Three Music Videos to Watch Today

We can thank the internet for reviving the video star and keeping music videos as relevant as ever, even though they have lost the TV screen-time that birthed them in the first place. Today, because they are far more likely to be viewed, passed on, and talked about online than anywhere else, music videos have managed to both evolve beyond what they once were and maintain their relevance in entertainment and youth culture. Robin Thicke’s recent uncensored “Blurred Lines” video was both a YouTube ban controversy and the vehicle for a rising modeling star. Today, a music video can be a declaration of an artist’s point of view, a star vehicle, an inside joke, and much more. Here are three of the most talked about music videos of the moment:

 

  

1. Mumford & Sons “Hopeless Wanderer”

Chart-topping English folk band Mumford & Sons is known for their beards, their banjos, and their mastering of twee indie style—but today they’re being lauded for their sense of humor. In a perfectly self-aware and self-effacing move, the quartet stayed behind-the-scenes for the music video of the single “Hopeless Wanderer,” instead casting comedians Ed Helms, Will Forte, Jason Bateman, and Jason Sudeikis to play over-the-top versions of themselves. No doubt in a humorous nod and wink to the many Mumford haters who think the band’s fist-clenching earnest act is too much, the video parodies all things Mumford—from intense in-each-others’-faces singing to sun-dappled fields and prominently-featured rustic barns. The move has even critics laughing with them, not at them, and proves that self-awareness can get you far if done in the right way.

 

 

2. Jay Z “Picasso Baby”

In the last month, Jay Z has gotten rid of his hyphen, gotten his sports agency off the ground, and apparently merged the…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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