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The Marketing Power of Treadmills

You read that right. Rock band OK Go breathed new life into their year-old record mostly on the success of their homemade videos. The video of the quartet dancing on treadmills has garnered them a new flurry of press and appearances on high profile media outlets like the Colbert Report and the MTV Video Music Awards this Thursday.

A standard procedure in media marketing is to put a bunch of stuff out (books, music, whatever), see what sells well, and then market the heck out of it. That’s why, for instance, you saw adverts for The Da Vinci Code every time you opened your eyes, but probably haven’t seen one for recent Pulitzer-winner March by Geraldine Brooks.

And that’s what makes this so interesting. OK Go was a mid-level band with two good major label records and a heavy tour schedule. They hardly had the marketing clout of a band like the Pussycat Dolls (nor have they tried to hawk scantily clad dolls to little girls). Is this a group you’d expect to see in a JC Penny ad? No. But there they are. With their homemade videos (like this one) they’re catching up. And they’re doing it on treadmills.

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