Community Article: How far is too far?

Here at NSK we put the call out for anyone that might be interested in writing an article for the website. The first article is courtesy of loyal community member Mage77.

As we are all aware, idol groups like to use various elements in their music videos as a means of promoting themselves to the more casual music fan. From something as basic as having the members frolicking on a beach somewhere in bikinis to concepts as complex as a high production cinematic that would be up there with most dramas in terms of quality. They create a talking point for news sites and make the average member of the public sit up and take notice.

The idea for this article came about while I was watching the PV for 4-piece off-the-wall idol group Brand-new idol Society’s (who will be referred to as BiS from this point on) latest single “My Ixxx”. I had heard about this particular PV on various news sites due to its apparently shocking content. Knowing how melodramatic the idol community can be at times I figured that this was simply another overreaction and that things were just being blown way out of proportion as usual.

What I watched was a PV that was about the quality I expected of an idol group that doesn’t have a huge production machine behind it like your AKBs and to a lesser extent Hello!Project groups. A very well edited and put together PV given the obvious budget constraints in place might I add. I tip my hat to the director and producer for making a PV that actually managed to keep my attention all the way to the end.

Did I mention that the girls are running around a forest naked? I didn’t? Well, that’s where the discussion point of this article comes in. I want to find out how far is too far for an idol group to go in order to gain exposure in this AKS dominated landscape that we find ourselves in right now.

If a company like UFA can’t even put a dent in the AKS behemoth then what hope do groups with even slimmer budgets have without resorting to questionable but headline grabbing stunts like this? The quality of your songwriting and composition could be top notch but without much needed exposure the sad fact is that your group isn’t likely to be going anywhere fast. The thought of more up and coming idol groups having to resort to tactics like this in order to gain a foothold in the industry is a rather disconcerting one. The last thing any of us want is vulnerable young girls being coerced into stunts like this by production companies desperate to make a quick buck.

I suppose I should clarify that the girls aren’t actually naked in this PV (and that they’re all of legal age). It’s all very clever camera angles and skin coloured clothes; reminiscent of AKB48’s “Ponytail to Shushu” PV in a way. Still it was enough to get me and I’m sure many others to check out their PV so this gimmick no matter how questionable certainly would appear to have paid off. One does have to question if a slightly less risque approach might have worked just as well but I suppose that’s something that we’ll just never know.

Being an idol fan who struggles to get worked up over scandals and other dramas it should come as no surprise that the contents of this PV don’t really bother me like they might the more traditionalist idol fan. BiS aren’t exactly known for putting out tame PVs either so this is very much par for the course as far this group is concerned. What does bother me is the fact that someone clearly thought that having these girls running around “naked” was a good idea to grab some cheap publicity. If that is truly what the industry has come to for smaller groups then it is a dark day indeed.

So this poses the question: “How far is too far?” when it comes to idol groups and production companies eager to get their product into an already crowded window.

I’m certainly not suggesting that any girls should be taken advantage of by shadowy production company executives but if you’re just starting out and aren’t an AKS produced group then the numbers just do not look good for you. The bottom line is that you need some kind of defining quality to your group so you can stand out from the masses of other groups trying to do the same thing as you. How far you the reader feel a group can go with this will obviously depend on your personal beliefs and values as both a person and an idol fan.

This article was written to provide you all with some food for thought on just how idol groups go about promoting their product (as well as subtly promote one of my favourite indie groups). I don’t expect anyone to agree with most or anything that I’ve said but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this because I know there’s plenty of you who follow the indie scene out there.

Watch all of BiS’s other PVs here:

@Mage77 on Twitter

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