I don’t know what the point of a music video is today. They are obviously very expensive and can create some traction for a song on YouTube. But with on demand radio like Spotify and the disappearance of video countdown shows like TRL, they hardly seem to be worth the effort. But, despite my obvious lack of vision, some artists like Chris Young are finding a way to get their music into a new medium while making the effort financially worthwhile.
One word: commercialization.
The Grand Wyndham in Clearwater, FL and Visit St. Pete Clearwater Beach partnered with Chris Young to show off their beaches and amenities. To dispel any doubt that this is anything more than a commercial the video opens with an overhead shot of the hotel and quickly cuts to a sign reading “Welcome to Clearwater.” If the video is about Young, it is only so tangentially. He is providing a soundtrack and draw for a three minute ad.
Young plays his new single on stage in front of a sunset while an objectively (almost unrealisticly) beautiful couple blandly romances their way across a boardwalk. Bars, Sea-Doo’s, boardwalks, bike rentals – this place really has it all! And just look at that view! Maybe I should visit Clearwater. Will Chris Young be playing the boardwalk while I’m there?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame Young for the product placement or think artists have to make meaningful statements in their videos. Furthermore, I think “Hangin’ On” will very likely be Young’s 11th No. 1 song. But if you’ve seen ten seconds of this video, you’ve seen the whole thing. Just because it’s sponsored doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting.