When it comes to viral video marketing, OK Go are the masters.
Maybe too much, though. They’re a band more famous for their videos than for their music, and you don’t earn much from youtube views!
When most people think of OK Go, their first thought is ‘the treadmill video – or to give the song it’s official title, ‘Here It Goes Again”, which brought their first, and most famous music video. It was something that was so simple, yet strangely beautiful to watch. With over 10 million views, it brought a lot of exposure to the band, but didn’t get the band as high up the chart’s as they might have hoped, with the song peaking at #36 in the UK singles chart and the album it featured on ‘Oh No’ peaking at #200 in the UK album chart. Here’s the video:
More recently they’ve produced various other videos that have gone viral, but haven’t quite eclipsed the ‘dizzy heights’ that they reached with ‘Here It Goes Again’. The band’s latest offering came with a collaboration with HTML5, similar to the way that The Arcade Fire used the new software in their marketing campaign for ‘We Used To Wait’, which I talked about in the previous marketing article, The Arcade Fire
The new video/website is for the song, All Is Not Lost. The message and tone of the video is very different to the Arcade Fire’s offering, with Arcade Fire going for emotional, moving, reminiscent feelings of childhood and love, whereas OK Go, who are obviously a completely different band, go for a complete different tone of being light-hearted, fun and quirky, much like all their other videos. Here’s the video/website for All Is Not Lost.
I think a lot can be learnt from OK Go, and how they market themselves, and how they can make a music video truly go viral. Like I said in my previous article about the Arcade Fire, I don’t think that all videos will end up incorporating HTML5, or google maps, or have their own website, firstly because of the technological limits due to not everyone having up to date broadband and fast computers, but also because these sort of videos can’t be watched without internet. I know that the internet is everywhere nowadays, but the advantage that traditional music videos have are that they can be watched on tv, and on your computer without internet.
I do think that these sort of videos are good marketing tools, but I think that OK Go made the mistake of relying pretty much just on viral videos for their marketing (obviously that wasn’t all they did, but they certainly didn’t have a massive billboard, magazine, radio and tv campaign which many other artists signed to major labels have these days. Looking at the sales of their singles and albums, it’s pretty clear that these sort of videos are good for getting your band out there, and getting people watching your video and becoming accustomed to your music, but it can’t be the only marketing tool that you use – otherwise people will watch the video, share the video, ‘listen’ to the video, but never actually buy the music.
Next Week: Nine Inch Nails