comical sense in each scenario, as well as the amount of colour that is involved.


Homage style music videos mean that the video pays a tribute to a particular time or event. It is a way for artists to show their respect to others. These videos can influence viewers and make them remember or sympathize for a specific time or place.

"Hey Brother" is a song performed by Avicii. The music video was released in December 2013. This music video pays homage to the men and women of the armed forces in the US. The video contains clips from the Vietnam War and shows a young boy who imagines his father (who died in the Vietnam War) as the older brother he never had.
By paying a tribute in this video, viewers are made to empathize with the young boy and the other families of the world who are going through this.
It also makes you think about how lucky you are in regards to the life you have. Sometimes people think they have a hard life, but compare it to other's lives (the music video scenario for example) it's not actually bad. I don't think the intention was to make viewers feel guilty, but to appreciate the things they have in life more.
I think this video appeals to late teenagers and adults because the content is probably too serious for children to understand. And it may appeal to people who have siblings more as well, since they can understand what it's like to have a brother or sister that is there for you.

Influence of Commercials

Music videos that have an influence of commercials are videos that sometimes mention or involve their whole video around a particular product. This is a good way to advertise certain products, because fans of the artists will take note of the products and be persuaded into thinking that it must be a good product if celebrities are using it.

Tous les clips Mika

The Sony Xperia phone has been advertised on TV and in various different music videos such as the ones above. These music videos have small influences of commercials. Only Example's "All The Wrong Places" and Avril Lavigne's "Rock N Roll" are significantly influenced because they have been used for the adverts for the phone and they specifically show the phone's features such as the 'water-proof' feature in "Rock N Roll". But in Avicii's "Wake Me Up", Ciara and Nicki Minaj's "I'm Out" and Ariana Grande and MIKA's "Popular Song" have small references to it because they use it to text, or take a picture, therefore showing off the phone's capability.


Referencing in music videos is a way of portraying a certain other subject. Soundtrack videos sometimes have references to the film themselves. If a music video contains certain references from a film then it creates a bigger audience, a lot like pastiche films.

"Telephone" is a single by Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce. The music video has a lot of references to films by Quentin Tarantino. Lady Gaga herself says in an interview, "There certainly is a Tarantino-inspired quality in the video."
The most straightforward Tarantino reference comes from the "Pussy Wagon" that Lady Gaga and Beyonce drive; Uma Thurman steals and drives the same one in Kill Bill Vol. 1.
Beyonce's nickname "Honey Bee" in the video is a clear reference to "Honey Bunny" which was the nickname given to Yolanda, who was one of the two robbers in the famous diner scene of Pulp Fiction.
The "To Be Continued..." title card at the end of the video is a great similarity to John Travolta's line in Pulp Fiction.
The font, style and colours of the text in the video are very similar to the text in Jackie Brown.
When the two girls are having banter in the car, it is a very clear reference of the style in Death Proof.

Before the music video of "Telephone" was created, Lady Gaga had a meeting with Quentin Tarantino and discussed the plot and style of the music video, so there was a big reason that all these references were made.

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