EMI Tries Fake Word Of Mouth Campaign To Promote Ok Go
from the yer-doing-it-wrong dept
Well, well. We’ve written about the band Ok Go a few times here, as a band that definitely does seem to “get” what’s going on in terms of how to connect with fans and promote their music well. Many years ago, the band had spoken out against DRM, and, of course, they produced one of the most popular music videos of all time — the famous “treadmills” video. I would have embedded that video here, but Ok Go’s label, Capitol Records/EMI decided somewhere along the line that no one should want to share one of the most viral videos ever, and disabled all embedding. Brilliant.
So, when Ok Go put out a new album with a new “viral video” EMI once again banned embedding, apparently not realizing how this viral stuff works. Ok Go wrote about it, and basically made it clear that they’d tried over and over again to explain this stuff to Capitol/EMI, and the folks at the label simply didn’t get the value of making the video viral.
Well, now, instead of allowing a real “word of mouth” viral campaign with the video, it looks like EMI/Capitol has decided to bootstrap a fake viral word of mouth campaign, by sending around emails (and even submitting directly to us) a request to “get a free Ok Go” song if you just Tweet about it. Seriously. So rather than letting people organically share what they wanted to share, EMI is trying to bribe people into promoting something else.
EMI, you’re doing it wrong.
In the meantime, the platform that EMI is using for this is easily defeated. You have to log in to Twitter Connect via a special promo page, and it asks you to send a specific twitter message about how you just got a free Ok Go song… but you can edit the message to say whatever you want. And, here’s a little trick: if you edit the message to be more than 140 characters, it doesn’t actually send to Twitter, and you still get the free song.
And wait, didn’t EMI insist in court that it never authorized free MP3s to be available online?
Anyway, the problem here is that EMI is trying to force people into doing things a specific way (not embedding, must tweet), rather than simply being open, sharing and (perhaps) suggesting they share things if they like with a friend. That’s much more authentic and real. This feels very fake and corporate. You build trust by actually putting stuff out there and seeing how people respond, rather than bribing them and limiting how they can share.