As a band, OK Go has a distinctive pop sound. But beyond their music, art–and specifically dance–has ignited the remarkable success of the band. Admittedly, their signature choreography would never bring sexy back, but that’s not their point. Their point is artfulness, surprise and visual invention.
From their gawky synchronized moves shot in a backyard for “A Million Ways” through the megahit breakthrough of their elaborate treadmill work on “Here It Goes Again” to last Winter’s effort in the Indiana Woods with the University of Notre Dame Marching Band for “This Too Shall Pass” (also released in Rube Goldberg style), OK Go has leveraged video and viral to dance their way–awkwardly, delightfully, relentlessly–into pop culture consciousness and multi-platinum success. Seriously: they racked up 52.4 million YouTube views on “Here It Goes Again”.
Which brings us to “White Knuckles”–their latest, posted below…
God bless these guys for leveraging art into accessibility, through the joyful inventiveness of simple dance and the enduring magic of play. And for doing it for all the right reasons; as lead singer Damian Kulash said in 2008, the band didn’t produce the YouTube videos with any overt marketing plan: “In neither case did we think, ‘A-ha, this will get people to buy our records.’ It has always been our position that the reason you wind up in a rock band is you want to make stuff. You want to do creative things for a living.”
Indeed we do want to make stuff. And in the ad world, we are privileged to do creative things for a living. And on those rare occasions when we can do them for the purest reasons, those creative things become transcendent.
Now if we can only work in more dogs…
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79