The antecedent for the video were commercials for the American gossip magazine National Enquirer
, which featured goofy cutout animations of the celebrities the magazine would feature. These spots were produced at Charlex studios, so Jeff Stein, who directed the "You Might Think" video, commissioned them to work on it after pitching The Cars on the idea, which was putting the band in pop culture scenarios and having an animated Ric Ocasek stalk the girl. Getting the band on board wasn't easy. Stein explained in the book I Want My MTV
: "I met The Cars and told them, 'The band's in the medicine chest, and then on a bar of soap, and Ric's a fly,' and one of them said, 'Why don't we all just play on a turd in the toilet bowl?' That was the prevailing attitude."
Stein was famous for his live videos like what he did with Billy Idol on "Rebel Yell
," but he thought The Cars were a boring live band so he used digital trickery to get around that.
The video took months to make and at first it aired without the fly, which wasn't ready yet. The effects seen in the video can be created with a basic program these days, but in 1984 creating and rendering this stuff was extremely tedious and time consuming.