The song, Beat the Clock, was named after a game show that aired, off-and-on, from 1950 to 2018. On the show, contestants would try to win prizes by completing challenges in a certain amount of time. Like the best game shows, it was simple but challenging. The show originally aired on CBS and, over the decades, switched channels several times. When the latest version of the show ended, it was airing on Universal Kids.
The video does not really have much to do with the game show. Instead, it features Sparks performing while cardboard cut-outs of the band roll down an assembly line. Interestingly, this video was made in the days before MTV, when most music videos were still strictly performance clips. At the time it was released, the video for Beat The Clock would have been unique for actually having a concept behind it.
The video was directed by Scott Millaney and Brian Grant. If Brian Grant’s name seems familiar, that’s because he went on to direct over 225 videos. He did videos for everyone from The Human League to Whitney Houston to Queen to Peter Gabriel and Duran Duran. If your band was big at some point in the 80s, there’s a good chance that Brian Grant directed a music video for you. Grant has also directed episodes for several television programs, including Dr. Who, Highlander, and The Red Shoe Diaries.