New Pitbull And Arianna Music Video Blurs Lines Between Music Video And Advertising, Could Be Music To Ears Of Brands
Is this new video starring Italian singer Arianna and Pitbull a music video or an ad for Fiat?
Judging from recent entries on to the Unruly Viral Video Chart, it's the kind of question that could well be asked with a lot more frequency over the coming months.
Of course, product placements are nothing new. From shameless movie sequences to stars being 'caught' with shopping bags by paps, we have all seen celebs flaunt their supposed tastes in fashion, cellphones and cars for extra cash over the years.
But lately it's noticeable we are seeing more and more videos which could arguably be identified as both a music video and a full-blown ad.
Take Arianna's video Sexy People, which also stars American rapper Pitbull and boasts a cameo from Charlie Sheen, for example (below).
The Italian pop star was last year asked by a friend who produces music for TV commercials to record a few lines of a Neapolitan folk song, Torna a Surriento, for a Fiat campaign.
The recorded song, also featuring Pitbull and bracketed as '(The FIAT Song)', was originally used in a Fiat ad called "Immigrants", launched way back in July 2012.
But rather than starring the two pop stars, the traditional commercial instead showed the Fiat 500 range travelling under the sea to reach America. In other words, just a typical ad.
However, possibly guided by the popularity of the song, the Italian car brand has come back with a video that uses elements of the original ad (cars travelling under sea), but this time uses Arianna and Pitbull as the stars of the show. Uploaded on to Arianna's popular Vevo channel on April 26 with a updated remix, the result is almost the perfect hybrid of an ad and a music video.
In fact, despite it quite blatantly being a music video, it has not stopped some in the YouTube comments section to call it, 'the greatest commercial I have ever seen!"
Rather predictably, the video has attracted a lot of interest across the internet, with already almost 7 million views and more than 130,000 shares.
After all, isn't this just another music video with a slightly more blatant product placement?
Well, for me, it is the next logical step for advertisers looking to engage the social web. In fact, the only thing surprising about it is there have not been more brands doing it. Why? Well, for three very good reasons:
- As the advance in technology blurs the line between content watched on TV and video content watched online on mobile and laptop devices, it's only natural that more and more brands are happy to embrace their roles as content creators. And what is the most popular video content online? Music videos, of course - by a long way. Just look at the top 100 most shared videos on the Unruly Viral Video Chart and you will see what I mean. Altogether, of the top 100, only one, Kony 2012 at #62, is not a music video. A huge viral sensation, like Talking Twin Babies, barely makes it on to the top 200;
- While guidelines strictly enforced by the ASA mean that TV viewers are protected from over-zealous advertisers, online campaigns - also subject to strict guidelines - are less regulated;
- Music and advertising is a magical combination. Look at the greatest online ads of all time, and the vast majority boast an incredible song or catchy jingle. It's not hard to see why. After all, recent academic research has found that the most shared ads are the ones which elicit the strongest emotions from its audience. And what better way to elicit strong feelings of joy, sadness or exhilaration than through music?
It's certainly music to the ears of a lot of advertisers, but whether it is a trend that will catch on, we will have to wait and see.