See? There is life after internet stardom. Its not always an exciting life but it does pay the bills a bit better than making funny videos from your apartment.
Justine Ezarik (where were you during SXSW? Were you even there??) has been doing the online video thing for years. Over time - and hey, we all have to make a living - she's increasingly pimped products in her videos. And, for the most part, the work has been just fine.
Currently, she, along with seven other YouTube Elite, is pimping the Sanyo Dual Camera Xacti. Last Fall, she even stepped off the internet to appear in...OMG...a TV commercial for Mozy backup software.
Some claim Justine is selling out. Well, of course she is. Everyone does and there's really nothing wrong with it. To the high and mighty who decry these moves, the bills have to be paid somehow.
With help from digital agency Holler, footwear brand Kickers is launching an online comedy sketch series called "Random Bandits," which features characters from TV show Modern Toss and guest voice-overs from the UK's The Office.
The effort'll run for three months, beginning in the first week of April, and will "send up everything from entertainment, popular culture and even social networks." Hope you're equipped with that slapstick Brit wit. You'll definitely need it for this dive back into MySpace.
Since you're probably a postmodern hipster, it's highly likely you love yourself some Flight of the Conchords.
Well, that's cool, we do too.
To promote Season 2 of the show, HBO partnered with Deep Focus to launch the Flight of the Conchords Lip Dub Video Fansterpiece. It's about as grand as it sounds, and one-time creators of fan fiction will probably relish the opportunity to reinterpret FotC's "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros" with their own wincey music videos.
According to Deep Focus, Facebook outreach generated about 470 comments and about 5400 "likes." The two top videos were edited into a single mumbo-jumbo one and incorporated into a Flight of the Conchords ep -- and yeah, that's on cable TV, man.
Remember Gary Brolsma, the Numa Numa Guy? Of course you do. Hoping to tie his lovable lip-syncing magic to a big brand, The Martin Agency tapped him to produce "Numa Numa Guy with GEICO," an amateur-style vid where he sings Somebody's Watchin' Me while GEICO's trademark gecko dances behind him.
What makes the video awesome is you don't really notice the gecko at first. But as you acclimate to the context, suddenly you're like... "WTF is that thing in the terrarium, shimmying in the background?"
A great article by Wharton School Professor of Operations Eric Clemsons entitled "Why Advertising Is Failing On The Internet" takes a deep look at the current state (shambles) of advertising and what the future looks like after we all bid adieu to the industry's current lameness.
In a nutshell, and this is not a new line of thinking, it's all about people seeking information (because it's readily available) rather than having it shoved down their throats (as it has been since the dawn of advertising.)
At a recent SXSWi panel conducted "core conversation-" style (in which a presumed thought leader guides a group discussion on the subject at hand), the hour spent sitting on the floor in a cramped meeting room proved one important fact about social media: Even the professed experts are doing it wrong.
A Dougie Howser-esque "social media specialist" at Razorfish and a group of others ranging in age from 17 to 32 years old sat cross-legged on the floor and cross-talked their way through a series of stereotypes, assumptions, and painfully incorrect conclusions.
Musicians Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon joined forces under the name NASA (North America/South America) to release their first album, The Spirit of Apollo, which has been in-progress since '03.
Promotion strikes me as general and disorganized, but the pair has many talented hands behind it. According to the pressie, the Apollo album was conceived "with the righteous goal of bringing people together through music and art" -- as a result, it's heavy with surprising collaborations and interesting visual media.
Tom Waits growls over Kool Keith, Karen O taunts while Ol' Dirty Bastard gives shout-outs to Wu Tang and N.A.S.A from the grave, and David Byrne, Chuck D and others expound on the evils of "Money."
Other collaborators include Method Man, Seu Jorge, Kanye West, Santogold, George Clinton. Then there's the charmed director team: Syd Garon, Paul Griswold, 3Legged Legs and Flourescent Hill.
Artists that donated paint and pens to the animated music videos include Shepard Fairey, Sage Vaughn, The Date Farmers, Mark Gonzales, Marcel Dzama and Splunny. Some also contributed original album cover designs, so CD buyers get five interchangeable covers per copy.
I realize this is a lot going on so I'm gonna just show you stuff. Here's the latest release, People Tree with David Byrne, Chali 2na (from J-5!) and art by Marcel Dzama. It's magically delicious.