Beasties Boys Go Viral
We all know the Internet has fundamentally changed the way people are marketed to. Whether it’s a barrage of promotional tweets, online coupons, Facebook product pages, or the J.J. Abrams method of promoting a movie, without the Internet being such a strong conduit, these methods would have a hard time being feasible. Sure, the studio responsible for Cloverfield could set up mysterious billboards all over Los Angeles, but how effective would that marketing campaign be in Fresno? The Internet, of course, shrinks the world.
In regards to viral marketing, while the concept has been around before the Internet became popular — see the first Star Wars movie and how word of mouth assisted in its uptake — the connectivity of the Internet, not to mention the speed with which messages travel, has completely changed how viral marketing is conducted nowadays. Naturally, online videos play a big role in this marketing approach, which brings us to the Beastie Boys and their upcoming new album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.
Recently, to help promote their new release, the Beasties released a trailer that featured a list of cameos that served as a who’s who in the comedy section of Hollywood. Notable faces like Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, John C. Reilly, Will Arnett, and Jack Black appeared and once word about the video hit the blogs, it spread like wildfire. In two weeks, the video has amassed over 2 million views, and while that’s not Rebecca Black numbers — I guess the tweens aren’t too familiar with the Beastie Boys — it’s quite a bit for video that serves as a trailer for an upcoming song/new album.
Like any good trailer does, the one released by the Beasties promises excitement and adventure, and, of course, a new song, which was released earlier this week.
It’s hard not wonder if the video’s release date — April 20 — was related to the same thing that day’s Twitter trends were celebrating?
Another area of surprise concerning this viral marketing effort comes from the Beastie Boys’ use of MTV’s video service instead of, say, YouTube. Granted, the “M” in MTV used to stand for music, but in today’s society, it might as well stand for “My God, What Happened To This Channel?”
To put it mildly, MTV is to music what drunk drivers are to safe roads. Furthermore, and while this is only a hunch, it’s a safe bet that more people equate YouTube with music videos than they do MTV’s video service. I’d even hazard a guess that says YouTube has more music videos in its index than MTV does.
Nevertheless, MTV was the initial conduit of choice for B-E-A-S-T-I-E (What up, Mike-D? Aw yeah, that’s me…); although, once the video hit the blogs, it didn’t matter what video service they used. Another item of note is the Beastie Boys’ official site is powered by Tumblr’s service. For some reason, I find that rather interesting because it means artists aren’t relying on the expensive design houses to construct their sites. Clearly, ease and usability is the goal instead of a pretty Flash-based site that limits visitor interaction.
One last aside: The Internet also deserves credit for the rise of video trailers for upcoming music releases like the following offer from underground rapper, Murs:
Without the proliferation of YouTube and other online video sites, would artists even attempt such creations? Would they even be feasible? Without the Internet, it’s doubtful.