Brooklyn Beckham made his acting debut this month, in The Vamps’ new video ‘Wake Me Up’. Starring alongside Beckham Jr. are The Tide, an American boy band who supported The Vamps on their Arena Tour earlier this year. Could they (or any celebrity starring in a music video) be seen as a type of product placement?
Artists and product placement have a well-established relationship in music videos: Miley Cyrus and Beats, Pussycat Dolls and Nokia. Product placement links the artist with popular products, and popular products gain credibility and visibility by association with artists. Celebrity cameos in music videos could be seen as similar – a two-way marketing strategy that’s beneficial for both artist and celebrity. Particularly when that celebrity is the first son of national treasures, Posh and Becks, holds a staggering 249K followers on Twitter, and an unfathomable range of contacts.
As celebrity cameos in videos are becoming so popular, it’s becoming more obvious how beneficial they can be for the artist. For example, with George Ezra’s, ‘Listen To The Man’, it definitely didn’t do him any harm having a celebrity in the video. Comparing his debut single ‘Did You Hear The Rain’ (4 million views on YouTube) to the 20million+ views on his video featuring the great Gandalf, Ian McKellen, it is clear to see the advantages of a famous face.
Having celebrities featuring in music videos has been happening for years however; the most iconic ones being Fatboy Slim’s ‘Weapon of Choice’, starring Christopher Walken, The Rolling Stones’ ‘Anybody Seen My Baby’ with Angelina Jolie, and most recently, Taylor Swift‘s ‘Bad Blood’ – in which she is joined by Cara Delevingne, Jessica Alba, Lily Aldridge and many more of her top A-List friends.
When it is looked at as product placement, it’s easy to identify featuring a celebrity in a music video as a clever thing to do, especially as a new artist. You want to get your name and music out there and as the person featured, you’ll also gain a bigger following. But there can also be negative points. Celebrity culture is a marmite area – haters and Heat readers – which may prevent the fan base from watching the video and possibly even liking the song itself. These downsides are minimal when considering the number of views that celebrities draw to music videos though. And with YouTube views now contributing to chart positions, the more interesting cameos an artist can cram into a video, the better their sales stats will look.
Lucy Mahoney @