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John Mayer stepped into the spotlight when he released a music video for his song “New Light” on May 24th. In just five days the video received 2.9 million views on YouTube, 2.6 million views on Instagram, and 4.4 million views on Facebook. As a musician well known for his sentimental songs, the video including zebras, the Eiffel Tower, a ski lift and other bizarre scene choices came as a surprise.
One of the secrets to his success was the budget – or lack thereof. Mayer expressed on social media the extremely low budget dedicated to producing the music video, which was evident through the transitions, special effects and green screen shots. However, viewers loved the musician’s comedic approach and quickly took to the internet, creating memes and providing commentary.
— Rafa (@lottusbloom) May 24, 2018
“Oh hey there” pic.twitter.com/dg4z1XDZM0
— tddf (@thomas_farleyy) May 24, 2018
To followers of John Mayer on Instagram, the hilarious approach came as no surprise as the musician is frequently expressing his more comical side on social media. This is perhaps another reason for the music video’s overwhelming amount of views. The music video didn’t rely on a hefty budget and high production value, and instead allowed Mayer to express a side of himself not typically seen by the media; the transparency seemed to be highly appreciated by viewers.
In the age of social media, many influencers and companies carefully plan and shape the way in which they present themselves to their audience, ensuring viewers see them in a “perfect” light. However, Mayer’s music video sheds light on a marketing trend that is becoming increasingly popular – personal and genuine expression over a highly-produced persona. The viral music video proves it is possible and more beneficial to focus on being transparent and “real” with your audience in order to connect with viewers on a more personal level.