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Looking Back at the Most Memorable Music Videos of 2012

01/09/2013 06:17 pm ET | Updated Mar 11, 2013

As 2012 arrived and departed almost in the blink of an eye, it's only fitting to look back on which music videos generated the most buzz for the year and how production costs could have impacted them. The associated costs to produce popular music videos vary wildly according to any number of specifications, such as concept, location, hiring talent and special effects -- just to name a few.

With the talk of a fiscal cliff behind us, let's take a look at the budgets from some of our favorite videos from the year. Sometimes creativity doesn't come cheap! Which music videos were the biggest productions? Which videos also generated a lot of buzz, but didn't cost as much? Here are a few thoughts on how 2012's most memorable music videos stacked up:

Big Spenders: The flashy music videos that made a splash

  • Madonna "Give Me All Your Luvin'": Carried by a pack of football players and donning a chic Burberry trench coat, Madonna paid a pretty penny in production costs for "Give Me All Your Luvin'" -- including getting M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj as her cheerleaders! It's no surprise how stunning Madge looks as she channels Marilyn Monroe surrounded by that vintage car, plethora of background dancers, and gorgeous sets.

  • Rihanna "Diamonds": Not to be upstaged by the cost of a real diamond, flashy Rihanna spent big bucks on the production of "Diamonds." This visually stunning gem required lots of special effects, including the scene with the man on fire. The production required to create that one scene likely cost more than most full music videos!

  • Justin Bieber feat. Nicki Minaj "Beauty and A Beat": The Biebs is one of the biggest stars on the planet right now -- and that shows in the blow-out, blockbuster party video for "Beauty and A Beat." It may be easy for him to look so casual while dancing and grooving spring-break style, but that large-scale cabana party was no drop in the bucket. Consider all the extras and that the production took over a water park for filming!

Big Trenders: Videos that were just as hot, but didn't spend as much

  • Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe": This mega-hit garnered a lot of video views in 2012 yet wasn't a huge production. Carly Rae keeps it simple by washing a car and performing in a garage, all adding up to a fairly low cost video. The theme is fun, carefree and what teens don't appreciate a buff guy mowing a lawn?

  • Kanye West "Mercy": One might think that a Kanye video might fall under the Big Spenders category, considering some of his past productions. That said, "Mercy" was beautifully shot but remained fairly minimalist. All it required was one location with a car rental -- even if that car was a black Lamborghini Murciélago.

  • The Lumineers "Hey Ho": Who wouldn't want to spend three minutes watching suspender-clad cuties (guys and ladies!) boot-stomping around in a rustic house with romantic lighting? This charming video puts on no airs, just like the song. It captures an evening of pure fun and all it required was some Christmas lights and friends.

Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below!