Anatomy of an 80’s Hair Metal Power Ballad Video

Being a big fan of 80s Hair Metal I always loved seeing each band attempt to be sappier than the next with their signature “Power Ballad”. Here I break down the essentials needed to make a successful video for your soon to be chart topping hit (in the 80s that is). Many bands have failed as they did not follow this exact formula.

The lighter in the air. Essential for setting the mood this trend will live on only to be replaced in the modern era by the glow of a cell phone, or the annoying Zippo app on the Iphone.

This fans is not singing along, he is screaming “my girlfriend just had sex with your roadie and only got ONE backstage pass.”

Beware: These fans look like they are waiting for dinner inside their cell at Pelican Bay.

Stretching is essential for the Cirque Du So-Metal performance you are about to give in your man-tights.

Passed out singer being helped up by bass player or roadie – He has just poured his heart out and apparently his life force as well.

Slow motion Hi-Five followed up immediately by….

a slow motion Lo-Five.

Photos with the fans. “No seriously, I am enjoying myself; we love doing this”.

The power ballad is like a smoke break for the band.

Since you can’t point to any one fan during the ballad for safety reasons, point indiscriminately to the upper level fans who are just happy to be acknowledged.

The lonely stare: This is essential to show how lonely it can be on the road. For maximum effect the singer of the band must be looking out the window of a bus moving swiftly through the American countryside. For added sap just pour raindrops on the window and use “the thinking man” pose. If you have the money please include a shot from the plane. (see below).

Apparently it’s even lonelier at 30,000 feet.

The finale comes in the “Red Rover” style hand holding bow to the adoring audience. The band is showing that this bond is unbreakable.(That is until Nirvana’s Nevermind surfaces.)

All together you get a pure Power Ballad perfection.

As always your comments are welcome below, thanks for reading.

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Jason Miller
Jason Miller

Jason Miller is a leading digital B2B marketer, who’s held senior roles at LinkedIn, Marketo, and ActiveCampaign. Before entering the B2B space, he spent ten years at Sony, developing and executing marketing campaigns around the biggest names in music. He is a prolific keynote speaker, digital marketing instructor at UC Berkeley, and best-selling author. Also an accomplished rock concert photographer, his work appears in books, magazines, and album covers.

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