This is the story of a small indie-pop band from Chicago. OK Go formed back in 1998 and released their first album in 2002 with little fanfare. Although they had become well known in the local Chicago scene, they hadn’t yet broken through to become a big nationally-recognized band. This all changed in the fall of 2005 when OK Go created a makeshift music video for their song A Million Ways. The video features the band performing a choreographed dance filmed in a single shot in their backyard. Nearly as soon as it hit YouTube, the video became a sensation and spawned countless imitations.
OK Go – A Million Ways
After the success of their video for A Million Ways, the band released a video from Here it Goes Again, another song from their album in the spring of 2006. This video featured the band doing another choreographed dance on treadmills and soon became the most downloaded music video ever with more than 9 million downloads.
OK Go – Here it Goes Again
After the runaway success of OK Go’s Here It Goes Again video, the band spent time working on their 3rd full-length. Meanwhile they became more and more popular. By making creative and fun videos, OK Go has been able to separate themselves from many other similar bands in the country. They found a formula that worked for them and have done a great job of continuing to create new and, for the lack of a better word, viral videos for their fans.
This has translated into more than 39,000 Facebook Fans, more than 350,000 Twitter followers and millions of music video views. More than a few of these fans and followers have translated into customers, buying albums and merchandise and attending concerts. The biggest clue to me that OK Go has found success through social media is the fact that they just left the label (EMI) they had been with for years to start releasing their albums independently.
Below is OK Go’s most recent video. You really have to watch the video to appreciate the amount of work that went into this one.
OK Go – This Too Shall Pass
So, what’s the takeaway from this case study if you’re not in the music biz? In addition to making sure to utilize social media, be sure to think outside the box. Social media allows you to try some things out without having to spend a lot of money. If OK Go’s first video didn’t turn out as well as it did, they would have moved on to something else. Keep trying, keep getting creative and find what works for you and your customers.