For guidance on the techniques of creating buzz, but staying true to the core values, this report from Alison Bonaguro makes me think that it would be smart to really study CMT and GAC:
Does sweet little Carrie Underwood have it in her to become a vengeful vandal? Yes and no. Yes, because country videos are getting edgier every day. But no, because no matter how hard country tries to imitate its big brothers rock, rap and pop, country "Videos branch out but rarely cross the line."
In her newest video, "Before He Cheats," Underwood sings about carving her name into the leather seats of her ex's pretty little souped-up ride, taking a Louisville Slugger to both headlights and slashing all four tires. You see it all unfold, violently and in slow motion. But you never actually see Underwood doing the damage. According to Evan Kroft, music director for Country Music Television, that's the No. 1 streaming video on CMT.com and is No. 15 on launch.com. "Country is kind of PG-13," Kroft says. "Our audience doesn't want to be bored. They want an edge, but not too much."
PS: Have you ever wondered how much country videos cost? $75,000-$300,000, depending on how bankable the artist is. This, compared to about $800,000 for pop videos. Who is paying for these bigger and better budgets? The record label pays upfront, but then about 50 percent is recoupable. That means if the label spends $200,000 on video production for a single, they will take approximately $100,000 in recoupment fees out of the sales from that artist's CD.That seems like a lot for the artist to pay back, but while viewers see videos as entertainment, music executives see them as a marketing tool. When MTV came barreling into households in 1981 -- launching with the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," ironically -- these videos were merely standard promotional practice. Now that you can purchase videos to watch on your own time, albeit on a tiny screen that would make a director cringe, videos have become moneymakers in their own right.