Sunday, 3 March 2013

Purposes of music videos: Blink 182 and All the Small Things

After last week looking at why music videos exist, my students will next be looking at examples and explaining the purposes of music videos with references to examples. In order to help them I have written a short piece on Blink 182's music video for All the Small Things.

The music video for pop punk band Blink 182’s All the Small Things features the three piece group lip synching to the song, playing their instruments in front of adoring fans and engaging in a range of activities that parody the conventions of boy band music videos.

It is an excellent example of a music video that promotes an artist and their single for a number of reasons. Firstly and most blatantly, the video features the words Blink 182 and their logo in many places; on the side of a private jet, on many of the fans’ signs and even on a band member’s arm. This keeps the artists name in viewers’ heads as they watch. It is also an example of Blink 182 making themselves stand out from their competition. As they are a pop-punk band, they have to compete for single and album sales with other pop artists that include boy bands who were popular at the time such as Backstreet Boys and N-Sync. They do this by parodying conventions of boy band videos such as having water poured on themselves while posing for the camera, having a private jet in the background and performing choreographed dances in matching white suits.

The video would also help promotion by being positioned in the right place so that the target audience can find it. This means it could go on rock channels such as Kerrang and Scuzz but also on the pop channels like MTV to ensure it reaches a wider audience than just rock and punk fans.  The video would also be able to be viewed on various internet sites such as YouTube, thus extending the number of outlets the song can be heard in, and is also available on the Blink 182 DVD called The Urethra Chronicles. By selling this DVD, the record company and artist can all make more income from the music video. The adverts before the video on YouTube will also raise a small amount of income.

The music video is also a part of the record label and artist’s strategy for creating a popular and recognizable image for the band. Blink 182 are known to be a playful, silly and immature pop punk band that will appeal to teenage boys as they sing about troubles with girls, being immature and having fun. They will appeal to teenage girls as they are fresh faced, good looking guys who sing occasionally about love and relationships but usually in a silly, sweet and harmless manner. This video helps Blink 182 appear as funny and light-hearted and not afraid to mock their own image as well as that of their competition. While mocking other boy bands, it also establishes Blink 182 as a band with a major label behind them that has the money to invest in quite a high budget video that features lots of extras, different locations and even a private jet in it. It also ensures that the audience can see the band playing their instruments and looking like a typical rock band.

Their other videos including M&M’s, Dammit, The Rock Show and What’s My Age Again? The latter two feature the band running naked through the streets and literally throwing away the record company's music video budget. All confirm the band’s image as fun loving, silly and immature; everything the target audience of Blink 182 and pop punk would want them to be after hearing their songs. Watch the videos below:


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