What Makes A Great Music Video?

Published October 5, 2012 by moniquefearon

Research taken from fanpop: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/music-videos/articles/247/title/what-makes-great-music-video

What Makes A Great Music Video?

“Dave Grohl (of the Foo Fighters) in their ‘Everlong’ music video”

“As we of the MTV generation know, music videos are a great medium for artists with only a few restrictions. One must convey a message within the two or three minutes designated for the song (of course except for rare cases like Thriller). It must be entertaining enough to encourage multiple viewings, and be ‘main-stream’ so to allow for TV viewings at midnight or mid-day. Follow these, and you’ll have a video fit for MTV or VH1.

But what makes a great music video?

1. It must be unique. This is a given. We have all seen enough angst-ridden music videos where the crying/angry/hurt girl/guy rides the bus/train/car, etc. Same goes for rapper videos with scantily-clad female dancers.

2. Tells a story. It can be a bizarre story that doesn’t make much sense until the end, but one must feel satisfied at the conclusion [For example Everlong by Foo Fighters.]

3. The artist or director must not feel confined to matching the visuals of the video perfectly with the lyrics. While good in some cases ( For examle, Aint’ No Other Man ) it tends to be a sign of a novice (bad) video director. [A good example of non-matching visual-to-lyrics? Watch Weapon of Choice.  

4. Makes a lasting impression and/or is memorable. This applies more to the older music videos, the forerunners to great music videos, that might not have the best production values but people still remember them and are often sampled by other artists & mediums. An obvious example is Aha’s originalTake on Me and Family Guy’s version .

5. One must realise that a great music video does not mean a great song with a mediocre video, but a fabulous video can have a mediocre song. There are some fabulous and iconic songs with okay music videos. Do you think of the music video long after you’ve seen it, even if you’ve only seen it once? Did it captivate you when you first saw it? These should be the questions you ask yourself when determining whether it is great!”


This research will impact on my final product (music video) because it tells me the facts about what makes a great music video. This is something I can put towards my music video.


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