As someone who is constantly asking friends if they remember the music videos to whatever 80s or 90s songs we happen to be listening to, I find myself generally unimpressed with today’s videos. Rather, I was unimpressed up until the point where Music Television (aka MTV) and Video Hits-1 (VH-1) stopped showing actual music videos during the waking hours. And now if I want to see videos at all, I go online and hop on YouTube. It’s not usually worth the trouble because so many of them are underwhelmingly the same, but every once in a while, I find myself pleasantly surprised. With that, I ask you: have you seen Sara Bareilles’ new video for her current single “Uncharted” yet? It’s brilliantly creative. If you’re a person who could sit on YouTube for hours watching viral videos, you’ll appreciate the homemade YouTubeyness of it.

Oh yeah, and the celebrities making cameos, too.

(Warning: There’s one use of a mild swear word and a blurred out hand gesture that some may find offensive)

Basic Concept
Though we hear Sara Bareilles singing and we see her from the waist down throughout the video (except for the very end when she smiles and runs away), the stars are…well, stars. A line-up of Bareilles’ musician friends make up the bulk of the video. It would seem that each of them was asked to record a video of themselves lip-syncing to the song. They could do this with a camera or a webcam, and they could film in their own chosen setting — just as a YouTube star might. Those videos were then edited to create a music video made up of clips of these musicians lip-syncing to “Uncharted.”

They sing, they dance, they charm you in front of a large vase of roses…. They give the video a look that’s unique to this generation while at the same time something totally fresh and unexpected.

Marketing “Uncharted”
It’s a brilliant idea, really. And it almost markets itself. You start off by getting a humorous (and commentary-laced) music lesson from “Professor Benjamin Folds” (Ben Folds of Ben Folds Five). Then you realize you’re watching other people lip-sync to the song. But wait, those people look familiar! Is that Josh Groban?

As you try to figure out who all of the lip-syncing celebrities are (and admittedly, it’s split about half-and-half between bigger name artists and indie/alternative musicians, with the exception of YouTube star Keenan Cahill, who was an obvious choice for a lip-syncing video), you’re already listening to the song. And it’s catchy, so it’s already in your head. By the time it’s over, you’re still singing it and you want to allow Josh Groban to entertain you again by using a banana as a microphone while he lip-syncs. (Turns out Josh Groban has a comedic side, and not just in this video. Remember when he sang Kanye’s tweets?)

Also, a video that includes Adam Levine (Maroon 5) singing in front of an enormous vase of roses must surely be a great way to appeal to your female demographic and make sure they keep coming back to watch. Charming the socks off of the audience…brilliant!

Who Are All The People In Sara Bareilles’ “Uncharted” Video?
This video is refreshing, even if you have no idea who some (or all) of these people are. They each bring a certain amount of character to it and contribute to the overall dynamic. So who are they? If you’d rather play the guessing game yourself first, then read no further. If you’re curious to know, then in order of appearance and with identifiers…

  • Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five, as Professor Benjamin Folds)
  • Cary Brothers (just one man, bookshelves in back)
  • Josh Groban (singing into a banana)
  • Tegan (of Tegan & Sara, holding up handwritten notes)
  • Pharell (of N.E.R.D.)
  • Greg Laswell (wearing a hat)
  • Sara (of Tegan & Sara, wearing a hat with ear flaps)
  • Ingrid Michaelson (wearing glasses, dancing around in front of a brick wall)
  • Ryan Tedder (of OneRepublic, standing outside in the snow)
  • Adam Levine (of Maroon 5, standing in front of a vase of roses)
  • Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland, dancing in her pajamas)
  • Keenan Cahill (YouTube lip-syncing sensation)
  • Adam Gardner & Ryan Miller (of Guster, lip-syncing underwater)
  • Laura Jansen (long dark hair, has a hat on to begin with)
  • Vanessa Carlton (long dark hair, an open door behind her)
  • Maroon 5

Image Source: Wikipedia

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