Do bands want to be known for their music or their videos? Well, for the group OK Go, they really have no choice. In 2006 the infamous “treadmill video”, for the song “Here It Goes Again,” debuted on YouTube (which was still wet behind the ears), and became extremely popular. Shot at a relative’s house on a shoestring budget, the video won them the 2006 Most Creative Video at the YouTube Video Awards, and the 2007 Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video. The video is credited with bringing large audiences to OK Go’s concerts on five continents.
One reason this video became so popular is because many websites and blogs embedded the video, so users weren’t just viewing the video on YouTube, they were viewing it all over the Internet. Another reason for the success of the treadmill video is that it has a “homemade” look and feel to it that appeals to people, maybe in the same way that reality TV does. MTV is considered the birthplace of music videos, but they were very selective. For a video to be aired, it had to be flashy, glamorous, technical and expensive. Then along came YouTube.
At some point, OK Go’s record company decided to disable the embedding feature for the treadmill video. Views dropped 90 percent after the restriction was imposed. This did not sit well with lead singer Damian Kulash, as he explains in an article in The New York Times, “WhoseTube.” Record companies realized that videos on YouTube could be a source of revenue, so they got YouTube to agree to pay them a meager amount of royalties for each stream. But, of course, the stream had to be through YouTube’s site. On Tuesday, OK Go announced in a video, featuring two executively dressed dogs, that they are leaving EMI and creating their own label.
OK Go released their newest album, Of the Blue Color of the Sky, in January of this year. They hooked up with the Notre Dame marching band on a field in Indiana and created another unique video to the song “This Too Shall Pass.” What’s so special about this video is the fact that it’s being recorded live, what you see is what you hear. In other words, the song, originally played by the band’s four musicians, had to be arranged for 200 band members. So, this really isn’t the “official” video for the song. That came a little later, on March 1, with the help of Syyn Labs and the good neighbors at State Farm.
The band had always planned on making a video involving a Rube Goldberg Machine (a machine that does a simple task in a very complex way that involves a series of chain reactions), and the time finally came. Six months of planning, a month and a half of setup, 60 people (including NASA engineers), a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse, numerous flea market finds, 25 very sensitive mousetraps, no computer magic, the band, precise timing, and a whole lot of patience is what this video is made of. A bit of funding from State Farm also helped a bit. The video begins with a State Farm truck starting the machine and ends with a thanks from OK Go for making the video possible. State Farm paid an undisclosed amount to be a part of the creative team, and to ensure that viewers can embed the video on other sites.
OK Go has been very successful with the viral video phenomenon. At the time of this writing, the treadmill video has had tens of millions of views and the RGM version of the “This Too Shall Pass” video has close to seven million views. With the popularity of “homemade” type videos, video marketing can help a band, or a website, gain recognition quickly. A brainstorming session is great for coming up with ideas of what users will find unique, helpful and intriguing. The video concepts should be something that viewers will get excited about and want to share. Utilize the power of video marketing and promote like a rock star.
Tags: ok go, state farm, this too shall pass, video, Video Marketing, youtube
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on Thursday, March 11th, 2010 at 5:55 am and is filed under Video Marketing.
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