Hire Rhett and Link Or I’ll Punch You in the Neck

I’m a big fan of Rhett and Link, the singing duo on YouTube who make sponsored videos that are so damned entertaining they hurt. It’s like watching MGM’s latest videos… I am both thrilled for them and ready to hang up my hat.

Rhett and Link Make Advertising More Interesting Than Life

I’ve blogged about them dozens of times, featured them in my book, and recently noticed that their views for sponsored videos rivals their views of “normal” videos on YouTube. Could you have guessed years ago that a fairly unknown duo doing mostly musical commercials would garner a regular following that exceeds many non-sponsored performers?

So how do these two turn promotions into candy coated, juicy filled delights? There are many correct answers, but I believe there’s one best answer.

It’s not their talent, creativity, music, comedy or filmmaking skills. It’s because they have earned the right to convince a client to give them creative freedom. I’ve NEVER seen a Rhett & Link advertainment musical that wouldn’t delight me as a client. Damn this blog post sounds like a friggin’ advertisement for them, and I’ll admit I consider them friends (or at least I’ve got a fellow creator… with a fan crush). But I’m not on commission.

This new pillow spot brings visual intrigue surpassed by few videos since “Mentos and Coke,” and combines it with a song that’s great on its own. 300K plus views just one day after launch, and nearly 10% of the viewers “liked” the video. These little hicks are modern day Mad Men who don’t have to buy their way to eyeballs, and they make it look effortless like an olympic gymnast. Want to know the real pisser? They’re laid back and cool. Combine these guys with MysteryGuitarMan and you’ve got a never-ending gobstopper of viral video fun… without a lick of pretension.

Some gents enjoy their fine wine. Others a cigar or brandy. But this girl wants to savor the sweet symphony of music, creativity, amateur videography and blissful promotion. The Awl writes about the best songs written for commercials, and I propose that blog post redirect to Rhett and Link.com.

What’s even more magical about this SleepBetter.org campaign is that it’s like entering Disney World. You just keep getting sucked deeper into the experience. My kids discovered it, and ran to my office insisting I search “2 guys, 600 pillows.” We watched it several times, and then gazed upon the “behind the scenes,” which was brilliantly placed back at SleepBetter.org. I was spellbound as I was reminded that a few of my 20 plus pillows are perhaps older than some of my children. And I will absolutely 100% purchase a pillow from SleepBetter.org, and this company — nameless to me 30 minutes ago — has now the reflected glory of this North Carolina duo. I’m beginning to wonder if Rhett and Link could sing a song that would make me want to eat dog food cooked from 7 owls. And frankly I think they could.

“Dad can we buy the song on iTunes?” said daughter Katie from the other room. Did she really need to ask? Now my kids are discussing the lyrics… Julie McKnight.

One of my favorites to play at conferences remains Taco Bell Drive Thru Folk Song, but Pillow rivals it and the AlkaSeltzer campaign. While shooting that AlkaSeltzer Cheesesteak video (in which I cameod) Rhett and Link sang a new version of the Nalts song written by MysteryGuitarMan. It’s quite beautiful (footage courtesy of Edbassmaster). Give it a listen and singalong.

Hey, Idiot. Missing “View Through” Data on Your Online PR? Don’t Even Read This.

  • 5 extra points to Tealium for remembering I downloaded a white paper, and shooting me a follow-up video (using campaign management tool). Just checked the “earls” and it’s Concentric). Hidden codes in URLs can be so informative.
  • Negative 7 points for making the videos so damned boring… like a a cross between a dull conference presentation and a phone call using Powerpoint.
  • Plus 3 points for actually using video to sell its product. I would never have looked at this closely without this video demo.
  • Plus 8 points for teaching me that there’s a way to capture “view through” data.
  • You’re not keeping track of the score, are you? This is like “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” Points mean nothing.

Oh sorry. You didn’t know the phrase “view though” data? That’s because I’m exactly one hour ahead of you on learning about social media, and I’ll be two hours ahead if I wake up at 5 again tomorrow.

Until now, I was under the naive belief (much like your stupid self) that Webtrends or Google Analytics (or whatever tool your tools use) could not see “upstream” past the referring site. But this horribly boring video claims Tealium (which integrates with the web hosting software) can help a brand track “conversions” or web visits based not just on a direct URL… but based on whether a visitor had been to one or more other sites or unique URL (like a video) that you track.

Wait- you fell asleep on me, didn’t you. Let me put it another way… Nike.com might know you saw that YouTube viral video promoting Nike 2 days before you visited its website… even if the video HAD no URL to click, or if you went clubbing in the interim, or whether you tried to cover your tracks by visiting Nike via a search engine. Now the video gets credit for behavior that isn’t immediate or direct (which is typically 2 percent or less). In the example, 70% of the people who saw the “viral video” were not captured by direct URL visits… but if we know the video to correlate against, we can track percentage of viewers that saw that video… according to the browser’s history that we presumably peeked at, like a young boy sneaking a peek under a skirt. Not that I ever did that.

Tealium boasts that it can provide insights based on “historical browsing behavior,” so that empty-headed dope in PR can actually prove to the brand team that the stupid social-media and video-marketing campaign drove measurable action… even if it’s not immediate and direct.

Okay- are you awake now? That’s some serious shit.  I don’t know about this company, whether Webtrends and Google Anaytics are cooking up their own version of this, or whether they’ll snatch these guys up. And I don’t know how I feel about my website knowing my browser history… it’s creepier than cookies and “recontact” banners that follow you around like that awkward guy at work. You know? The guy you try to shake by going to the bathroom whenever he descends upon your desk with his bad breath.

I lost you again? Okay- you’re searching itchy nuts on WebMD and Yahoo start pimping “yeast infection” banner ads? Oh you thought that was coincidence? You MUST work in public relations. If I blow in your ear, I’ll bet this is the sound I hear. I used to make that sound with my boss whenever PR people were done talking. You had to be there.

This model — Tealium aside — is really good for the accountability of online-video and social media. We know that to judge a viral campaign on the immediate impact on web visits is like expecting the phone to ring off the hook because you placed one ad in the newspaper… there’s this thing called frequency that kinda works, dumb ass.

With someone’s “historical browsing behavior” we can presumably look at our leads by source, and see what correlated with longer time on site, and actual purchase.

You’re not excited by any of this are you? Damnit. What was I writing again? I’m so tired. Did I tell you I got up at 5?

Groove With the Funk of “Kutiman Thru-You”

Kutiman thru-you mix on youtube

Thru You: Kutiman Mixes YouTube

Thru You: Kutiman Mixes YouTube

 

 

The Kutiman “Thru-You” funk! It’s “The Mother of All Funk Chords.” I wrote about it yesterday, and the Thru-You website still dead. But thanks to Jan for finding this delicious groove on YouTube.

It’s a mix of some soul-packed talent on YouTube, and it’s as creative as The Mystery Guitar Man’s “Impossible” (he’s the guy that wrote my original Nalts theme song). I hate to admit how I discovered it. You see, I was reading Marquisdejolie’s Twitter, and saw him reacting to ZeFrank. Surprised that ZeFrank is still alive, I found his Twitter… and he posted about this tune.

If your body doesn’t start to wiggle while you listen to this, you gotta lay off the Xanax.

Credits:

http://thru-you.com
Producer: http://www.youtube.com/user/kutiman

MiguelSi:, theremin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJIu7k…
TheHitman1990 (Bernard Purdie clip), drums:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FX_84…
MarloweDK, bass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl-CxM…
RockOnGoodPeople, funk guitar:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvw2Uu…
StringQuartet, gts-solo:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7IFYh…
Meewsic, blues harp and vocals:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NutUFs…
OriginalGuitarLesson (BJ Cunningham), rock guitar:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBS_6P…
Shellman1982, contrabass trombone:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXitAt…
ExpertVillage, trombone:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ged039…