Way back in 2006, a band hit the treadmills… It was a simple concept paired with slick choreography, and it made OK Go legend. Sure, they had a fresh sound and hooks that stuck with you. But it was the video that made them famous.
You see, our brains are made to track movement. That is what videos plug into and activate. It was really useful when we had to hunt for our own food, but now most of us just use it for entertainment. Thirty years ago or so, the music industry figured out they could sell even more music if they paired it with video. Some see this as the end of progressive rock. That might be true. But I digress.
So, OK Go set the bar pretty high with this first video, and they understood the only way to keep up, was to totally out-do. That’s where the Rube Goldberg machine came into play:
This is the reality of any market. Success requires more work. You have to keep up the momentum. This is hard in a market that is easily bored. Keeping up with the Jones’s now means topping the best you’ve done so far. You have to play to your strengths and wow your audience time after time. The good news is, once you have their attention, you can start making it about more than just yourself.
Never do a show with kids or animals, unless the point is to help them. White Knuckles was even more ambitious than This too Shall Pass. The group knew it was being watched. By this point they understood they had a following and a few other curious people looking on. Integrating the dog choreography didn’t just make for an interesting video. It gave them the chance to plug animal adoption. They integrated charity into their brand. Yes, that’s precisely how to do it!
Finally, here we are today, with a much bigger budget, most likely funded in part or whole by Honda. OK Go has progressed from treadmills to Honda UNI-CUBs. This is slick, innovative, and fun. Compare Here it Goes Again with I Won’t Let You Down. In eight years the group went from hanging a plastic tarp in the background to CGI aerial shots of Japan.
You might not be as successful as this band has been, but you certainly need an engaging video to market yourself. And you need to keep them coming. Marketing is like potato chips. You can’t stop at one. If you can find a partner to cross-promote (like The Family Crest and GoPro), all the better. Now get to editing.