The PR Pitches Behind the OK Go Video

Following up on their classic “treadmills” video, rock band Ok Go has made lightning strike twice when it comes to viral videos. Their latest, for the song “This Too Shall Pass,” has racked up more than 2.7 million views on YouTube in just a few days.

Agency Big Hassle, home to other well known rock bands such as Kings of Leon, handles PR for Ok Go. Of course, it’s all about the content, but a little PR push never hurts.

Also, did you catch the State Farm insurance plug at the start? It’s subtle, but they are a sponsor of the video. Of course, taking three months to construct possibly the most elaborate Rube Goldberg machine ever takes a supporter with deep pockets.

After the jump, the two pitches Big Hassle sent out to promote the video.

First came the official release:

For Immediate Release
February 18, 2010



Sponsored By State Farm, The New Video Was Shot In A Two-Story
Rube Goldberg Machine Built By The GRAMMY-Winning Band

OK Go To Perform On “Jimmy Kimmel Live” On April 1st
In Advance Of North American Tour

(Los Angeles, CA) OK Go, the band whose inventive self-directed music videos have set internet records and won the band a GRAMMY, will unveil their latest crazily ambitious clip – the second video for current single “This Too Shall Pass” – on Monday, March 1st at Before shooting commenced last week, the band spent four months working with SynnLabs, a team of creative engineers with day jobs at NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to build a two-story Rube Goldberg machine in a Los Angeles warehouse. Goldberg, a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist and inventor, was best known for his cartoons of imaginary devices – now known as Rube Goldberg machines – performing simple tasks in an elaborate, convoluted manner. Fans can check out highlights from the making of the video at Absolute Punk and Rolling Stone and over the next week at Shock Hound and other sites for different clips. On Monday, March 1, each of these partner sites will post a blooper video that allows fans to “trigger” themselves to OK Go’s site ( for the premiere. Of course, once at the band’s site there will be more fun and games too.

The Los Angeles Times’ “Pop & Hiss” blog was on hand last week as OK Go shot “This Too Shall Pass:”

The video features the album/single version of “This Too Shall Pass,” and follows up on the explosive success of their last video, a live recording of the same song that featured 130 members of the Notre Dame marching band. That clip marked the first time that a song’s video and recording session were one and the same, and in only a couple weeks its online views have soared past two million. It can be seen on MTV2, mtvU, Nickelodeon, Teen Nick, Fuse.Tv (where it was recently “Video of the Day”), Logo and Music Choice.

State Farm’s sponsorship of the new Rube Goldberg video is helping OK Go be there for their fans: it will be embeddable by fans and can be posted anywhere on the internet. A furor erupted last month because fans could not embed earlier OK Go videos due to contractual issues. When singer Damian Kulash posted a candid and even-handed explanation of the situation to fans (, his letter itself went viral, netting over 500,000 hits in two days.

“This Too Shall Pass” has also had early success at Modern Rock radio and impacts the format on February 23rd.

OK Go will appear on Fuel TV’s “The Daily Habit” on February 18th and has been tapped as Xbox LIVE’s “Artist of the Month” for March, facing off with fans in a Game With Fame event. The band will perform on the outdoor stage of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on April 1st, prior to the launch of its upcoming North American tour. Dates for the tour, which will include stops at Bamboozle and Bonnaroo, will be announced shortly.

With 175 million video streams and counting, OK Go – comprising Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka and Andy Ross – is the most-downloaded band ever. Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, the group’s new album, is the follow-up to 2005’s Oh No and was produced by ex-Mercury Rev member David Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT). The record earned a 4 ½ star review from Alternative Press, prompting the critic to “start drafting that ‘Best of 2010’ list, right now” while Spin praised it as “ambitious,” comparing the rhythm section to a “stealth weapon…they explode with the force of a polyrhythmic fireworks display.”

And then the reminder:

At 7:00pm EST/ 4:00pm PST today – please go to
to see the premiere of OK Go’s new video. Yes, the rumors are true – it’s a GIANT 2 story Rube Goldberg Machine and it works!

The band took 3 months to build it in an abandoned warehouse in Silverlake, CA…..The friends that helped put this contraption together work for NASA and Jet Propulsion Labs…..

Please make sure to tune in…

PS – For various blooper videos, visit these sites: Absolute Punk, AOL Spinner, Rolling Stone, and Shockhound.