And I have a bunch of excuses for why I haven't been writing mine, and all of them put together amount to one thing: L-A-M-E. I haven't written, and that's lame, and there really is no excuse.
And the saddest part of my not writing lately is that there have been terrific topics to write about. And so even though this posting might be a day late and a dollar-fifty short (adjusted for inflation), I'd like to get my thoughts down for the record.
So, for starters, I think it's worth mentioning the hubbub over the latest video from OK Go that erupted a few weeks ago. (Ouch. A few weeks ago. Time is a blur.) And which continued on with the premier this month of the Lady Gaga / Beyoncé duet, "Telephone."
If you don't know the band OK Go, and you don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at their latest video, the one for their song "This Too Shall Pass" -- and it's worth noting that there are actually two videos for this song. Both are worth watching, but the Rube Goldberg Machine version is the one you will send to all your friends.
And if you Google a little deeper, you'll find previous OK Go videos, such as the famous treadmill video for "Here it Goes Again," and the ever-charming, eponymous "OK Go, Dancing in the Back Yard."
Taken together, these videos, with their home-spun charm, their genius-on-a-shoe-string aesthetic, and their 10 million-plus views -- make OK Go something much bigger than their music. They are a cultural phenomenon. And thank the gods for viral distribution, or most of us would probably never know about OK Go, and a world without OK Go is a sad little world indeed.
But the world does know the band. And if you're not from a generation that would enjoy the music, perhaps you can still appreciate the too-rational-for-a-rockstar NY Times Op-Ed piece written by OK Go Frontman Damian Kulash Jr. He makes a wonderfully cogent argument for allowing music videos to be distributed virally via embedding. I don't have much to add here, except: Record labels, listen to the man. 'Nuff said.
And if Kulash needed a case-in-point beyond the story of his own band, he could have found it in the Lady Gaga / Beyoncé video that premiered this month. Who would even be able to see the adults-only version of "Telephone," if it weren't for viral distribution? OK, so MTV says it hasn't officially banned the video -- but then isn't MTV famous for banning all music videos? For being the music video channel that doesn't show music videos? And if MTV isn't showing them, who in traditional media -- i.e. television -- is?
Music videos are an important marketing tool. If TV has no room for them, they should be on the Web. They should be free. They should be embeddable -- if that's a word -- and the people who make them should feel elated when they spread like wildfire across the new media universe.
Not only do music videos sell records, they can sell merchandise. As Dan Neil points out in his insightful advertising column for the L.A. Times (prior to his departure to the Wall Street Journal), the Lady Gaga video for "Bad Romance" features product placements for no fewer than 10 products, ranging from a black iPod to the fashions of the late Alexander McQueen.
If you're a marketer worried that the audience you used to reach by TV is now Tivoing passed your pricey commercials, here is an outlet for your message that viewers will not only not attempt to bypass, but they will embrace, emulate and attempt to incorporate into their lifestyle. What's not to like?
Now if only someone could convince the record labels.